Monday, December 7, 2015

NONFICTION MONDAY: Kid Athletes by David Stabler


The author and illustrator of Kid Presidents have reteamed to share 20 true tales from the childhoods of famous athletes. From Babe Ruth (so incorrigible that his parents put him in reform school at age 7) to Muhammad Ali (who learned to fight at age 12 after a thief stole his bicycle), Kid Athletes is packed with inspirational stories from the world of sports. Billie Jean King rose from modest circumstances to win 39 Grand Slam championships; race car champion Danica Patrick fended of bullies who told her "girls can't drive"; and martial arts legend Bruce Lee credited his success, in part, to childhood dance lessons. Every goal, touchdown, and championship comes to life in these kid-friendly and relatable stories, all with Doogie Horner’s whimsical full-color illustrations. Kid Athletes is a slam dunk for young sports fans everywhere.


Stabler has written a very engaging book about some of the childhood experiences of some successful professional athletes.  I really liked the focus on these childhood experiences because it opens a window into understanding who these people became as adults.  I appreciated the fact that the athletes came from a variety of backgrounds and play(ed) a variety of sports, everything from tennis to basketball to hockey to car racing are represented here.  The cartoon illustrations add a fun, humorous touch to the book.  While the book is longer (200 pages) for young readers, I found it to be very readable.  Lessons about the importance of courage and persistence can be found throughout but the book doesn't feel at all didactic.  This is a great addition to any collective biography section and I see it being easy to get kids to read.

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