April & Mae and the Soccer Match
Megan Dowd Lambert, author
Megan Dowd Lambert is the author of A Kid of Their Own, A Crow of His Own, Real Sisters Pretend, and Reading Picture Books with Children. Her experiences as a white mother of seven children in a blended, multiracial, queer, adoptive family inform her work as an author, reviewer, and educator. A former children's literature instructor at Simmons University, Megan reviews and writes for Kirkus and Horn Book; is a consultant with EmbraceRace, a community focused on race and kids; and serves on the curation team of Our Shelves, a subscription box service that features racially diverse, LGBTQ+, and feminist characters and families.
Read more about Megan.
Briana Dengoue, illustrator
Briana Dengoue is a Philadelphia-born-and-based illustrator and graphic designer. She holds a BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art and is a firm believer in the fact that representation matters. She is always hoping that her work reaches someone who may look like her and see the world like her.
Read more about Briana.
- Coming soon!
At Tuesday’s soccer game, April and Mae have an opportunity for competition and reflection.
The field, muddy after a rain shower, causes Mae to slip as she tries to kick the ball to make a winning goal. April cheers despite their team losing the match. “It’s all right! It’s OK! We will win another day!” But Mae is upset about losing and about being covered in mud. April good-naturedly tries to tell Mae that winning isn’t everything; it’s more important to do your best and have fun. The two go to Mae’s house, and Mae worries that she is “the best at baking…but…the worst at soccer.” As they wash up, the two giggle over how muddy they are, and April’s supportive friendship buoys Mae, who later concedes that her soccer skills aren’t that bad. “Maybe it is mud that is bad for soccer.” In this latest entry of a series that follows April and Mae throughout a week, two best friends show that a few laughs and the understanding of a good pal can save the day. With brief sentences and a simple yet delightful plot, this early reader, enhanced with digital illustrations, continues to highlight the caring and sympathetic relationship between two companions who work through the ups and downs of everyday life. April is Black, while Mae is Asian.
A sweet tale of two true winners who navigate their expectations together with a healthy attitude.
April and Mae are best friends. So are their pets. Every day, they do an activity together. On Tuesdays, they go to soccer practice and play a match. Mae runs fast. April cheers loud for her team. When they play on a muddy field and Mae misses a goal, April tries to find ways to cheer up her friend. After a disappointing soccer game, Mae feels discouraged and frustrated. April's attempts to cheer her up seem to fall flat. In simple text and bright illustrations, the story shows Mae's feelings and April's uncertainty about how to help, modeling for young readers how they can navigate when a friend has a bad day. Soon the friends are giggling again and taking comfort from time spent together and with their beloved pets. This is a welcome book that highlights skills of accepting mistakes and supporting friends through disappointment. Perfect for early elementary-aged readers advancing beyond picture books.
Page count: 48
6 x 9