Reviews for Game Day

Booklist Reviews 2005 September #1
Gr. 1-3. The Barber twins, who are both NFL players, tell a story with themselves as the heroes. Set in their childhood, the tale introduces Tiki and Ronde playing on the Cave Spring Vikings. Tiki gets the glory, running for the long touchdowns, but Ronde is a dedicated blocker who makes the plays happen. Despite Ronde's importance, his supporting role gets a little old, especially after Tiki is interviewed for the newspaper. But the coach has a surprise for Ronde; he concocts a sneak play in which the ball is passed to Ronde, who is then able to run for the touchdown. Though simplistic, the story will still appeal to football fans, most of whom will easily identify with the out-of-the-spotlight Ronde. (Actually, they'll probably identify most with the other Vikings, who don't get their own play.) Root's artwork, with its bright blue uniforms and green, green grass, seems stiff in some of the action scenes; it's better in the more intimate family moments. What works best here is the feel-good mood--the anticipation, the excitement of the game, and the thrill of victory. ((Reviewed September 1, 2005)) Copyright 2005 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2006 Spring
Twins Tiki and Ronde play and excel at Pee Wee football, but Tiki garners the most attention getting touchdown runs. Ronde, a blocker who feels under appreciated, finally understands he's also important to the team's success. This story of teamwork has strong appeal for boys despite some stilted writing and a pedantic message. The illustrations ably convey a sense of the game. Copyright 2006 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2005 September #2
Kids who have played any sport in a vital but unsung capacity will identify with this second outing from the Barbers, twin professional football players. Ronde is a blocking back for the Cave Spring Vikings, and his brother Tiki is the ball carrier. Tiki garners much admiration for snapping off long touchdown runs, not leastwise the result of his brother's crack downfield blocking. Guess who gets the kudos? In no way is Ronde embittered, though he sure would like some recognition for his contribution. As he talks with his teammates, his coach and his mother, he realizes that his hard work has not gone unnoticed and that everyone has a role to play to insure the team's success. The Barbers' cool voice and warmth of camaraderie are giveaways that Ronde will get a shot at the limelight, but the message scores its own goal: Everyone has a critical part to play on a team and everyone can revel in the accomplishments. Lots of great football talk and Root's rich colors of amber, green and deep blue bring the field to life. (Picture book. 6-10) Copyright Kirkus 2005 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2005 October #1

Just as football season kicks off, NFL stars and twin brothers Tiki and Ronde Barber return to the picture-book field with a tale of their formative days in Pee Wee Football League. In the follow-up to this creative team's By My Brother's Side , Ronde, deep down, knows he's a talented player. He repeatedly makes key blocks that enable his brother to break away and run with the ball. But Ronde is tired of being the unsung hero and watching Tiki, the leading scorer, get all the glory. When a mild injury sidelines Ronde for a game and Tiki's performance suffers, people take notice of Ronde's contributions. And in the very next game, a trick play wins the day--and gives Ronde his own glorious moment. The tone here is equal parts sunny reminiscence and inspirational game-day pep talk; the text sails along like a skillfully thrown spiral. Kids will quickly grasp the overt message of teamwork, and budding athletes will thrill to know that NFL players experience real childhood struggles, too. Root's slightly fuzzy, earth-toned watercolors capture the speed, action and colors of autumn Saturday afternoons as well as the subtler shadings of the boys' realistic emotions. Ages 6-10. (Oct.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2006 January

Gr 1-3 -The Barber twins, both NFL superstars, teamed up with Burleigh to write an engaging memoir that touches on themes of cooperation and individual differences. When the brothers played football in their hometown Pee Wee league, a local reporter interviewed them and seemed to focus his attention on Tiki, the touchdown hero. Ronde knew his brother could not score without his own strong defense clearing the way, but no one seemed to notice his skill. Feeling jealous and unappreciated, Ronde finally gained perspective on his contributions when he was sidelined with a minor injury. However, it was Tiki who showed him the meaning of teamwork. Root's rich illustrations, done in watercolor and gouache, realistically portray the action. This book is sure to be of interest to young athletes, but the lessons of self-acceptance and working together to contribute to the success of the group are universally valuable. Use this title to spark discussions of personal strengths and abilities.-Mary Hazelton, Elementary Schools in Warren & Waldoboro, ME

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