Tiny Timmy: Soccer Superstar by Tim Cahill and Julian Gray

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Scholastic, 2015. ISBN 9781760158880
(Age: 7+) Highly recommended. Soccer, Tim Cahill, Bullying, Achievement. Tim Cahill gives an outline his early life in short easy to read chapters, using different fonts and illustrations for the younger reader to develop an idea of the commitment it takes to be a good sports player. Gently humorous details are given to introduce the range of skills it takes to be a soccer star.
Tim is known as Tiny Timmy, his stature overlooked by many when he tries out for the soccer team. Older kids make rude remarks, and even girls are chosen before him to be part of the team. Used as the orange boy, he is determined to prove his worth and keeps practising all the time. He asks all those around him how he can become taller, with some very funny results. Readers will chuckle at these attempts to change his size. The coach sees his efforts and suggests that the only way he can make the team is by continuous practice, and practice he does in every spare minute through the day. And one day in trying to escape a vicious dog, he realises just what he can do with his feet. The following week he becomes the spare, and when called to the field, he uses his newly learnt skills to save the day.
This is a lovely story of striving to achieve your goal, and will appeal to the fans of Tim Cahill and soccer in middle primary school. The characters are clearly defined, the story simply told using a variety of techniques to make some words stand out, with illustrations by Heath McKenzie used to break up the page. The theme of bullying lies within the story, as part of the background against which Cahill strives to be better, but the emphasis on doing your best is more important and will be the idea taken away by the reader.
This is the first in what should prove to be an excellent and inviting series of books introducing the game of soccer to a wider audience by Socceroos legend, Tim Cahill, and Julian Gray.
Fran Knight