Review by Booklist Review
In Henry's family everyone plays hockey except Grandma, who stopped only because of a hip injury. Henry teethed on pucks and skated as a toddler. He was a natural, until Dad put a stick in his hands. Suddenly, he felt clumsy. At seven, Henry discovers his passion: ice dancing. Flummoxed, his father tries to nudge him toward hockey, but Henry refuses to take to the ice without picks on his skates. Grandma, once a figure skater, becomes an ally, and, in the end, even Dad supports Henry in pursuing his dream. In her first picture book, Bradley tells a well-crafted, satisfying story in which Henry articulates his views, sticks to his guns, and wins in the end. Attractive and accessible, the artwork digitally combines colored pencil, graphite, cut-paper, and watercolor elements. Henry's story may be message-driven, but it will be heartening to the many children whose passions sometimes confound or disappoint their parents. A good choice for reading aloud.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2014 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Despite its icy setting, Bradley's debut imparts a warm, encouraging message to kids feeling out of step with their families' interests. At age seven, redheaded Henry Holton can outskate anyone in the history of his "hockey mad" family, but much to the embarrassment of his parents and sister, his feet fail him whenever he picks up a hockey stick. Watching an ice-dancing demonstration, Henry recognizes his calling: "It was magic. Ice magic!" With the encouragement of his grandmother, Henry finds the right skates for him. Blending scribbly pencils with soft watercolors and collaged elements, Palacios ('Twas Nochebuena) humorously reinforces the Holtons' obsession with hockey (Henry's mother drives a Zamboni, and the family dog, Gretsky, wears a hockey jersey) while subtly revealing Henry's embrace of his individuality: posters and books of animals and robots adorn his room, and his joyful expression while ice dancing confirms he has hit his stride. Equal parts sensitive and comic, it's a rewarding reminder that there's more than one way to get in the game. Ages 6-8. Author's agent: Emily van Beek, Folio Literary Management. Illustrator's agent: Kendra Marcus, BookStop Literary Agency. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review
K-Gr 3-A predictable but touching story about doing what you love despite expectations, gender, or family, and finding your own path. Born into a fanatical hockey family, Henry Holton is a natural on the ice and is expected to be a prime left or right wing the moment he's able to hold a stick. The only problem is that the minute Henry has a stick in his hands, his feet are all "in a muddle." He loves skating up and down the ice and soon discovers, much to the dismay of his family, that figure skating is more his style. After his parents refuse to buy him figure skates, he boycotts the rink until his MVP grandmother steps in and tells him a little secret that helps resolve the family issue. Henry is a relatable character illustrated with an open sincerity that will draw in young readers, as will the plethora of detailed illustrations on each page, such as those of Henry's room or the crowd at the rink. A glossary of hockey terms will help novices to the sport, making this a pleasant read for fans and anyone else. A sound choice for general purchase.-Ashley Prior, Lincoln Public Library, RI (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review
A young ice skater finds his mtier on the ice in a family full of hockey players. And it doesn't involve a stick. Henry Holton's family is "HOCKEY MAD." All of them: Mom drives a Zamboni to work, and their dog wears a Wayne Gretzky hockey shirt. Henry takes to the ice like a martini. But...that stick doesn't feel right. Getting mashed into the boards doesn't feel right. It is the ice that calls. He's got a touch of individuality that befuddles, even angers, the Holton clan. "No way," his father booms when Henry mentions he would like picks on the fronts of his blades. "We're a hockey family, Henry...a HOCKEY FAMILY!" Henry's sister, Sally, helpfully chimes in, "Ice dancing is for girls." But Grandma knows that skating affects people in different ways, and she dusts off her pair of figure skates, which Henryand bully for himstraps on and takes to the rink. He shines. Both the illustrationsdespite the ice, it has the warmth of pencil-and-wash artworkand the story have a strong but unmenacing quality, neatly conveying an acceptance of Henry's inclinations and an appreciation of his talent. It doesn't matter what you do on the ice, suggests Bradley, just do it with a song in your heart. (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.