Friday, August 9, 2013

Sports Books For Picture Book Friday

Happy Friday.  This week I thought I would share some picture books that focus on the history of some of our most popular sports, basketball and baseball.

Bet you never thought about how the game of basketball got started?  Well one of the picture books I am profiling today lets you in on the origins of the game.  The other book shares how the women's baseball league was formed in the 1940's.  The league inspired things that are still around today, like our favorite seventh inning stretch song, Take Me Out to the Ballgame!

Picture books provide a wonderful way to introduce elements of history and nonfiction that might otherwise be lost on kids.  So take advantage of these great books to get a little learning into them, while they think they are just listening to a great story.  You (and they) will all be the wiser for it.

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Title:       Hoop Genius

Author:   John Coy

Target:    Kindergarten and up

What this book is about:
This book is about how basketball was invented, and I bet it will surprise you!  It all started when James Naismith took over a rowdy gym class and he couldn’t get the boys to settle down.  He invented a new game that would keep them active without tackling or hitting and that could be played indoors during the long winter months.  Who knew a game invented for restless teenagers would became an international sport?

Why I love this book:
I always think kids have fun learning about how their favorite pastimes came to be, and this book does it in a visually engaging way.  Joe Morse’s illustrations are actually quite striking and I think kids will notice them, even if just for how unusual some of them can be.  

I like that John Coy even got in how women wanted to learn the game of basketball.  But most of all I think it is so interesting how simply the game began.  Who knows what game your child could invent that could become an international phenomenon?

Who this book is for:
Kids who enjoy basketball or just sports in general will like knowing the origins of the game.

Final thoughts:
I was surprised at the short length of the book.  It was actually quite a quick read.

To purchase this book, click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Hoop Genius: How a Desperate Teacher and a Rowdy Gym Class Invented Basketball (Carolrhoda Picture Books)  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog at no cost to you.

Title:       Players in Pigtails

Author:   Shana Corey

Target:    Kindergarten - Grade 4

What this book is about:
It is the 1940’s and America is at war.  The baseball fields are empty, until the All American Girls Professional Baseball League is established!  This is the story of Katie Casey who loves baseball more than knitting and dancing and baking and gets to fulfill her dream playing for the Kenosha Comets!

Why I love this book:
I learned some amazing facts.  Did you know the song Take Me Out to the Ballgame was written about Katie Casey?  I always love a book that moves beyond stereotypical girl things and lets girls love whatever they want.  Rebecca Gibbon’s illustrations are spot on with sophisticated charm and whimsy.

Who this book is for:
I have targeted it a little older because the topic of a girls baseball league is a fun piece of history, but kids have to be older to understand the significance.  Additionally, the author has included notes in the back that give kids a real understanding of the formation of the league.

Final thoughts:
A fun look at sports history.  While the story itself is limited, the author’s notes fill in the details.

To purchase this book, click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Players In Pigtails  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog at no cost to you.

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