SERGIO Saves the Game!
"The sporty penguin of Sergio Makes a Splash is obsessed with soccer, but he's only “a true star” in his dreams. In real life, he “trips, falls, crashes, slips, slides, flips, sets, shoots ... and scores! For the other team.” But Sergio is determined to play and jumps at the chance to “try being the goalie!” The bold, graphic four-color spreads evoke vintage sports posters, and Sergio finally gets to shine during the championship game against a team of overconfident seagulls. Sergio and this smart sequel both deliver. Ages 3–6. (May) "
"Sergio, the little penguin who couldn't swim, splashed onto the picture book scene last year in Sergio Makes a Splash. This, the second Sergio book, is the rare sequel that is as good as the original. Perhaps this is because the author/illustrator chose a subject, soccer, that he and so many young children love. Sergio enjoys soccer and dreams of greatness, but he usually messes up. When he does score—oops!—it's for the other team. Consequently, he is always chosen last, and even with lots of practice he still feels tiny compared with the Seagulls, his team's huge and dreaded rivals. The woodblock illustrations, in lovely shades of wintergreen-gum-turquoise, apricot, red, and navy blue, have a classic feel yet a modern sensibility and a good deal of movement (rare with woodcuts). Sergio's determination is infectious, and young readers will have fun rooting for him throughout this uplifting underdog—underpenguin?—story. "
"Vibrant artwork and clever visual jokes enliven this feel-good sports story. Author/illustrator Edel Rodriguez uses the same fun, bold palette of orange, navy, and aqua that he used in the previous Sergio title, Sergio Makes a Splash!, this time adding splashes of warm red for scarves and soccer jerseys. He also adds fun illustrative details such as ice cookbooks in the kitchen and a reappearing fish.
It’s especially nice to see the perennial “big game” story given such a fresh look. Sports fans will appreciate the energy and action on these pages. Kudos to Rodriguez for making us believe that a round penguin with stumpy legs can dribble, juggle, and block, and for showing readers that you don’t have to do things like everyone else to be successful.
How does Sergio go from being a hopeless case who slips and falls (“It’s not you, it’s all this ice!” says his mother) to a pretty good goalie? “Practice, practice, practice,” as his coach recommends, and a willingness to get hit with the ball a lot. Eventually Sergio’s hard work pays off during the big game against the nasty, aggressive Seagulls. Rodriguez punctuates Sergio’s triumph with a hilarious image. It’s a fitting conclusion to this cheerful book."
Sergio Saves the Game! is available at:
New York: Books of Wonder, 18 West 18th Street
Miami: Books and Books
Go to INDIEBOUND.ORG for independent bookstores in your area
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