Posted tagged ‘Sports’

Picture Book Month – Biographies

November 21, 2013

Picture book biographies shine. They offer readers an easy way to learn about well-known people as compared to reading a longer biography that may be too daunting for them.

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Hoop Genius: How a Desperate Teacher and a Rowdy Gym Class Invented Basketball written by John Coy and illustrated by Joe Morse is a picture book biography that shines. In 1891 in Springfield, MA, James Naismith took over a gym class that no one else wanted to teach. In desperation, he created a game that required skill and rules that had to be followed if the players wanted to remain playing. His game piqued the interest of the boys, and basketball became a hit. Coy provides concise information about how James Naismith invented the game of basketball and how it became a national pastime. The graphic illustrations by Joe Morse offer readers a glimpse into the time period when basketball was invented. Make sure to look at the endpapers to see Naismith’s first draft of basketball rules.

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Another picture book biography worth reading is Louisa May’s Battle: How the Civil War Led to Little Women written by Kathleen Krull and illustrated by Carlyn Beccia. Krull offers a slice of Louisa May Alcott’s life that played an important role in the way she ultimately looked at her own life. In 1862, Louisa traveled to Washington D.C. to help nurse the wounded and sick soldiers of the Civil War. Conditions in the makeshift hospital were horrible, and tending to the seriously wounded soldiers made Louisa come face-to-face with the reality of war. In her short time there, she saw the disparity between how white workers and black workers were treated. Three weeks into Louisa’s time in Washington, she became very ill and was eventually brought home by her father. Alcott’s experience in Washington was live-changing. Her heartfelt writing about what she saw in the hospital made editors sit up and pay attention. Her writing was suddenly in demand. Soon afterward, she was asked to write a book about girls. Little Women, set during the Civil War, was the result, and it became a best seller. Carlyn Beccia’s colorful illustrations and Kathleen Krull’s story give readers a new look into the life and writings of Louisa May Alcott. Back matter and endpapers in the book provide more information about the time period. A list of  websites related to Louisa May Alcott and a timeline of her books can also be found.

Bruins Fans Quack Me Up

June 14, 2011

“Ice hockey is a form of disorderly conduct in which the score is kept.” ─ Doug Larson

I readily admit I’m not passionate about sports – especially baseball. But I do take a moment every day to glance at the sports page so I can pretend I know what’s going on.  

What I am passionate about is children’s books. Robert McCloskey’s Make Way for Ducklings stole my heart the first time I read it.

So when Mrs. Mallard, Jack, Kack, Lack, Mack, Nack, Ouack, Pack, and Quack were seen in Boston Public Garden donned in Boston Bruins gear to support the hometown team in the Stanley Cup Finals, I took notice.

And when George Washington was spotted in the streets of Boston wearing a Bruins jersey, that’s history!

I realized it was time for me to reevaluate my thinking about sports. Tomorrow night I’ll have my television tuned into the Bruins/Canucks Stanley Cup Final. I’ll probably be asking a lot of questions, but, who knows, I may find that I have a “Nack” for understanding the game of hockey!

Go Bruins!

Here are two books I’m going to check out:  Hat Trick Counts:  A Hockey Number Book by Matt Napier and illustrated by Melanie Rose (Sleeping Bear Press, 2005), Z is for Zamboni:  A Hockey Alphabet by Matt Napier and illustrated by Melanie Rose (Sleeping Bear Press, 2002)


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