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Pele, King of Soccer/Pele, El rey del futbol: Bilingual Spanish-English

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  143 ratings  ·  43 reviews
This acclaimed bilingual children’s book, Spanish/English, is a fun way to introduce simple words and phrases in both languages and is sure to be a welcome resource at home and in schools and libraries.

Monica Brown and Rudy Gutierrez team up to deliver what Kirkus called, in a starred review, an “inspiring blend of art and story,” about the most famous soccer star in the w
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published December 23rd 2008 by HarperCollins Espanol
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Average rating 4.05  · 
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 ·  143 ratings  ·  43 reviews

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L13F_Jana Wilkening
This book is a 2010 Commended America’s Award winner. I was excited to read this book because although I always connected Pele with soccer, I truly didn’t know anything specific about him. The book tells the story of his life starting as a young boy who was too poor to afford shoes or a soccer ball (he used a grapefruit instead!) all the way through his success as a professional soccer player winning the World Cup for Brazil and scoring 1000 goals! The story, told in both English and Spanish, is ...more
Sarah Collins
Oct 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Book Title: Pelé King of Soccer by Julia Alvarez

Description: Pelé is born to a poor Brazilian family. He plays soccer in the streets. One day he finds his father crying because Brazil lost the World Cup. He promises his father he will win the World Cup one day…and he does.


1) Interesting Leads: This book begins with a glimpse at Pelé’s success, with the crowd roaring as Pelé scores three goals in one game. It then flashes back to his humble beginnings.


CCSS.W.3.3a Establish a situat
Ben Truong
Sep 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Pelé, King of Soccer/Pele, El rey del fútbol is a children's picture book written by Monica Brown and illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez. It is a biographical picture book of Pelé – the King of Soccer.

Mid-September to Mid-October, at least in my part of the world is Hispanic/Latino Heritage Month, which I plan to read one children's book, particularly a biography, which pertains to the subject everyday this month. Therefore, I thought that this book would be apropos for today.

Edson Arantes do Nascime
Alyssa Crowley
Brown, Monica. Pele King of Soccer. Rayo, 2009.

Pele, once a young boy hungry and full of hope, turned into one of the world’s most famous soccer players. Monica Brown brings light to his story through a child-friendly version of his life and the events leading up to his soccer career. She tells how the once, poor and hungry boy, turned his passion and talent for the game of soccer into a career. No one would have expected this original barefoot player to be the first man in history to score one
Harley Stine
Sep 30, 2014 rated it did not like it
Pele, King of Soccer is a biography about a famous Brazilian soccer player, Pele. He started from the bottom and became an international soccer legend. In his childhood he could not even afford the items he would need to practice soccer. But he did not let that stop him, he and his friends would use a grapefruit or other miscellaneous items as a ball and he would play with no shoes. Pele was the first man in soccer history to score one thousand goals in his career. He is accredited for aiding Br ...more
Kaitlyn Steckbeck
Nov 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"Pele, King of Soccer/Pele, El rey del" tells the true story about Edson Arantes do Nascimento also known as Pele, who became a famous soccer player. Pele became the youngest player on the Santos Soccer Club team, who started playing when he was fifteen-years-old. The story tells about Pele's life as a child growing up in Brazil with his poor family who went spent most of his life being hungry. He and his friends would play soccer in the streets with anything they could find, like a grapefruit f ...more
Alyssa Weber
Nov 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Pele, King of Soccer by Monica Brown is a bilingual picture book for young children. It informs children of Pele - Edson Arantes do Nascimento - a famous soccer player. It's biographical nature tells of his life, his troubles and tribulations, but also how he overcame them. It is an inspiring story that will interest all young readers, and especially young athletes. This would be a great book to use in the classroom. Children will enjoy the colorful images, and the narration of the text as it ch ...more
Jun 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
This has a lot of strong professional reviews so I was expecting a lot. Too much, perhaps, as I didn't love it as much as I hoped. Still, it's a well told story about a truly inspiring figure in sports--the major international football great and Brazil's own shining star, Pele. I like how the story traces Pele's history from his childhood (playing barefoot and using either a grapefruit or an old sock stuffed with newspaper for the soccer ball) to becoming the first soccer player to ever score 10 ...more
Grace Livengood
Brown, Monica, Rudy Gutierrez, and Fernando Gayesky. Pelé, King of Soccer = Pelé, El Rey Del Fútbol. New York: Rayo, 2009. Print.
Pele was a poor boy who loved to play soccer, even though his socioeconomic background didn't allow him to practice with real gear or on a team. As a boy he promises his father he will win the World Cup for Brazil, and when his talents are found out by professionals, he fulfills his promises and leads Brazil to many victories and becomes the first soccer player to shoo
Rachel Asper
Pele is a book about a famous soccer player who grew up poor in Brazil. He played soccer with his friends and family growing up. At the age 17 he won his first World Cup. He later went on to win more 2 more World Cups and other prestigious awards throughout his lifetime. He scored 1000 goals in his career. The theme of this book is similar to Roberto Clemente. They both grew up in a poverty stricken areas and overcame so many difficult obstacles. I would also try and stress the theme of the stor ...more
I just realized that this is the same author that did another bilingual children's biography that I loved, called "My name is Gabito: The Life of Gabriel Garcia Marquez," which also has brilliant illustrations by Raul Colon.

