Will You Believe In Me?

A Story About Skiing and Friendship

Children - Grade K-3rd
44 Pages
Reviewed on 11/26/2017
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Will You Believe In Me? A Story About Skiing and Friendship is an adventure graphic novel for children, grades K-3, written by Matt Sterbenz and illustrated by Ingrid Ochoa. Matt always loved skiing. When he was small, he relished the feel of the soft, powdery snow hitting his face whenever he would make a sharp turn. And as he got older, he couldn’t help but experiment with the half pipes and try the daring moves that were usually only attempted by snowboarders. Matt lived for being out on the slopes, but he wanted to do something more than skiing. He wanted to design skis that would allow him and others to break the rules and do more; he wanted to make the best “freeskiing” skis. So he decided to open up 4FRNT, a small business where he’d design and manufacture the best skis out there. One day, David, a freeskier he recognized from out on the slopes, came into his shop with one question: Will you believe in me?

Matt Sterbenz’s sports graphic novel for children, grades K-3, Will You Believe In Me? A Story About Skiing and Friendship, illustrates how with trust, friendship and teamwork, you can achieve just about anything. I especially liked the way this inspiring story shows how children can brush themselves off after a fall or a setback and keep on working towards their dreams. Matt’s story is autobiographical, and his business is still out there in Utah, working on making their skis even better. Ingrid Ochoa’s pen and ink sketches work perfectly with the story; it’s almost as if you’re out there enjoying the snow and slopes yourself. Each of her drawings imparts a sense of movement as the skiers flip, soar and glide. The shop images are also inspired and give the reader a real feel for the inside of a working ski developer’s shop. Will You Believe In Me? A Story About Skiing and Friendship is most highly recommended.

Erin Nicole Cochran

Authored by Matt Sterbenz and illustrated by Ingrid Ochoa, Will You Believe In Me? A Story About Skiing and Friendship is a children’s book geared toward inspiring dreams. Specifically, this book follows the journey of two skiers. First we are introduced to Matt, and later we are introduced to David. Together they build a beautiful friendship and start out to try to make both of their dreams come true. The illustrations are delightful and have a wonderful charm to them, the color tones are muted and the expressions and cartoon like renderings are heartwarming.

Will You Believe In Me? A Story About Skiing and Friendship by Matt Sterbenz and Ingrid Ochoa made me cry. Nobody died; it was just one of those wonderful, joyful stories. A story that makes you happy and that opens your eyes to the possibility of the world and what it can hold by way of the people we meet, or what can be accomplished. I couldn’t get over how touching the story was, and I didn’t expect to become so emotional. The writing style just flowed and I was immediately wrapped up in the story. I do realize that it’s targeted at younger readers, but I honestly got a lot out of it myself, at 35 years of age. I highly recommend this book, for readers of all ages. You are not too old to be able to relate, or too old to find the absolute joy that you will get from this book; in fact, it may just inspire you to try to fulfill your own dreams.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

Matt loves skiing. From a very young age, he loved the fast-paced whoosh as he sailed down the slopes and maneuvered several free skiing moves. When he was older, he decided to make his passion for skiing his life mission and, of course, his job. He started developing skis to accommodate the growing passion for free skiing. His company, 4FRNT, worked to promote and improve free skiing skis. When a young skier, David, asked Matt to believe in him and work with him to help him win, the two made a winning team, so much so that David and Matt’s skis made it all the way to the Winter Olympics.

Matt Sterbenz’s picture book story, Will You Believe in Me? A Story About Skiing and Friendship, may appear to be a simple story about skiing. In fact, it’s a story about believing, not just in yourself, but in others, too. And it is a story about friendship and working together to achieve your dreams. The story develops well and the illustrations by Ingrid Ochoa project the plot as well as the passion for the slopes. The story is based on Matt’s experience as a skier and as a business owner of a high-tech ski developing and production site. It will certainly inspire young readers to follow their passion, pursue their dreams, and truly believe that they can do anything with a little bit of know-how and a whole lot of hard work. Matt’s goal is to promote the sport he loves most and, through this book and his company, he is doing just that. Good story. Well presented.