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Last updated Thursday, November 2, 2006

Author: Tiki Barber and Ronde Barber
Illustrator: Barry Root
Date of Publication: 2006
ISBN: 1416924892
Grade Level: 2nd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Nov. 2006

Synopsis: From Booklist: Written by National Football League stars Tiki and Ronde Barber "with Robert Burleigh," this large-format picture book is the third installment in a series about the brothers as boys. After their team loses a game, Tiki feels bad about fumbling the ball. Their coach points out that mistakes happen less often to players who spend their practice sessions performing techniques the right way over and over, rather than just repeating their bad habits. The twins begin an early-morning practice routine that improves Tiki's ball handling, leading to an ending that is believable as well as happy. Any young sports player could benefit from the coach's good advice, but the Barbers' subsequent successes may give it added weight in the minds of football fans. Best of all, the story shows one brother quietly supporting the other in a practical way. Warmed with autumn golds, Root's vibrant watercolor-and-gouache paintings kick the story over the goalposts.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Have a discussion about football, including basic rules and the idea of individuals working together as a team.
•  What are some things you can do without practicing a lot? What are some things that you need to practice a lot at before you are good at it?
•  Do you have brothers or sisters? Do they teach you things? What kids of things do they teach you/do you wish they would teach you?
•  What does it mean to be a good teammate?
•  Why is it helpful to have a team? What are some sports that have teams? What are some sports that you can play alone?
•  Why do football players wear helmets? What other types of people wear helmets? Why do they wear helmets?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  How did Tiki and Ronde?s team help them?

Craft ideas:
•  The back of the book has football cards for Tiki and Ronde Barber. Have each student make a card, either for a sport or for something else they practice at. Draw your picture on the front of the card, and write something about yourself on the back.
•  Make a football jersey using construction paper and string. Decorate one piece of paper as the front of the jersey and one piece as the back. Punch two holes in the top of each piece of paper. Use string to connect the left hole of the front piece to the left hole of the back piece. Do the same for the holes on the right side. Note: Make sure the holes are far enough apart so the child?s head can fit between them.

Special activities:
•  Play paper football. To make the football: 1.)Get a piece of paper, fold in half long ways (so you should have one long skinny half) 2.)Cut or tear along the seam. 3.)Holding the paper vertical (tall ways) fold the corner down into a triangle. That should form a triangle. 4.)Continue to fold down making the triangles until you run out of paper to fold 5.)Tuck what ever excess paper into the "pocket" on the top of the ball. To play: Basically, the object of the game is to score touchdowns. To get a touchdown, you must flick the ball with you finger (you play on a straight edged table) and have the ball stop, with part of it sticking over the table. That is 6 points. Players take turns, one flick each back and forth until someone scores. If the ball goes off the table, you kick off. Hold the ball in your hand, resting on the palm, and toss it on the table by hitting your fingers on the underside of the table. After a touchdown you can kick a field goal. Whoever is kicking hold the ball vertical between his finger and the table, and with his kicking hand, he flicks the ball with his finger. The other person is holding a field goal with his fingers together as two ?L?s,? by holding pointer fingers perpendicular to thumbs. If the ball sails between the two posts, it?s good for 1 point.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!