Monday, December 13, 2010

Book Review: Ben and Lucy Play Pond Hockey

There are a lot of kids hockey books out there.

There are a few that I love (Mike Leonetti's My Leafs Sweater, The Magic Hockey Skates) a few that I tolerate (my son's love for Roch Carrier's The Hockey Sweater is troubling) and a few more that I want to use as kindling (the Leafs can't even win the *&$@! Stanley Cup in the Casey at the Bat knock-off Clancy with the Puck. If I wrote kids' books, the Leafs would win the Stanley Cup in every single one of them. They could be about Pearl Harbour, Dinosaurs, Star Trek, future alien invasions or the year 2135, but you can bet there would be a least one reference in each one to the Leafs hoisting the Cup).

I recently received a copy of Ben and Lucy Play Pond Hockey a really nicely illustrated hard cover book about a great day of hockey on the pond. You can put this one in the books that I love category.

My kids are 5 and 7, and both really enjoyed this book - albeit for different reasons. My son loved the art and is crazy for all things hockey. He's not old enough to read yet, but he certainly enjoyed having it read to him. My daughter loved that the book rhymed - she read it aloud to herself several times and read it to her brother as well.

I thought I'd try something a little different here and let my kids put up their own review of the book.

Cal, age 5:

The pictures are really nice. There's one page that's all action and passing and then they score. You can trace where they skated with your finger. Their dog wears a hanker-chef and they use their boots instead of a net. At the end they get to have hot chocolate. I like hockey and I liked this book. It's fun. The hot chocolate is the best part.

Maddie, age 7:

One of the reasons I liked Ben and Lucy Play Pond Hockey is because one of the characters is a girl. I have another hockey book about a girl, but you don't find out she's a girl until the very end of the book [That's Hockey, by David Bouchard - sorry about the spoiler]. The rhyming pattern is fun and easy to read. The art is really good and the kids play together nicely. It's a good book to read to yourself or to read out loud.

Ben and Lucy Play Pond Hockey

I have a copy of this great book to give away. The first person to email me with the name of my favourite boyhood Toronto Maple Leaf (big hint: he was a goalie) wins a copy. ** UPDATE ** The book has been won. Thanks to all who entered and those of you who guessed Mike Palmateer (no thanks to those of you who guessed Lorne Chabot).

You can also order it from the publisher, Powell's, and


  1. "Their dog wears a hanker-chef and they use their boots instead of a net."


  2. I'll leave it to someone with kids to enter for the giveaway but I assume your favourite Leaf from the time of your boyhood is Lorne Chabot?

  3. Paul Steckley8:06 a.m.


  4. Just got a book from my folks called "The Good Old Hockey Game" - basically the lyrics to the Stompin' Tom song with accompanying Leafs/Habs artwork for kids.

    Happily, the correct team may be found hoisting the Chalice in the closing pages.