Reviews for Splinters

Booklist Reviews 2010 September #1
"Cindy loves hockey and scrimps until she has enough cash to join a league. But her scrounged uniform earns the derision of the cruel Blister Sisters, whose mother coaches the team. Soon Cindy is stuck cleaning uniforms and taping sticks; her benchwarmer status even earns her the nickname Splinters. Observant readers may already be wise, but the twist will catch many off guard: the arrival of a "fairy goaltender" reveals the story's "Cinderella" roots. Only this time, the stroke of midnight is replaced by a final buzzer, and the magical slipper is a skate. Before the fantasy element begins, it's a realistic story--the illustration of Cindy's defaced jersey in the locker room is rather powerful--so it's a surprise how well the tonal shift works. The crosshatches of Sylvester's pencil give an edge to his paint work, and his characters' expressive faces are nimble enough to keep up with the story's fleetness of plot and emotion. No doubt this mix of sports and fairy tale will hit a sweet spot with female readers." Copyright 2010 Booklist Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2010 August #1

Hockey is Cindy Winters's love, and she's very good at it. Her parents are too poor to pay league fees, but Cindy does odd jobs to earn the money. Her mother's old equipment, though, makes her a laughingstock to the Blister Sisters, whose mother is the coach! When the all-star tryouts are held, led by the famed Charmaine Prince, the Blisters make sure Cindy can't be there. But her Fairy Goaltender appears, outfits her in white and gold, sends her off to the competition in a Zamboni and exhorts her to be off the ice when the final buzzer sounds. Cindy works brilliantly, but she is caught at the final buzzer with only one shiny skate. Sylvester's puckish (sorry) take on the Cinderella story is reflected in squiggly, exaggerated watercolor-and-ink pictures. Most of them float on the page as if on the ice, and this works wonderfully, from Cindy's parents' frozen basement apartment to the wide rink. The Fairy Goaltender, by the way, works her magic by whacking Cindy across the legs with her magic hockey stick. Goal! (Picture book. 5-9)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2010 September

Gr 1-2--The Cinderella story plus hockey equals a new twist on an old favorite. Cindy is a destitute but excellent hockey player who can't catch a break. When she finally saves enough money to join a league, it's dominated by two evil sisters and their mother, the coach. They keep Cindy on the bench and nickname her "Splinters." When the acclaimed coach Charmaine Prince holds tryouts for the All-Star team, Cindy needs the help of her Fairy Goaltender to get to the rink on time on a new Zamboni. As she races away before the final bell rings, she loses her golden skate. In true Cinderella style, she is reunited with the skate, makes the team, and plays hockey happily ever after. The watercolor and pencil illustrations depict the actions and emotions of the characters perfectly. The facial expressions are spot-on. There is a lot of text in this tale, but the art keeps it from being overwhelming. This reworking of a classic tale has a few missed shots but overall it meets its goal in being clever.--Catherine Callegari, Gay-Kimball Library, Troy, NH

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