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February 1, 2016 BOOKLIST
Find more Top 10 Sports Books for Youth
Although there have been some good sports books for middle and older readers, including a few on unusual sports such as kite flying (Linda Sue Park’s The Kite Fighters), the best single titles this year are, interestingly enough, picture books, including some for older children. The following stand out among those reviewed in Booklist from September 1, 1999 through August 2000.
Adler, David A. America’s Champion Swimmer: Gertrude Ederle. Illus. by Terry Widener,. 2000. 32p. Harcourt/Gulliver, $16 (0-15-201969-3). 797.2.
Gr. 2-4, younger for reading aloud. Strongly physical artwork blends perfectly with Adler’s dramatic, exhilarating story of championship swimmer Gertrude “Trudy” Ederle-from her near drowning as a child to her record-breaking, 1925 swim across the English Channel.
Boelts, Maribeth. Big Daddy, Frog Wrestler. Illus. by Benrei Huang. 2000. 32p. Albert Whitman, $14.95 (0-8075-0717-2).
Ages 4-7. Curtis the frog is proud that his father is a championship wrestler, but he has mixed feelings when Dad goes away on a wrestling tour. As far as Curtis is concerned, he’d like it much better if Dad were home. Huang’s softly colored illustrations echo the warm father-son relationship in this sweet, ultimately reassuring tale.
Caseley, Judith. Field Day Friday. 2000. 32p. illus. Greenwillow, $15.95 (0-688-1676-1); lib. ed., $15.89 (0-688-16762-4).
Ages 4-7. Best friends Mickey and Longjohn are both good runners and amiably compete on the playground. Their friendship is tested, however, during Field Day at school.
Cline-Ransome, Lesa. Satchel Paige. Illus. by James E. Ransome. 2000. 40p. Simon & Schuster, $16 (0-689-81151-9). 796.357.
Gr. 2-4. One of baseball’s legends comes to life for a new generation in this delightful picture book, which combines a rollicking narrative and startling, realistic pictures to evoke Paige’s imposing stature and folk-hero status.
Coy, John. Strong to the Hoop. Illus. by Leslie Jean-Bart. 1999. 32p. Lee & Low, $16.95 (1-880000-80-6).
Gr. 2-4, younger for reading aloud. Striking collage illustrations evoke the intensity and excitement of playground basketball in this well-realized picture book in which 10-year-old James gets a chance to prove his ability to himself and to the older boys.
Isadora, Rachel. Sophie Skates. 1999. 32p. illus. Putnam, $15.99 (0-399-23046-7).
Ages 4-8. Eight-year-old Sophie is the star of this gracefully illustrated glimpse into the rigors of ice-skating, which beautifully balances information about the sport with a story of a dedicated child living the dream of many little girls.
Kennedy, X. J. Elympics. Illus. by Percy Graham. 1999. 32p. Putnam/Philomel, $15.99 (0-399-23249-4).
Ages 4-8. Elijah is a diver, Tristat sprints, and Tram excels at slalom. The fact that these athletes are elephants makes for lots of fun in this very special vision of Olympic competition. Graham’s energetic pictures are as lively as poet Kennedy’s rhymes.
Kraus, Robert. Mort the Sport. Illus. by John Himmelman. 2000. 32p. Orchard, $15.95 (0-531-30247-4); lib. ed., $16.99 (0-531-33247-0).
Ages 4-7. Mort the elephant tries his best at baseball, basketball, and football-and even the violin-in search of just the right activity. It’s obvious that things aren’t working out, though, when he takes his bow to his bat and swings his violin at a baseball. With humorous pictures and a moral couched in laugh-out-loud humor, this book is a real winner.
Rappaport, Doreen and Callan, Lyndall. Dirt on Their Skirts. Illus. by E. B. Lewis. 2000. 40p. Dial, $16.99 (0-8037-2042-4).
Ages 4-8. The authors spin a bit of sports history into just plain fun as they focus on the finale of the 1946 championship game of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League. There are tough players, cheering crowds, and tense plays enough to satisfy baseball fans.
Zagwÿn, Deborah Turney. Apple Batter. 1999. 32p. illus. Tricycle, $14.95 (1-883672-92-9).
Ages 4-8. Eight-year-old Delmore loves baseball as much as his mother loves growing her apple trees. Their activities come together in an unexpected way in this gentle book with a sweet message.
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