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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
The HappyFeet Kids Make New Friends is an animal/sports adventure book for pre-school children written by Donald Dione and illustrated by Eminence System. Socceropolis is home to the talented team of the HappyFeet Kids and Coach Jan. Each of the HappyFeet Kids has a pet bobcat named Bob. Bob the Bobcats help the kids learn and practice their soccer moves, and the kids are helping their Bobcats to move around. The Bobs weren’t always ball-shaped. They were ordinary bobcat kittens until one of them discovered a brightly shining, tiny ball floating in the Legends River. Being a hungry kitten, he grabbed one of those balls and ate it. He loved it! Then he told the other Bobcat kittens about those tiny, delicious balls. Every one of them swallowed a tiny ball, and then they all took a nap. What they discovered when they woke up was very surprising indeed.
In The HappyFeet Kids Make New Friends, Dione introduces each of the HappyFeet Kids. He also gives background information on how the Bob the Bobcat balls came into being and became the official balls for the HappyFeet Kids. I had run across those balls when I reviewed another HappyFeet Kids book and had been a bit confused about them, so this book was a great help in explaining the relationship between those baby bobcats and the kids. Dione’s book is an awesome way to instill a love of sports in kids, no matter how young they are or where they live. I also appreciated the ethical attitude Dione cultivates in his kids, who also share that they love animals.
How do you help baby bobcats who’ve swallowed soccer balls? You help them move around, of course, and beginning, intermediate and advanced soccer moves are all shown both in the story and in the appendix. Eminence System’s illustrations are boldly and brightly colored and work so well with the story line. This book is a perfect selection for story time or for a new reader to try on their own. The HappyFeet Kids Make New Friends is most highly recommended.