The book has strong themes of self-determination and believing in yourself, proven topics for children’s books.
It also gives a few nods to parents who might be reading the book to their kids.
The book does not name names. It is not explicit about where Brian went to college, where he played professionally, and who his coaches were.
But parents will know.
Brian the mouse gets excited when he is accepted to an unnamed college. The pictures, by illustrator Mr. Tom, show the mouse wearing a blue hat with a distinctive V on it.
The mouse gets drafted by a pro team in a big city called “Fieldadelphia,” which wears green uniforms.
“There is a specific green that the Eagles own. We had to go for a slightly different colour,” said Van Arsdall. “You can’t use the Villanova logo. There are a lot of things that we had to get around.”
Former Eagles coach Andy Reid is never named, but his telltale mustache gives him away, as well as his nickname, “Big Red.”
Westbrook said his older daughter, Bria, knows the little mouse is her dad, but his 5-year-old son “just thinks it’s a great football book.”
Westbrook said half of the proceeds from the sale of “The Mouse Who Played Football” will be donated to children’s charities.
“We’re putting our money where our mouth is,” he said. “Fifty percent of the money that we’ll make on this book will go directly to support children’s charities and help to push underrepresented youth to the next level, to allow them to live life without blinders on to only think that they can do one thing . Take those blinders off so that you can go out there and be as successful as you possibly can.”
The initial print run of “The Mouse Who Played Football,” published by Temple University Press, has already sold out online on Amazon. At noon on Thursday, Westbrook and Van Arsdall will read the book at the Free Library of Philadelphia, where copies will be available.