CRAWFORD, Shane & Adrian Beck (text) Heath McKenzie (illus.) The Cursed Cup Penguin (Crawf’s Kick it to Nick), 2014 96pp $9.99 pbk ISBN 9780143307846 SCIS 1656725
The first of a new sports-based series, this fast paced and readable story combines football lingo with humour and paranormal happenings. Protagonist Nick, his friend Bruiser, and talented new girl Ella have enough challenges ahead to win the game on a new oval without having to deal with a golden trophy cup that morphs into a monster.
This story is told in short, sharp sentences with a simple vocabulary suited to sports-mad kids, and effective use of dialogue. The book is printed in a well-spaced, large font with occasional black and white illustrations. A dynamic cover highlights the story subject-matter and includes the AFL logo. Footy tips from Crawf are included at the back of the book. Together with a simple story driven by the need to win the game, these choices create a comic-like book which is accessible and kid-friendly. AFL fans and kids attuned to the tone of a sport-commentator’s voice will relate to the text. As well children who would rather be playing football than reading will find something to attract them in this engaging series.
reviewed by Julie Thorndyke