The popular Little People, BIG DREAMS series has championed the childhood stories of many celebrated role models and, in this episode, international footballer Marcus Rashford is given centre stage.
Many young readers will already know much of Rashford’s story and will enjoy the opportunity to see his footballing exploits and social action brought to life through vibrant and playful illustrations. The book successfully contextualises Rashford’s celebrity, highlighting the challenges Rashford faced as a child and the courage and selflessness shown by his mother.
Though there is a positive and hopeful tone throughout, readers will also learn about racism and bullying, and the strength it takes to come back from adversity. It captures well the nuance of Rashford’s story: sometimes our heroes don’t win the game, and even famous footballers can’t have everything they want.
By framing Rashford’s story as an effort to overcome injustice, this book successfully emphasises the human story of a young role model. Its message will be longlasting and accessible to children, whether or not they are football fans.