#966 – Hey, Coach! by Linda Ashman and Kim Smith

9781454916079_d5555 Hey, Coach!
Written by Linda Ashman
Illustrated by Kim Smith
Sterling Children’s Books  8/09/2016
32 pages    Ages 4—8

Hey, Coach!
“We’re so excited that
soccer season is starting.
But guess what?
We don’t know how to play!

“This humorous, upbeat book captures all the fun and enthusiasm of young soccer players and their energetic, ever-present coach. Follow them over a course of a season as the teammates gain skill and confidence—and have a blast along the way.” [INSIDE JACKET]

If you have ever coached a youth sports team, you will instantly connect with Hey, Coach! The story is about a youth soccer team, all first-time players, most who know little about the game. In its first meeting, you know this is a young team. One boy pays attention to a butterfly when he is supposed to be paying attention to the coach. During a game, a player runs the wrong direction. Both of these are classic first-time player goofs.
hc2aHey, Coach is not only the perfect gift for your child’s wonderful coach, it is the perfect book to read to your child before and during their first year playing any sport, not just soccer. The ubiquitous moments can help prepare everyone for the first year. But mostly, Hey, Coach is a humorous look at young children as they play their first team sport and the coach who guides them through that year. The poetic text plays out the first year beautifully, as if the author spent many years watching or coaching first year players.
hc6Twenty-two stanzas, running an ABCB pattern of rhyme, tell this wonderful story. Oddly, the first and the last stanzas have slanted rhymes, and reading the text aloud for the first time can easily trip up the tongue. But, the rhyming “errors” are classic rookie mistakes, much like those made the young players on this first year team. Still, make no mistake; Ashman is no rookie, having written more than thirty children’s books. Hey, Coach should become a classic children’s sports book for players, their families, and the coaches mentoring these young players. Ashman understands all three.
9781454916079_24_a8d1cI love the illustrations; they enhance the story and give it personality. The players, evenly divided between boys and girls, are a diverse group, much like the teams they will play. The official refereeing each game is the same person, which is an odd situation to happen, but for young children reading this book, it helps with consistency.

The coach takes all of this in stride, enjoying every moment. Each of the seven games has funny incidents. The team loses five of the six first games; the sixth is a soaker. Finally, the kids are victorious on their last game of the season. No matter how the kids play, the coach enjoys himself and the kids follow suit. Good coaches know how to enjoy the journey more than the individual games. Hey, Coach! is a good coach.
hc2Overall, Hey, Coach will entertain all who read it. Those who have coached young players—and what parent has not—will get a kick out of the situations. The author has either coached a team or two or has sat through many a Saturday morning watching their child play. The author’s dedication says it all: “Hey, Coaches! Thanks for your patience, dedication, and good humor.” At the end of the season, each kid is seen wearing a medal, and the coach is holding a big trophy—from the team—with the inscription “#1 COACH.” Having coached youth sports for several years, I can tell you most coaches would love to receive Hey, Coach! instead of the trophy.

HEY, COACH! Text copyright © 2016 by Linda Ashman. Illustrations copyright © 2016 by Kim Smith. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Sterling Children’s Books, New York, NY.

AmazonIndie BooksSterling Children’s Books

Find Hey, Coach! on Goodreads HERE.

Linda Ashman:  http://lindaashman.com/
Follow on Twitter          @lindaashman2

Kim Smith:  kimillustration.com
Follow on Twitter          @Kimdraws

Sterling Children’s Books:  http://www.sterlingpublishing.com/childrens-books.html
Follow on Twitter          @SterlingBooks

Sterling Children’s Books is an imprint of Sterling Publishing Company.

Reprinted with permission from HEY, COACH! © 2016 by Linda Ashman, Sterling Children’s Books, an imprint of Sterling Publishing Company, Illustrations © 2016 by Kim Smith.

Copyright © 2016 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

Hey, Coach!
Written by Linda Ashman
Illustrated by Kim Smith
Sterling Children’s Books 8/09/2016

4 thoughts on “#966 – Hey, Coach! by Linda Ashman and Kim Smith

  1. Mom and I watch the pre-K soccer players at the park a lot. They are hilarious. We wonder why the coaches still have hair on their heads. Mom is pretty sure she would’ve pulled every hair out of her head by the end of the first practice.

    Love and licks,


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