Just One Goal

Reviewed: November 27, 2008
By: Robert Munsch / illustrations by Michael Martchenko
Publisher: Scholastic Books
32 pages, $6.99

It’s winter. Time for skating and hockey. Ciara’s problem is that the rink is just so far from home. There’s a river just behind her house. Why can’t they put a rink there?

When her father explains that the river ice is way too jagged for that to work, Ciara just takes it as a challenge. Carrying warm water from the house in a glass, she uses that and a spoon to make a very small smooth patch, “a good hockey rink for ants.” Day after day she works, until she has a patch big enough for a small dog.

At that point her dad is inspired. He rents a bulldozer and flattens more ice. The neighbours get involved. Pretty soon there’s a lovely outdoor rink and Ciara’s first problem is solved.

The second problem is that whatever team she plays on just can’t win any games. Some of that is because they’re not very good, and some of it is because strange things keep happening to break up their games. On the very last game of the year, with the score tied, Ciara refuses to have the game ended by something so trivial as the spring break-up. You can imagine how the rest of the story goes.

Robert Munsch has been north again, and this time he was inspired by meeting a girl named Ciara in Hay River, so that is the name of his central character.

This story is a bit different than his usual style. It doesn’t have a lot of his trademark repetition built into it. While it’s still very funny, it’s more of a straightforward short story.