This book was a short but well-done biography of Pele, one of the greatest football (soccer) players to ever have lived. He came from a very poor area of Brazil, but joined the Brazilian national team at age 17 and went on to help Brazil win the World Cup three times. He was
Ken Martin
Nov 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book would be perfect for any classroom. Pelé King of Soccer is great, the illustrations are beautiful and will grab the readers attention. What is really neat about this book is that it has both English and Spanish on every page. This would be perfect in the case where as a teacher you might have an English language learner within your classroom. The book also shows how you can do anything if you put your mind to it. It is important to make those learners feel as if they do not have to aba ...more
Maggie Hahn
Dec 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This picture book biography is about the soccer player Pele from Brazil. It talks about where he came from, a town in Brazil and how he grew up with almost nothing. He had to work from a young age to help his family. But every evening, no matter what his father would play soccer with him in the streets. Pele made his own soccer team but they couldn't even afford shoes or sometimes even a ball. Pele won his first World Cup at age 17 and did it for his father. This book would be great to use to sh ...more
With text in both English and Spanish, Brown gives a very brief look at the life and soccer career of Pele, one of the greatest players of all time. As a child of poor parents in Brazil, Pele would shine shoes and sell meat pies to help make ends meet. He and his friends would play soccer in the streets, using a grapefruit or a newspaper-stuffed sock as a ball. When he was invited to try out for a professional soccer club, Pele's life changed forever. Rudy Gutierrez' vividly-colored illustration ...more
Feb 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pk-2-ral
Perfect book to pair with Goal! By Mina Javahermin. Compare Ajani and his friends of South Africa with Pele, King of soccer, from Brazil; and the kids loved both books! Monica Brown’s words are paired with Rudy Gutierrez’s south of the border feeling, carnival-esk, motion, constant movement, just as I believe Pele must have lived his whole life. I also love the comparison of circumstances; poverty, shoes or lack thereof, finding the best way to achieve even simple goals. Figures of speech are fo ...more
JJ Jones
Oct 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is perfect for any kids who love the game of soccer. In my classroom I have student who speaks very little English and loves soccer. This book would be perfect for him in that it is on a high interest topic and it is written in both English and Spanish so he will be able to read it. The story begins with Pele's poor childhood in Brazil. His father had a great love of soccer which was passed on to young Pele. Children can relate to Pele doing something that he loved and wanting to make ...more
Jesika La Bryer
Sep 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biographies
Copyright 2009. This short story is a great recap of Pele's life. The illustrations are amazing, with great detail while being abstract at the same time. Each pages has bright colors and intricate designs of people and Brazil. I think this books would be great for children of all ages, especially soccer players. I think some great discussions could come from this book about Pele; his family, his early years, breaking records and much more. What is great as well, is the book is in English and Spa ...more
This book talks about Pele who was a poor boy in Brazil who became a famous soccer player. Pele loved to play soccer and played whenever he could. Him and his friends always played soccer and at age 15 Pele got asked to play on the professional team. During his time playing soccer he scored over 1,000 goals. This is a good story showing that no matter how much money you have you can always make it places in life. It also shows that if you try hard at what you want to accomplish you will accompli ...more
Sep 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Pele: King of Soccer was an Americas Award 2010 Commended Title. This book is for ages 4-8 and is a quick read about the life of Soccer star Pele. This book is a great introduction about Pele to young children. The book is told is both English and Spanish. The illustrations are very colorful and somewhat wild. Key points are touched on such as how Pele grew up and some of his major life achievements such as getting Brazil a World Cup win and scoring 1000 goals. This is a wonderful biographical b ...more
RLL22016Mirella Carreno
Nov 05, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: info-bio
During his time playing soccer he scored over 1,000 goals. This is a good story showing that no matter how much money you have you can always make it places in life. It also shows that if you try hard at what you want to accomplish you will accomplish it. I think this books would be great for children of all ages, especially soccer players. I think some great discussions could come from this book about Pele; his family, his early years, breaking records and much more.
Rachel Dalton
I will most definitely use this book, both for English language learners and for the general classroom. It is a great demonstration of how hard work overcomes adversity that is based on the true story of Brazilian soccer legend Edson Arantes do Nascimento. It has true facts about the player at the end of the story and also beautiful illustrations.
Jun 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
A great bilingual book about Pele, the king of soccer. The story talks about Pele's journey to becoming the best soccer player that he can possibly be. I really enjoyed how they made it both in English and Spanish. This makes is so Spanish speaking students can enjoy it and learn English, and vise versa. ...more
Javier Cabra
Dec 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Having a two year old has made me have a deep appreciation for bilingual children's books that are interesting for adults. Monica Brown might be my favorite newfound author. Whether it be Marisol McDonald, Gabito, Celia Cruz, Tito Puente, or Pelé, I'm always grateful to read these to my little man. AND, Rafael López, Sara Palacios, Rudy Gutiérrez, and Raúl Colón have some bomb illustrations. ...more
Feb 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
First class illustrations by Rudy Gutierrez, who created the artwork for Santana's Shaman CD, enliven this simple story of Pele's childhood and introduction to professional soccer. Reads like a picture book with easy to floow Spanish translation. ...more
May 21, 2011 rated it liked it
Covers the life of Pele from childhood through professional soccer career. Text is shown in English, then in Spanish (as is author's note). Wild, brightly colored illustrations have great detail, pages are fun to look at. ...more
This is a fun book that shares Pele's life story in a simple way with fun colors. It would be fantastic paired with The Sock Thief because it includes the idea of making homemade soccer balls. It would also be great with Soccer Star by Javaherbin.

