The Match

The Match

The Match
Russell Ayto

Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

ISBN 9781408893456

The perfect gift for all those whose lives revolve around The Beautiful Game ... The man works all week in the factory. The dog waits at home. On the weekend, they both watch THE MATCH on television together. Results aren't good so the dog decides to do something about it ... With a knowing, dry humour perfect for fans of Wallace & Gromit, and a simple domestic setting, THE MATCH is the ideal gift for all football fans. Because if you aren't watching football, then reading about it is the next best thing!

Librarian's Book choice

The Match by Russell Ayto is an ideal two-minute read for anyone who has even the slightest interest in the game of football. In fact even those few strange folk who, like me, just can't see the appeal of 22 grown men chasing after a small ball, will love the Wallace and Gromit humour of this great, little book.

In The Match, Ayto begins the story by poking fun at the mundane nature of the working week, with the only bright spot being the weekend footie on the TV. Man and dog sit side by side enjoying their dinner in front of the TV while watching the game. Needless to say their team doesn't always win and dealing with the defeat week after week begins to wear the two down, something must be done...

This book will show any reluctant reader and or writer in any primary classroom the impact that can be created using only a few words. Even without the fab, simple yet detailed illustrations, that support this story, this book reads brilliantly. It's poetic style would be a great read aloud and I am sure that there will be a number of my teaching colleagues who will enjoy reading this to their classes, while I can also imagine no end of hesitant readers keenly volunteering to read aloud from this book too. The super short and punchy sentences also make this an ideal read for children who have yet to recognise the significance of punctuation in the written word.

Some may classify this as a picture book but even with so few words it has so much more. A must read for every classroom, home and individual, whether they like football or not! A great read, I can't wait to share it with a few of my friends.

32 pages / Ages 6-adult / Reviewed by Sam Phillips, teacher.


The Match5/5

The Match

Russell Ayto


When this book landed on my desk, I didn't know what to expect. I saw the title and I was immediately sceptical as I am not footballs greatest fan! How wrong I was. This is a wonderful book about a man and his dog who love football and always watch 'the match' together. It captures everything emotional about football. The highs, the lows, the devastation and the elation.

In this story, the football matches that the man and his dog watch never end well, so the dog decides to help and do something about it. The ending, for me, was unexpected but a lovely surprise.

What a lovely book! The illustrations are gorgeous and complement the text perfectly. It is funny and sentimental at the same time. It is about football and friendship and even had me laughing. It is a book for everyone; I loved it!

32 pages / Ages 5-adult / Reviewed by Beth Grant, school librarian.

Reviewed by: Beth Grant