If you have a budding sports star in your home or classroom, here is a boy book that provides both excellent reading material and personal encouragement. I’m speaking, of course, about I Told You I Can Play, a picture book for ages 4-8, penned by football and basketball professional athlete, Brian Jordan.
I Told You I Can Play is the story of six-year old Brian, who absolutely loves sports but is snubbed by his 9-year old brother and his friends, who think he’s too young to play. All Brian wants is a chance, and to have his big brother be proud of him. But the big boys ignore him–until one of the players is called home. That’s when Brian begs for the chance to take the boy’s place, and Brian’s brother finally gives in.
In no time flat, little Brian catches the football and takes off across the field. He is so fast, no one can catch him. At first.
Brian is finally tackled by a big boy on the opposite team, but not before he scores a touchdown. Everyone is cheering and clapping, but for a moment, all Brian feels is the hard ground. His eyes quickly fill with tears, but the pride he sees in his big brother’s eyes makes the pain totally worth it.
This is an absolutely delightful book. It debuted in 2006, but its message is timeless. In the spirit of The Little Engine That Could, this sweet book encourages children to look past whatever temporary handicap they may have – age, height or size, and do their very best to succeed.
The book is illustrated by husband-and-wife team, Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu. Little Brian’s excited smile, gleaming eyes and shining African American features grace the book’s cover, and is a welcome sight for African American families, multicultural classrooms and children who yearn to see books about children who look like them.
The inside is filled from cover-to-cover with earth-toned illustrations, authentic facial expressions, and a whole lot of love.
For a warm and wonderful addition to your elementary classroom, your Little League sports library, or your child’s personal collection, be sure to grab a copy of this book. Just click on the link above, and you’ll be taken directly to Amazon.com, where your order will be quick and easy.
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