The Little Linebacker: A Story of Determination
Written by Stephen Tullock and Maria Dismondy
Illustrated by Heather Heyworth
This picture book is based on the life of Stephen Tulloch, who has spent ten years playing football in the NFL. Tale begins introducing Stephen as an elementary school student who loves playing football. He is about to attend his first Little League Football practice. Stephen is soon disappointed because he wants to practice daily instead of weekly. Stephen’s mother urges him to be patient; Stephen decides to gather friends and practice on his own. The scene shifts to school where Stephen has difficulty concentrating because he can think of nothing but football. Stephen’s mom and a friend at the nursing home, urge him to keep trying and practice harder. Fast forward, Stephen is now in high school. He is frustrated when classmates pick him last to be on the team, but Stephen resolves to remain a good team player. Soon Stephen is of college age and even though he makes the football team, he overhears scouts expressing the opinion he is too small to be successful in professional football. Stephen never stops believing in himself and pushing himself to the limits. He overcomes all obstacles and earns a spot in the NFL.
The illustrations in this book are multicultural with simple, clean lines. They depict both genders, young and old, able and disabled. One thing I thought odd was that the face of Stephen does not appear to change as he ages from elementary school through college. This picture book is targeted for readers in the five to seven age range and the illustrations will appeal to that age, but young children might find the rapid plot development from one age to another a bit disjointed. Advice is often delivered in well-known phrases for adults, but these may not be meaningful to young children. I found the teaching guide at the beginning of the book useful for parents and teachers in presenting the story lessons. Likewise, Tully’s Tips at the end of the book offer good advice for child readers. His example of service to the community to promote their health and welfare enhances his influence as a role model. If this book were expanded, it would be an interesting biography chapter book for older readers, especially those interested in football. I applaud Tulloch’s determination and success as well as the fact he wishes to use his experience to inspire other young people to follow their dreams.
The Super Bowl is almost upon us. Would you like to make your own football hero from materials you have around the house? Below you will find a picture and link with instructions:
Football Player Craft http://www.dltk-kids.com/sports/mfootball.html
This football player toilet paper roll craft makes a great project to occupy kids while parents are watching the game.
Then if you get hungry, you can make a football cake to share with family and friends.
PLEASE FOLLOW MY FELLOW AUTHORS, BLOGGERS AND SPONSORS OF 2017 Multicultural Book Day
Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/17) is its fourth year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness on the ongoing need to include kid’s books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.
Despite census data that shows 37% of the US population consists of people of color, only 10% of children’s books published have diversity content. Using the Multicultural Children’s Book Day holiday, the MCBD Team are on a mission to change all of that.
Author Sponsor include: Karen Leggett Abouraya, Veronica Appleton, Susan Bernardo, Kathleen Burkinshaw, Maria Dismondy, D.G. Driver, Geoff Griffin, Savannah Hendricks, Stephen Hodges, Carmen Bernier-Grand,Vahid Imani, Gwen Jackson, Hena, Kahn, David Kelly, Mariana Llanos, Natasha Moulton-Levy, Teddy O’Malley, Stacy McAnulty, Cerece Murphy, Miranda Paul, Annette Pimentel, Greg Ransom, Sandra Richards, Elsa Takaoka, Graciela Tiscareño-Sato, Sarah Stevenson, Monica Mathis-Stowe SmartChoiceNation, Andrea Y. Wang
We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also work tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.
MCBD Links to remember:
MCBD site: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/
Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: http://bit.ly/1kGZrta
Free Kindness Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teachers-classroom-kindness-kit/
Free Diversity Book Lists and Activities for Teachers and Parents: http://bit.ly/1sZ5s8i
THANKS FOR SUPPORTING ME IN THE FOURTH YEAR OF CHILDREN’S MULTICULTURAL BOOK DAY MAKING THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE FOR ALL OUR CHILDREN.
Barbara Ann Mojica, author of the Little Miss HISTORY Travels to…..book series and the Little Miss HISTORY COLORING BOOK http://littlemisshistory.com