Illustrator: Jacqueline Alcántara
“Vini! Come! The field calls!” cries a girl as she and her younger brother rouse their community—family, friends, and the local fruit vendor—for a pickup futbol game.
JLG Release: Jul 2018
Awards & Honors
CCBC Choices 2019 Choice: Picture Books for School-Age Children
Praise & Reviews
Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:
Booklist*, The Horn Book Magazine*, Kirkus Reviews*, School Library Journal
School Library Journal
The place: a verdant Caribbean islandscape. The day’s activity for the community’s children: a pickup game of futbol (soccer). Does it matter that the futbol field is a converted cow pasture? Does it matter that some of the players aren’t wearing shoes? Does it matter that, mid-game, it starts to [STARRED REVIEW]
The place: a verdant Caribbean islandscape. The day’s activity for the community’s children: a pickup game of futbol (soccer). Does it matter that the futbol field is a converted cow pasture? Does it matter that some of the players aren’t wearing shoes? Does it matter that, mid-game, it starts to pour? “No way,” as the text emphatically answers. Children everywhere will relate to the participants’ devotion to and love of the world’s most popular sport, as they “play on” despite slipping, sliding, and falling in the mud (“belly flop! . . . Ou byen?M/i> You okay? Mwen byen. I’m good”). Paul’s universal story is made particular by the specificity of his setting and language (a glossary of Creole words and phrases is appended). The staccato text (“I’m open!” “Pass!” “Shoot!” “Almost”) perfectly captures the intensity and forward propulsion of the action, culminating in an ecstatic cry of “GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL!” as the sun comes out. Vibrant illustrations, full of movement and saturated with color, match the vigor and excitement of the text. The day winds down with the children heading home to their impatient mamas, baths, and bed—happy to say “Bonswè. Good night” in the knowledge that the game isn’t finished, only paused. An appended note describes the author’s childhood in Saint Lucia; the challenges faced by children such as those in the story; the Creole language; and his continuing love for the “beautiful game.” martha v. parravano
8 1/2" x 11"
Level 1; Points: 0.5;
Scholastic Reading Counts
Level 0; Points: 0;