cover image Football That Won

Football That Won

Michael Sampson. Henry Holt & Company, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8050-3504-9

In his first picture book, Sampson delivers a Super Bowl-oriented knock-off of ""This Is the House That Jack Built"": ""This is the touchdown/ That was scored by the safety/ That crunched the quarterback/ That fumbled the football/ That won the Super Bowl."" The focus then moves out to the cheerleaders, coach, fans, stadium and blimp (yes, blimp) of a Dallas-Kansas City Super Bowl game. The discrepancy between the age-appropriateness of subject and format may make it difficult for the book to find an audience; readers young enough to get a real kick out of the familiar, repetitive ditty are likely not old enough to know or care much about fumbles and safeties. Rand's (Knots on a Counting Rope) conventional pencil and acrylic illustrations are sometimes overly sketchy and rough-hewn, but they capture a measure of the event's energy and excitement. For all but diehard Cowboys fans, however, this is an easy pass. Ages 4-7. (Aug.)