I Kick the Ball / Pateo el balón


by Gwendolyn Zepeda
Illustrated by Pablo Torrecilla
Spanish translation by Gabriela Baeza Ventura

ISBN: 978-1-55885-688-2
Publication Date: May 31, 2011   
Pages: 32
Bind: Hardcover
Ages: 4-8

This bilingual book for kids is about soccer, an increasingly popular sport in the U.S.

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“I kick the ball. BAM! BOOM! POW!” Young Toñito dreams constantly about playing soccer. He imagines himself hitting the ball with his knee, his foot, his head.

In his mind’s eye, Toñito can run as fast as a race car. He can leap into the air like a fish jumping out of the ocean. He sees his name on the back of his red jersey. He hears the roar of the crowd as he scores a goal. They chant his name: “Toñito! Toñito! Toñito!”

But then his mother yells louder than the crowd in his head, and she reminds him about homework, dinner and family time. When he goes to bed, he knows that tomorrow he’ll have to go to school and do his homework. But he also knows he’ll play soccer again. “I’ll dream what I do. I’ll do what I dream. I’ll kick the ball tomorrow. Bam! Boom! Pow!”

Crowd-pleasing author Gwendolyn Zepeda writes a dynamic story about a young soccer player that is sure to spark readers’ enthusiasm for both reading and dreaming big. The lively text is complemented by Pablo Torrecilla’s vibrant and spirited illustrations of Toñito buzzing around a field, hitting soccer balls with every part of his body. Children ages 4-8 will be inspired to go outside and play the world’s most popular sport.


Named to the 2011-2012 Tejas Star Reading List; Included in Dallas ISD’s Luminarias 2012-2013 Master List of bilingual/spanish books for grades K-3rd

“Young readers will delight in Zepeda’s use of repetition and will giggle over the story’s jocular ending.”—Kirkus Reviews on Growing Up with Tamales / Los tamales de Ana

“A pleasing and effective multicultural offering.”—Kirkus Reviews on Sunflowers / Girasoles

GWENDOLYN ZEPEDA is the author of two bilingual picture books for children: Growing Up with Tamales / Los tamales de Ana (Piñata Books, 2008), a 2009 Charlotte Zolotow Award Highly Commended Title, and Sunflowers / Girasoles (Piñata Books, 2009), winner of the Texas Institute of Letters’ Austin Public Library Friends Foundation Award for Best Children’s Book. She lives and works in Houston, Texas.

Learn more at gwendolynzepeda.com.

PABLO TORRECILLA, a native of Madrid, Spain, has illustrated numerous children’s books, including Estrellita en la ciudad grande / Estrellita in the Big City (Piñata Books, 2008) and The Bakery Lady / La señora de la panadería (Piñata Books, 2001). He lives in Italy.

Learn more at pablotorecilla.com.

GABRIELA BAEZA VENTURA is an associate professor of Spanish at the University of Houston. She has translated numerous children’s books, including Dalia’s Wondrous Hair / El cabello maravilloso de Dalia (Arte Público Press, 2014), There’s a Name for this Feeling: Stories / Hay un nombre para lo que siento: Cuentos (2014), Adelita and the Veggie Cousins / Adelita y las primas verduritas (2011) and Remembering Grandma / Recordando a Abuela (2003).

Learn more by visiting her faculty page.