Thursday, April 27, 2006

while in the sports arena

This just in: Tae Kwon Do! by Terry Pierce. A diverse group of kids go to Tae Kwon Do class and do a diverse group of activites. It's a very easy early reader, with two-four word sentences in an ABAB rhyme scheme that's pleasant to read aloud, too. I'm not crazy about the look of it, because all the kid's faces have this hyper-impressionistic bulging-light effect which leaves them looking like junior alcoholics or displaced elves from "Rudodolph the Red Nose Reindeer." But I appreciate the obvious attention to detail (the kids wear protective gear, for example.)

I'll try it out on my son tonight. Books that pack so much action into so few words are very precious around here.

I found another sports book!

The Losers Fight Back by Barbara M. Joosse. Illustrated by Sue Truesdell. Clarion, 1994 (0-395-62335-9) $13.95; Dell Yearling, 1996 (0-440-41110-6) $3.99 pb

Good friends Willie and Lucy from Wild Willie and King Kyle Detectives have problems: their soccer team the Bruisers is rapidly acquiring a new nickname—The Losers—and bully Chuckie Herman is teasing them with the “K-I-S-S-I-N-G” song. For Willie, trying to solve the first problem is hampered by the second: how can he make plans with Lucy when he doesn’t dare be seen with her? But as Willie discovers, having fun can be more important than winning—and giving in to a bully is no way to have a good time. This is a delicious story about boy-girl friendships and team spirit, peopled with very appealing characters—except for Chuckie Herman, of course. The text is inseparable from Truesdell’s sharp, wacky drawings, which appear on almost every page, making this a comfortable step up from easy readers. * (7-10)