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'Betty Bunny Wants a Goal' by Michael B. Kaplan: Clever picture book about goals

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Betty Bunny Wants a Goal by Michael B. Kaplan

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"Betty Bunny Wants a Goal" is like the other "Betty Bunny" books including "Betty Bunny Didn't Do It." Michael B. Kaplan takes an adorable main character, Betty Bunny, and teaches her a lesson. But it's a lesson that's fun to learn about. Kaplan's message is not heavy-handed, but rather humorous and light-hearted.

Kids will love reading about Betty Bunny and it's up to the parent or teacher to bring up the different themes in the books.

In "Betty Bunny Wants a Goal," Betty takes up soccer. She decides that because she heard the coach say, "Betty Bunny, you are a handful," it must mean she is the star of the team. She proudly tells her family that she will score ten goals at their first soccer game.

When her family tries to reason with her, she refuses to listen. Of course Betty Bunny does not score even one goal. She decides she hates soccer and will never play again. Her family tries to talk her out of quitting. Her brother, Bill, has the most clever reason. He opines, "...at the end of the season she'll get a trophy no matter how bad she plays." Not quite grammatically correct, but true.

But soccer is a difficult game to play, and when Betty doesn't do much better at the next game, Bill tells her that maybe she's just not that good.

Those words are not the words the children of today expect to hear. They are often told that they are good at everything. So Betty Bunny's response is perfect. She complains to her father, "Daddy, Bill said that I'm just not that good!"

She is shocked when her father agrees. But he explains that to be good at anything, you must practice. Betty practices and practices and scores a goal at the next game.

It's not just all about the message (and it is a great message). Kaplan infuses plenty of humor and clever dialogue into the story to make readers laugh while they are rooting for Betty Bunny. I love her brother Bill's character. He tells the truth and he's funny.

The illustrations by Stephane Jorisch are colorful and bright, with plenty of white space so they pop out of the page.

It's a delightful book in a delightful series. It's also a must for every primary teacher's classroom library. Don't miss it.

Please note: This review is based on the final hardcover book provided by the publisher, Dial Books for Young Readers, for review purposes.

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