This writing team of two Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks and their former star quarterback father should score with young fans, despite some heavy-handed clichs and syrupy dialogue. As the young Manning family prepares to visit two sets of grandparents, mother Olivia announces to her three football-playing sons (oldest brother Cooper is practicing with his brothers), "This weekend is going to be filled with family and football." Madsen's (The Adventures of Thor the Thunder God) digitally created art is most successful in delivering dynamic images of the clan, ably conveying the siblings' abundant energy, and painterly outdoor scenes of autumn foliage; vehicles and buildings are awkwardly stiff and geometric by comparison. The story itself is fairly empty--it's mainly a vehicle to introduce plays like the quarterback sneak and buttonhook (which are diagrammed on the endpapers) and platitudes like "As long as you look out for each other, you will always be on a winning team." But readers should pick up some new moves and game ideas for both on and off the field. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)[Page 63]. Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
K-Gr 2--This is a short spin on the Manning family of football fame. Starting out on what appears to be a perfect Saturday morning, Cooper, Eli, Peyton, Dad, and Mom visit the children's grandparents in Mississippi. Of course, everyone is smiling and happy. The drive is long, and the boys pass the time by playing football trivia. Once they arrive, the story focuses on specific plays, which are highlighted on the endpapers. After spending the day at Grandma Sis's, who looks quite young and sexy, the family drives to visit the other grandparents, who look quite a bit older. Again, there is no plot beyond the boys practicing in different yards. There is absolutely no character development. The illustrations were done in digital media. The figures are awkward and stiff, with overly stylized faces that always seem just a little too big for the rest of their bodies.--Susan Lissim, Dwight School, New York City[Page 87]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.