Kicking A Ball by Allan Ahlberg

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Kicking A Ball by Allan Ahlberg

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Category: Children's Rhymes and Verse
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Zoe Morris
Reviewed by Zoe Morris
Summary: A classic poem, reissued and given full, undivided attention as a stand-alone, this is a funny, sweet poem for kids big and small.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: May 2014
Publisher: Puffin
ISBN: 978-0723271208

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I’m a huge Ahlberg fan but wasn’t familiar with this poem before. It featured in Heard It In The Playground, a staple of my childhood, but like so many compilations it had some poems I loved, and some I cared less for, and so my reading naturally gravitated to the former. This is an abridged version of the poem, and comes as a stand-alone edition some 25 years later.

There is a boy who likes kicking a ball. It’s the best thing of all for him, and there’s nothing he’d rather be doing, nowhere he’d rather be. We see his bedroom and this has some football albums in, and a football table, but his interest is definitely with playing rather than being on the side lines. There are other ball sports too, of course, but he’s not into tennis or volleyball or golf or cricket or hockey or netball or playing catch with a child in a wheelchair (nice touch). No, kicking a ball is where it’s at.

I love watching him grow up from a child to an adult, his love of kicking a ball unwavering. I especially loved the part ‘later on’ when we see a future with wives and babies (and his old friends from before), and they’re all still friends, and all still kicking a ball around. Who wouldn’t want that sort of life? The ending was just perfect. I had to smile when I saw a girl peeking out at me from the final page. Because football’s not just for boys, y’know?

This is a classic rhyme. The sort you don’t often get, but know when you see. It’s just perfect in every way, and I can’t believe I overlooked it as a child, though I do think the illustrations add a great deal. They tell the story behind the words, and it’s a lovely world I’d quite happily move into tomorrow, even if the café is now long gone, replaced by a bookshop, and the art gallery seems to have expanded and taken over the ice cream parlour. Maybe people don’t eat in the future? Who knows.

This book is great. It’s great for boys, but great for girls too. It’s great for reading aloud, and it’s great for reading in your head because you don’t need to hear it to know the rhythm.

Highly recommended, I must thank the publishers for sending us a copy.

We love the Ahlbergs! See our thoughts on other books by Allan Ahlberg and for more poems, we can also recommend a flick through Children's Rhymes and Verse.

Buy Kicking A Ball by Allan Ahlberg at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Kicking A Ball by Allan Ahlberg at

Buy Kicking A Ball by Allan Ahlberg at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Kicking A Ball by Allan Ahlberg at


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