Ghosts Can’t Play Hockey by Ben Jackson & Sam Lawrence Review

A non-scary picture book for children


There are lots of ghosts in children’s stories. You might have your own favourites that bring joy and excitement to the kids (or even yourself). But now there is a new ghost is town. In a new book by Ben Jackson & Sam Lawrence (authors of the My Little Fart, Hockey Wars and Softball Strikeout children’s series of books), we meet Bruce. Bruce is a little ghost unlike others, all he wants to do is play hockey.

Bruce is a small ghost, a ghost with a ghost mother and father. Now we all know that ghosts are supposed to haunt and scare people, but Bruce is different. He is not cut out for scaring people. Even after practicing in front of the mirror, he can’t seem to do it. He is just not a scary ghost. Despite his father’s admonishments, all Bruce wanted to do was play hockey with the other kids. An impossible dream with him being a ghost, or is it?

Bruce often sneaks into the arena, spending his time watching the kids play hockey but he can never join in. If only he could find a way to join in and enjoy the thrill of gliding over the ice and knocking the puck around without scaring off the other kids. Well, with Halloween not too far away, when the kids dress up in scary costumes, he might just have a chance. Halloween is the night that ghosts, ghoulies and other monsters come out to play. And Bruce devises a cunning plan that might just see him joining in with the other kids and playing his beloved hockey after all. Will he be able to pull it off?

Overall, this is a great tale of determination and believing in yourself wrapped up in a delightful “ghost” story.

Ghosts Can’t Play Hockey is a story of a ghost that wants to do something different than what his parents believe he should do (spooking and scaring). A story of following his own path. Whilst the main character is a ghost, there are no scares to terrify the kids. It is a charming tale of determination and resilience – if you want to do something and work hard at it and keep trying, never giving up, one day you could achieve your dreams. A story that not only delights the reader but delivers the message that nothing is impossible with hard work, belief and purpose.

The story is excellent. A non-scary ghost story with an endearing character that just wants to follow his dreams. The underlying message of creativity, determination, having belief and never giving up trying to achieve your goals and aspirations is fantastic – a great message for everybody, not just kids.

The story is easy to read and interesting. The illustrations by Tanya Zeinalova are fantastic – I don’t usually like dark backgrounds in children’s books (I think they tend to make the story gloomier than it should be) but it Ghosts Can’t Play Hockey it works well. The bright and colourful images stand out brilliantly on the black background and do an excellent job of helping kids visualise what is happening.

Ghosts Can’t Play Hockey is a fun children’s picture book, suitable for children aged 5+, with a good story and excellent message.

Never give up on your dreams, hard work and determination will get you where you need to be.

Rating: 5/5

RRP: £8.99 (Paperback) / £3.19 (Kindle)

For more information, visit Available to buy from Amazon here.

DISCLOSURE: I was provided with a free copy of this book for the purposes of writing a honest and impartial review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This review uses an affiliate link which I may receive a small commission from if you purchase through the link.

Click here to read more reviews of books by Sam Lawrence & Ben Jackson