Gordie’s Skate
Thistledown Press / 31 March 2023

Gordie’s SkateWritten by Bill Waiser, Illustrated by Leanne FransonPublished by Thistledown PressReview by Shelley A. Leedahl$14.95 ISBN 9781771872355 Few athletes in Canadian history are as iconic as Gordie Howe. Nicknamed “Mr. Hockey,” the Floral, SK-born hockey legend played professionally for an astounding five decades (plus a single game in a sixth decade), and a school, campground, football stadium, and hockey arena are named in his honour. The Gordie Howe International Bridge across the Detroit River–Howe was the Detroit Red Wings’ star player for 25 seasons–is set to open in 2024. It’s fitting that this historically-revered Canadian be celebrated via the arts, as well, and that one of Canada’s foremost historians, Saskatoon’s double GG Award-winning Bill Waiser, has shifted genres (Waiser’s well-known for his non-fiction work) and written an illustrated children’s book, Gordie’s Skate, to share the story of Howe’s humble beginnings, his passion to play, and his ultimate success. Waiser’s successfully transitioned into the magical world of children’s literature with a compelling story that introduces us to a young Howe who “would have played [hockey] all day and night if he could … even in his sleep.” Inspired by Howe’s autobiography Mr. Hockey: My Story, Waiser’s book is set in…