Friday, March 31, 2023

Lucy Tries Hockey by Lisa Bowes & James Hearne

Why this book?

I was excited to see this book at my local library. It’s a perfect way to introduce kids to hockey – as well as the idea of practicing to get better. The big, bold digital –style illustrations are full of action. I also appreciated the diversity in the kids depicted on Lucy’s team. This book is part of a series, where Lucy tries other sports—soccer, luge, short track, basketball and baseball. Some of them are also available in French and Spanish.

My thoughts as a creator:

It’s great to see a picture book that focus on a girl learning to play sports. I love the added layers in this story about not being afraid to try and practicing. This story is also told in rhyme, which adds another dimension to the story. I’m looking forward to reading the other books in the series.

My thoughts as an educator:

I love the idea of reading books that show case different sports. This series would be great to read during an Olympic year, as well as anytime to promote active living. The story contains a lot of hockey vocabulary that I discussed with my students.

Ages: 4 - 7

Grades: K - 3

Connections: hockey, rhyming, practicing sports 


Active Play:  Check out this link from Hands On As We Grow for a fun way to play “indoor hockey” with tape and bean bag that could be adapted for playing on a table or area in the classroom.

Literacy: Draw a picture of your favourite sport or a sport you might like to try one day.

Literacy: Which sport do you think Lucy should try next? Write your own “Lucy Tries” story about your favourite sport!

STEM: Can you design a hockey stick? Provide materials for designing such as straws, popsicle sticks, cardboard, and tape. With a water bottle lid or other small object for a puck, students can test their hockey sticks on a table top to see which designs work best. Another challenge might be to try playing on different surfaces (e.g., carpet, table top, frozen slab of ice) to see what happens!


More resources:

Find out more about Lisa Bowes and her book Lucy Tries Basketball:

Read an article about Lisa Bowes and her series from Collingwood Today:

More information about the series from Orca Books:

Created by veteran sports journalist Lisa Bowes, the Lucy Tries Sports series aims to promote inclusive physical literacy and encourage young readers to get involved in sports. Endorsed by elite athletes, the series focuses on participation and the importance of play.

The books follow Lucy and her friends as they learn introductory skills in a variety of exciting sports, guided by coaches and teachers. Lucy's eagerness to try new things will inspire all children to get outside and play.

The Lucy Tries Sports series reinforces the HIGH FIVE principles of healthy child development needed for quality programs, including the support of a caring adult, the opportunity to participate, to play, to make friends and to master skills.

Description from the publisher:

Lucy and her family are skating on an outdoor rink when she sees a game of hockey going on. It looks like fun, but maybe too challenging. Supported by her parents, Lucy enrolls in an introductory hockey clinic. And thanks to an encouraging instructor, she and her friends learn basic hockey skills, have fun on the ice and decide to add hockey to their list of favorite sports!

Lucy Tries Hockey is also available in French: Lucy joue au hockey

Lucy Tries Hockey by Lisa Bowes and illustrated by James Hearne was published by Orca Books in 2018.

For more wonderful picture books, visit Perfect Picture Book Friday at Susanna Leonard Hill's website



  1. Because of a birth defect in my hips, I sat on the bleachers in gym class. When people asked what sport I liked best, I'd say spectator. I enjoyed watching my friends run down the track or jump high to shoot hoops and wondered what it must be like. I'm glad to see a picture book embrace the challenges and fun of sports. I'm adding Lucy Tries Hockey to my reading list. Thank you for a great review.

  2. Delighted to see a book for kids about hockey -- and the star is a girl! Girls are becoming more interested in the sport -- so important to start introducing them to different sports at a young age. Love you activites!

  3. It's nice to see this kind of "try it, you might like it" sports book, especially one that features a girl—and especially in a time where kids spend way too much time looking at screens. (Don't we all?!)

  4. this looks like fun! When my kids were small we played "kitchen hockey" using cardboard tubes from giftwrap rolls for sticks and plastic jar lids as pucks.


I love to hear your responses and thoughts! Your comments will appear after moderation (I’ve decided to enable moderation due to excessive spam).