Sunday, December 9, 2018

Review - That's Not Hockey!

That's Not Hockey!
by Andrée Poulin
illustrated by Félix Girard
Date: 2018
Publisher: Annick Press
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book non-fiction
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

The legendary goalie who revolutionized the game of hockey

Young Jacques Plante’s way of playing hockey may look different from everyone else’s. Instead of a puck, he uses a tennis ball, and his shin pads are made out of potato sacks and wooden slats. But that’s not going to stop him. He loves the game.

Jacques is drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in his mid-twenties. Fans love the unstoppable goalie as he leads his team to one victory after another. But there’s a price to pay: pucks to the face result in a broken jaw, broken cheekbones, multiple stitches, and even a skull fracture.

One day, Jacques has had enough. He goes on the ice wearing a fiberglass mask. The coach orders him to take it off.

Finally, at a game against the Rangers, when yet another puck hits Jacques square in the face, he puts his foot down. He will not continue to play unless he’s allowed to wear a mask.

Young hockey fans will enjoy this story of Jacques Plante, whose determination and love of the game brought about a revolutionary change to how it is played.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

Even though I'm Canadian, I'm not a hockey fan. At all. (Does that make me a bad Canadian?) However, I do like learning about history, and that includes the history of sports. This little book is a great way to teach kids about the evolution of hockey.

Jacques Plante was a goalie who was tired of getting injured. So he started wearing a mask. This was at a time when none of the players were even wearing helmets. The reaction at first was pretty negative; hockey fans didn't like change, and they expected players to risk injury for their entertainment. You can definitely see parallels between this fight for masks and the current fight for better recognition of concussions (although that's not discussed in this particular book).

The illustrations are okay, but nothing special. I did appreciate, however, that they weren't too gory... and they definitely could've been, given the subject matter!

Overall, this is a nice non-fiction picture book that teaches readers about the advent of face protection in hockey. Hockey fans (and non-fans) will find this one interesting.

Quotable moment:

A fan asks him:
"Are you scared to play without a mask?"
The goalie replies:
"If you jumped out of a plane without a parachute, would that make you brave?"

Thank you to NetGalley and Annick Press for providing a digital ARC.

Premise: 4/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 4/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 4/5

Overall: 3.83 out of 5

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