Saturday, 4 February 2012

Playing Like Timothy – Johannes Waldner, illustrated by Victor Kleinsasser

In recent years Hutterian Brethren Book Centre has started to publish children’s books – written and illustrated by Hutterites. I’m delighted to share a brand new one and it’s an overtime win for sure and will appeal to many Canadians, because it's a heartwarming story about ‘our game’, hockey!

          Timothy enjoys watching, dreaming, talking, thinking and playing hockey. The problem is, he’s not very good at playing his position as goalie. The other Essnschuel Mandlen (school boys) make fun of Timothy because he can’t stop any pucks. Will Timothy ever learn how to play well?

          This book offers a rare glimpse of the competitiveness, but also the camaraderie of Hutterite children. Johannes has written a compelling and engaging narrative! I especially like the fact that Timothy is coached by an unlikely source at an equally unlikely place - a makeshift 'rink', which makes for an exciting read. The vibrant and detailed illustrations create a superb visual that complement the story beautifully. A sprinkle of dialect words add 'local colour' to this unique Hutterite story!

          Our children love this book for two reasons: first, they can relate to the characters and culture in a real way and secondly, it’s about a sport they enjoy like no other. “What a cool book!” a grade two student exclaimed.

          “I know Johannes and Victor!” another one announced

About the author and the illustrator:

Johannes Waldner lives at Baker Hutterite Community near MacGregor, Manitoba. Playing like Timothy, his first book, combines two of his favourite activities: hockey and writing.

Victor Kleinsasser is a middle years teacher at Crystal Springs Community near Ste. Agathe, Manitoba where he lives with his wife, four daughters and two sons. He enjoys pottery and painting. Playing like Timothy is the second book he has illustrated.  Jewel Adventure, written by Gilbert Hofer, is the first.

This book, along with others written by Hutterites is available at Amazon and HB Book Centre.

In exchange for an honest review HB Book Centre provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.

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