THE SOCK THIEF: A SOCCER STORY received the 2016 International Latino Book Award for Best Latino Focused Children's Book, Bilingual category, and was listed in the 2016 CCBC Choices list, featuring the best books of 2015.
Brazilian boy Felipe wants to play soccer, but he doesn't have a soccer ball. So, when it's his turn to take one to school, he uses a little bit of creativity... and a few socks. Felipe is the sock thief, but finding socks is not that easy and the neighborhood pets make it even harder. "Au, au, au!" a dog barks in Portuguese. Felipe wonders if he'll play soccer with his friends today or if he will be caught by a tattle-tale parrot? Along the way, Felipe leaves delicious mangoes in exchange for the socks he steals. After he swipes each pair, he twists and turns them into an ever-growing soccer ball. At the end of the day, he returns each pair of socks with a note to say thank you.
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Ana Crespo is originally from Brazil, but has lived in the USA for over 15 years. She worked as an academic advisor and as a translator before investing in a career as a writer. This is her first book in English.From School Library Journal:
PreS-Gr 1—Felipe has a secret. On his morning walk to school in Brazil, he carefully exchanges juicy mangoes from his family's tree for his neighbors' drying socks. Many of the local animals are witnesses, including the rooster, who attempts to announce the disappearing socks with a swift "Cocoricó!" Felipe continues his journey and begins to stuff each sock with used newspaper, twisting and tying the materials into a firm round object. The mystery isn't under wraps for long, as Felipe presents the handmade sock ball to his school friends. Inspired by her father's childhood recollections, Crespo presents a charming story that not only appeals to futebol, or soccer, fans but also to those who possess a creative spirit. She provides a glossary with Portuguese words and scatters a few Portuguese animal sounds throughout the text. Gonzalez paints with a boldness that gives life to the Brazilian setting, adding a little bounce to this futebol-themed picture book. VERDICT A lively celebration of futebol, culture, and ingenuity.—Claire Moore, Darien Library, CT
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