From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2–Gunner loves football and dreams of playing quarterback in spite of being too short and too round. He devotes himself completely to the sport and with hard work lands a spot as third-string quarterback on the town's Pee Wee team. The watercolor cartoon illustrations, done in oranges, blues, and browns, beautifully capture the light and mood of autumn, putting readers in the football spirit, but Gunner seems to change size and shape from page to page, and many of the players look far older than Pee Wee team age. The story leads up to Gunner finally getting a chance to play in the big game, but the ending holds a blitz of surprises. Sometimes text and pictures conflict in a confusing way, such as on the last page, where the illustration shows the boy's father reading the newspaper while the text indicates that Gunner is doing the reading. Overall, this is a lively story, but it isn't one of Ransome's best.–Julie Roach, Cambridge Public Library, MAα(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
About the Author
James E. Ransome received both the Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration and the IBBY Honor Award for his art for The Creation by James Weldon Johnson. Other awards include Coretta Scott King Honor Awards, an NACP Image Award, and a Parenting Reading Magic Award. He lives in New York State with his family.