How Hockey Works


64 pages
Contains Photos, Index
ISBN 1-894379-35-7
DDC j796.962





Illustrations by Greg Hall
Reviewed by Dave Jenkinson

Dave Jenkinson is a professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba and the author of the “Portraits” section of Emergency Librarian.


Divided into eight chapters, How Hockey Works serves not only as an
excellent primer to the game of ice hockey for both boys and girls, it
also answers questions that children may have but be afraid to ask
because of not wanting to appear foolish—questions such as “Why is
the ice so slippery?” or “How does a Zamboni work?”

Individual chapters examine various aspects of hockey, such as the ice,
skating, the puck, sticks, other equipment, getting into physical and
mental playing shape, passing and shooting, and offensive and defensive
strategies. Each chapter also contains a “Legends of the Game”
section, which often refers not to a person but to an event, such as the
brouhaha surrounding the 1900 game in which a puck split into two with
only part entering the net. Closing sections include the game’s
“Rules and Regs” and a glossary of hockey terms. Within the
chapters, the text is broken into many small sections, often contained
within colored boxes.

The book is generously illustrated with color photographs, drawings,
and diagrams that make it visually appealing. Two “Try This”
sections invite readers to discover for themselves the differences in
the reactions of frozen and room-temperature pucks as well as the
dynamics of a bodycheck. Even children who consider themselves hockey
savvy will find something new in this book.

Although How Hockey Works is a children’s book, parents who may never
have played hockey themselves will appreciate its sections on sticks,
skates, and other equipment; the book will be a useful resource in
selecting appropriate items for budding players. Highly recommended.


Thomas, Keltie., “How Hockey Works,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed February 28, 2024,