★★★★★ Picco Puppy Loves Soccer, written by Michael Wong and illustrated by Arkhan Studio, tells the story of a young puppy named Picco who wants to get better at playing soccer. Over the course of a summer’s day on the soccer field with his animal friends, Picco runs into all sorts of problems—he trips, he tires from running too quickly, and he accidentally lets an opponent’s shot go into his goal! But after every mistake, one of Picco’s friends or family members is there to help support and encourage him. Through repeated phrasing, they all tell Picco that the only way to get better is to keep trying, and, sure enough—he eventually scores a goal!
Wong’s picture book is so cheery that it will immediately draw children into the story, and it is grounded with lessons that will serve readers well all throughout their lives, like perseverance, supporting your friends, and good sportsmanship. Another part of what makes this picture book so appealing is its universality. Whether a child plays sports, sings in a choir, or prefers something completely different, the takeaways here will serve everyone equally. After all, most of what’s worth pursuing in life takes plenty of practice! For readers who are interested in exploring more life lessons with Picco, Wong has written several other books in the series. If your child is a voracious reader, then this is certainly the series for them!