Mia Hamm, , illus. by Carol Thompson. . HarperCollins, $15.99 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-06-074050-4

Even superstar athletes don't come out on top every time. That's the name of the game in this slight picture book about soccer phenomenon Hamm's early lessons in being a good sport. Young Mia loves the cheers she receives when she routinely scores soccer goals in the local games with her siblings and friends. But when things don't go her way—and the ball doesn't go into the net—Mia announces "I quit!" Her poor attitude gets her left out of the action, as nobody likes to play with a whiner and a quitter. "If you can't learn to lose, you can't play," warns Mia's older sister Lovdy. Fortunately, the heroine has an epiphany ("She didn't hate losing as much as she loved soccer") and before long Mia's back, sporting her shin guards. Hamm's (Go for the Goal) message, sure to reach a wide audience of young soccer fans, is important, even if the delivery is a bit on the trite side. Thompson's (A New Room for William ) loose-edged pencil-and-watercolor compositions, in both vignettes and full-page scenes, capture the zippy energy of the kids on the field. A brief author's note, scrapbook-style spread and frame-ready autographed photo bring this attractive package to a close. Ages 4-7. (Sept.)