In her newest picture book offering, Doretta Groenendyk has crafted a joyful celebration of one boy’s extreme love for hockey. From the Frosted Hockey cereal he eats for breakfast to the hockey pajamas he dons when he crawls into bed (and watches hockey on TV until he falls asleep, of course!), Pepper’s day is filled from start to finish with his favourite game. Whether he is playing with his team at the rink or a game of pick-up on the pond with his family and neighbours or just drawing pictures of his favourite players, Pepper’s thoughts are never far from the ice.
This ode to hockey will resonate with many young readers who share Pepper’s extreme passion. Groenendyk’s signature illustration style is on full display here in her colourful, folk art illustrations. On each page, she captures all of the energy and joy that the story exudes. The rhyming text makes for a great read-aloud, in spite of the occasions where the wording feels somewhat clunky or the rhyme seems rather forced. But ardent hockey fans will be undeterred by this and will savour this celebration in words and pictures of their beloved game.
Hockey Morning, Noon and Night
by Doretta Groenendyk
$12.95, paperback, 24 pp.
The Acorn Press, September 2014