Maisy learns the rudiments of soccer, from lacing up your shoes to scoring a goal. Using language as straightforward as her primary-color palette, Cousins introduces the concepts of referees and whistles, healthy half-time snacks and even team spirit. (Maisy reassures an elephant who failed to block a strike: “Don’t worry, Eddie. You’ll save it next time.”) Cousins’s sweet story could be useful for little children just starting out in a league, or for those on the sidelines watching older siblings play.
—The New York Times Online
As she did for fairy tales in "Yummy," Cousins distills the world’s most popular sport down to its most essential elements for the small fry. … Cousins does a good job of explaining potentially difficult facts, such as the concept of opposing teams or the role of the goalie. The good-natured tenor of the book emphasizes the fun to be had in a sport rather than the competitive drive. Further appealing to younger kids is her use of onomatopoeia (a kicked ball makes a “FOUMPHHH!” noise while a sharp “BOUF!” indicates a goal). This is not the only introductory book on soccer for very young children, but it is one kids will actually want to read on their own. Goooooooooal!
A sweet and charmingly simple series entry with a message about friendship and enjoying the game more than the competition. … The best thing about these books is the distinctive, colorful illustrations. Drenched in primary and secondary colors, the animal characters all display personality and humor. These books continue to be popular with young children, and this one will not disappoint.
—School Library Journal
Young soccer players will enjoy the brief action scenes as well as the camaraderie on and off the field. With a short text and Cousins’ colorful, distinctive gouache paintings, this picture book will appeal to sports enthusiasts as well as fans of the Maisy series.