Join Little Lydia and her new friends as they all strive to be their best AND work together as a team. Goal!!! is a joyous and triumphant picture book about friendship, sport, and teamwork by Lydia Williams, Indigenous Australian goalkeeper for the Australian Matildas and for Arsenal in the UK—how amazing is she?
Lydia’s first picture book is based on her own experiences growing up in the red dirt of Western Australia, then moving to Canberra with her family. That’s when she started playing soccer. Now she’s about to play in the Tokyo Olympics!
When Little Lydia moves from the desert to the big city, she misses practising goalkeeping. She has big dreams of playing in the Olympics. Leaving her animal friends behind is hard, but before long she’s meeting new ones at the zoo.
At first, she can’t keep up with Tiger, Bear and Gibbon—their skills are amazing. They are a bit intimidating, but soon Lydia discovers that learning from others is the best way to improve and have fun. Lydia is exhausted by the hard work, but she perseveres, builds confidence in herself, and finds enjoyment playing with and learning from the animals.
Goal!!! is a simply told picture book with a strong message and loads of heart. Lucinda Gifford’s colourful and punchy illustrations complement the text beautifully. You can almost see the soccer ball bouncing off the pages! This book made me think of times I was disheartened about not being good enough, and how the support of friends and lots of practise can really help. Little Lydia (and real-life Lydia) are absolute soccer superstars, but even they let a goal into the net every now and again, and that’s all part of learning and improving.
Goal!!! is a wonderful picture book for readers aged 5+ that explores the joy and friendships to be found in sport, written by a genuine superstar of international soccer