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Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite
The HappyFeet Kids Load the Train by Donald Dione is an intelligently written, well-designed book for preschoolers. Created to respond to the HappyFeet's imaginative and innovative “Story Time with a Soccer Ball” methodology - one that enables children to enhance their cognitive growth, develop self-confidence, improve their balance, and experience a lot of fun while doing it - this book offers interactive moments with kids, modeled after the classroom experience. In this book, the kids, alongside their coach, use Bob the Bobcat and their soccer skills to help trains that are idle and sad.
The HappyFeet Kids Load the Train offers a lot of fun material and drama that kids can act out in their play time. It is designed to be interactive, fun, and educational. I read this book in less than an hour with my two grandsons, (ages 3 and 5) and they had a lot of fun. Now I can’t have my phone back as they keep on going through the story, commenting on the kids and retelling the story. They are identifying themselves with the characters — Ricky, Holly, José, and Bob. It is interesting to notice the effect of the colorful artwork on young readers, the beautiful images that take on a life of their own, and the realistic interaction between the Coach and the kids. This book should be on the shelf of every family with kids. It is also one of the best tools to introduce children to soccer. Donald Dione has created a wonderful story for kids, one that will undoubtedly add great value to their play time.