|Building a dream : how the boys of Koh Panyee became champions|
Author: Khiani, Darshana
In the Thai village of Koh Panyee, a team of boys builds their own football pitch on top of the Phang Na Bay.
Kirkus Reviews (07/15/23)
School Library Journal (07/01/23)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 07/23/2023 This fictional picture book based on a true story follows a group of Thai boys who love football—American soccer—but have no place to play. In order to get better and compete with teams on the mainland, they need a place to practice. Since their village is predominantly on stilts, they have to get creative, and they eventually build a floating pitch on the water, despite the doubts of their neighbors. Told in quick-moving prose that evokes movement and sound, this story is coupled with crisp illustrations that match the spirit and the straightforward action of the text. The boys of Koh Panyee, while only slightly visually distinct from one another on the page, invite the reader to think about the lengths to which people can go to make their dreams come true. An author’s note about the real village will hopefully encourage further research, while the heart of the story is sure to capture the imagination of the reader. A great read-alike for Julie Abery and Chris Sasaki’s Sakamoto’s Swim Club (2021). - Copyright 2023 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 07/01/2023 Gr 2–4—In Koh Panyee, a village on stilts in Thailand's Phang Nga Bay, a group of boys shares a love for football (soccer in the U.S.). Playing football in a floating village is nigh impossible. Even as the whole village makes fun of them, the boys build a floating soccer pitch. With practice, they're able to compete in a real tournament on dry land. Only after witnessing their success do the boys' families and neighbors stop ridiculing them. Based on a true story, this is a charming if wordy tale of perseverance. Many pages feature multiple sentences or paragraphs spread across the page. Dialogue, ellipses, italics, and words in all uppercase create a complex reading experience for an otherwise simple story. The digital artwork is colorful but lacks depth. Characters are flat and there is no discernible light source in most illustrations. Bodies sometimes feature elongated limbs and awkward poses that make football scenes feel static. However, the scenes depicted enrich the text by providing readers with more information. Backgrounds are colorful and attractive. Back matter includes notes from the author and illustrator. VERDICT Recommended only for large collections.—Chance Lee Joyner - Copyright 2023 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.