Dec 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic short picture book biography about Pele written in both spanish and english. The book features bright, colorful illustrations. I would use the book with any soccer fan or a child who speaks spanish at home.
Crystal Contreras
Nov 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
As a soccer fan, I believe that a kid who likes soccer should know about Pele. This bilingual picture book will inspire and teach kids as they learn about the soccer start. Kids love sports and talking about something they are interested in, will keep them entertain.
RLL22018_Sajed Saed
This is a beautiful written and illustrated story, of a poor boy from Brazil, who defied all odds and became the greatest soccer player to ever live. Pele could do amazing feats with his legs and feet that defied odds and left spectators and players alike, scratching their heads trying to figure out what happened. This is the true story of a young man, determined to be the greatest at something he absolutely loved to do. It is a story filled with hope, inspiration and determination and leaves yo ...more
Diana Valdivia-Rodriguez
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Monica Brown, Ph.D. is the author of awardwinning bilingual books for children, including My Name Is Celia: The Life of Celia Cruz/Me llamo Celia: La vida de Celia Cruz (Luna Rising), a recipient of the Américas Award for Children's Literature and a Pura Belpré Honor. Her second picture book, My Name Is Gabriela: The Life of Gabriela Mistral/Me llamo Gabriela: La vida de Gabriela Mistral (Luna Ris ...more

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