November 25, 2019

Brady Brady: Teammate Turnaround

Written by Mary Shaw
Illustrated by Chuck Temple
Scholastic Canada
978-1-4431-6373-6
32 pp.
Ages 4-8
September 2019

Brady is called Brady, Brady because he needs to be called multiple times to get his attention. That is, except for hockey. The anticipation of his team, the Icehogs, starting their season has the boy and his buddy Chester excited and practising enthusiastically. But after tryouts for the season, Chester is placed on another team and is ready to give up on hockey. Can Brady help his friend see that playing the game is the fun part and that they'll always be best buddies?
From Brady Brady: Teammate Turnaround by Mary Shaw, illus. by Chuck Temple
After Chester learns that he has been placed on another team, he dumps all his goalie equipment at the front of the arena with a note, "Free equipment. No longer needed." While the two wait in Chester's dad's car, Brady reminds him that "We're gonna win the Stanley Cup together one day" and "We can still play hockey together. On my backyard rink, in my basement, on my driveway." But when the boys rush back into the arena to retrieve Chester's equipment, it's already gone. 
From Brady Brady: Teammate Turnaround by Mary Shaw, illus. by Chuck Temple
So begins a search for the missing goalie pads, stick and bag. They enlist the help of a group of kids hanging out in the lobby to search the change rooms, the washroom, the concession stand and finally the lost and found room. High up on a shelf, the equipment sits. But reaching it becomes a problem for the children. Together, working as team, they construct a human pyramid to retrieve Chester's equipment, before he realizes that these kids are the Rink Rattlers, the team to which he has been assigned.
From Brady Brady: Teammate Turnaround by Mary Shaw, illus. by Chuck Temple
Chuck Temple's diverse kids with the quirky smiles and palpable enthusiasm for hockey are the right composite of cartoon and lifelikeness, quirky and real to keep the story fun, funny and truthful. So many kids love playing sports but dread playing with kids they don't know. We all love the familiar to some degree, especially in new situations. By making Chester's story about finding friends to help him out, before even heading onto the ice, Mary Shaw upholds the quote (attribution vague) that "There are no strangers, just friends you haven't yet met." It's no surprise that Chester feels comfortable playing with the Rink Rattlers now that he knows who they are and that his friendship with Brady is not at stake. 

Ultimately, Chester "knew it didn't matter what uniform he was wearing as long as he was playing the sport he loved." With their overwhelming enthusiasm for hockey, these kids would make any team, whether Icehogs or Rattlers or something else, remarkable because they knew how to work together to accomplish something great.

••••••••••••••••

A number of Brady Brady stories have been published, including 3 collections and several French-language versions. Check them out at Scholastic Canada or at the Brady Brady website.

No comments:

Post a comment