Le Maillot, by Jennifer Degenhardt
Mathieu is a typical 7-year-old boy. He is huge fan of the professional soccer teams in Europe, especially the teams in the French league, Ligue 1. When Mathieu is not playing soccer, he is watching soccer videos on the iPad. He always looks the part, too, as he can mostly be found wearing uniforms of players on his favorite team, Paris Saint-Germain. His focus on the ball continues when he travels to the Ivory Coast with his family on an annual trip where he meets Jean.
Jean is a 6-year-old Ivoirien boy who also loves soccer. Like Mathieu he plays every chance he gets. Also like Mathieu, Jean idolizes his favorite player on the National Ivory Coast team, Didier Drogba. He wants nothing more than to wear a jersey with the famous forward’s name and number, but those are difficult to find where he lives in the south of the Ivory Coast near the North Atlantic Ocean.
In this level 1 book, readers will learn about the culture of the Ivory Coast and how a soccer jersey further connects two soccer-obsessed boys from two different countries.