A few days ago my grandson had his ninth birthday. He had previously made a long list of things he would like for his birthday. This sure helps old grandfathers like me in the selection process. I am usually quite hopeless in choosing appropriate gifts for family members.
One of the items on his list included books in the Tiny Timmy series written by Australian soccer star, Tim Cahill and co-written by Julain Gray. My grandson only had Book 1 in a six-book series. I read this book and I was very impressed. It has been many years since I read mostly children’s books. That was when I was a teacher/librarian and a classroom teacher in primary schools.
Tiny Timmy books
The book I read this last week was Tiny Timmy: Soccer Superstar. Being the first in the series, the protagonist Tim is mad keen on becoming a soccer star. He desperately wants to play on the school soccer team. There are just three main problems: he is smaller than his teammates, he is constantly teased by the other players, and the coach doesn’t pick him in the team. Tim is not discouraged, though even his attempts at being the team’s orange boy are disastrous.
Although the authors don’t use the word perseverance, this book shows young, enthusiastic soccer players that hard work, dedication and trying hard to improve will pay off. Little Timmy keeps practising and helping out until he discovers that he has a unique skill the other players do not possess.
I loved this book. It is easy to read. It encourages young people to keep trying. It teaches children to stay focused on what they want to achieve. It is easy to read with appropriate illustrations on every page. The chapters are short and filled with action. I cannot find any information regarding how biographical these books are, and they are listed by the publisher as fiction. It doesn’t matter; they are great little books for anyone aspiring to improve in any endeavour, sporting or otherwise.
I highly recommend this book for readers ages 8 to 10, especially if they are keen to improve in any sport, not just soccer. I was so impressed with the first book in the series that I went and bought books 2 and 3 for my grandson. I think he was impressed.
Cahill, Tim and Gray, Julian: Tiny Timmy: Soccer Superstar. Scholastic Australia, Sydney, 2015.
PROOFREADING IS IMPORTANT
I get very annoyed when I read posts on social media which contain simple spelling errors. Don’t these people ever CHECK what they have written? You cannot always rely on your device’s spellchecker.
I am something of a literary snob. Point taken.
After 35 years of trying to teach children how to write correctly, it is firmly part of my makeup. It annoys me. I want to get out a red pen and draw a firm line through the offending words. Errors on signs in public places such as shops also irk me, as do mistakes in our local newspaper (which always has a few).
I saw a classic example of this over the entrance to a restaurant in Kathmandu, Nepal. It was called “Sweet Memorize”. I certainly have memorised that sign, and memories of it are always sweet. I should add that I didn’t eat in that restaurant. Goodness knows what they did to their menu – especially if it was translated into English.
I know it is petty of me to talk about this in disparaging terms. Providing there is communication, I guess that is all that counts.
Errors in published books
For publishers to allow errors of spelling in printed books is a totally different matter. I can accept the occasional typo, and even a small spelling mistake. But to allow a totally wrong word to be used is beyond comprehension. Someone in the proofreading department was asleep at the wheel, I think.
I am starting to read more and more eBooks, and some of these have been self-published. This is where the errors are creeping in, and standards are dropping rapidly, often with amusing consequences. I was recently reading a wonderful novel which was spoiled for me by totally missed out words.
It had a completely incorrect word.
I won’t mention the name of the book, or the name of the author. I don’t wish to embarrass them, but this error made me laugh out loud. The angry protagonist was said to “utter a string of obscurities.”
I concede that the words “obscurities” and “obscenities” are close enough to get the spelling incorrect, but surely someone picked up this glaring error before going to print?
Whatever happened to allow this error to creep in is a lesson for us all. Proofreading one’s writing before it goes public is crucial, no matter what the format. Getting someone else to check your writing is also important.
Now, before I post this article, I had better go back and check every word.
- To err is human – to proofread is to be a good writer: 7 effective proofreading hints
- The importance of proofreading
- The importance of revising your writing
- Forgetting the obvious