The Magic Hockey Skates


32 pages
ISBN 0-19-540823-3
DDC jC813'.54




Illustrations by Michael Martchenko
Reviewed by Andrew Vaisius

Andrew Vaisius is a Winnipeg daycare director.


The premise is old and the climax is hackneyed, yet The Magic Hockey
Skate remains endearing because of its typically Canadian dénouement.
Younger brother Joey receives short shrift with the hockey equipment
when the new skating season arrives. While his older brother Zach gets a
new goalie mask, Joey has to be satisfied with second-hand skates. The
salesman comforts Joey, who can’t hide his disappointment, by telling
him that the skates are magic, and he’s got three wishes with them.

Joe tries his first wish while playing one-on-one with his brother. He
impresses his older sibling with some new-found skills. He uses the next
wish when Zach picks him to play on the neighborhood team. They beat
their rivals for the “world championship”—thanks, in no small
part, to Joey. His last wish comes at the Atom League championship game.
He secretly suits up to replace his brother after Zach is injured in the
second period. Not only does Joey shut out the opposition, he also
scores the winning goal in the dying seconds. The Canadian slant to this
typical heroic sports story comes from Joey’s refusal to bathe in the
accolades of victory. He quickly suits his brother back up and pushes
him out to his joyous teammates.

Morgan has written another story 5- to 7-year-olds will enjoy hearing
more than once, and I suspect they’ll savor Martchenko’s artwork


Morgan, Allen., “The Magic Hockey Skates,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 22, 2024,