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Wark, Laurie
Illustrated by Scot Ritchie Toronto, Kids Can Press, 1994. 24pp, paper, $4.50
ISBN 1-55074-186-1. (Basics for Beginners). CIP


Wark, Laurie
Illustrated by Scot Ritchie Toronto, Kids Can Press, 1994.24pp, paper, $4.50
1-55074-184-5. (Basics for Beginners). CIP


Wark, Laurie
Illustrated by Scot Ritchie Toronto, Kids Can Press, 1994.24pp, paper, $4.50
ISBN 1-55074-188-8. (Basics for Beginners). CIP

Grades 1-3 / Ages 6-8

Reviewed by Pat Steenbergen

Volume 22 Number 6
1994 November / December

Laurie Wark and Scot Ritchie have collaborated to produce this series of introductions to common sports aimed at the four-to-eight age range. Scot Ritchie has illustrated four other children's books including Dinner at Auntie Rose's. Laurie Wark is a Kids Can Press editor and author. For each title the team consulted people involved in teaching the particular sport to children.

These are basic descriptions of how each game is played without information on the techniques or tips on skill development. These books would be most useful as explanations for children considering joining a league. The information on each game is accurate, but beginning readers would need help with the text. The descriptions stress team play, the enjoyment of playing, and safety. Each book ends with the same note to parents about looking for a team that stresses fun and equal playing time for all members.

Soccer differs from the other two in showing drills and describing techniques of kicking and play. In the discussion of the game there is no indication of why the goal keeper wears a different uniform, although the illustrations show this. (The text explains that only the goal keeper's hands can touch the ball; the different uniform helps the referee.) From a safety standpoint there is a reference to "heading"; however, some coaches feel that heading should not be allowed in children's play because of the danger to young necks.

The illustrations are sprightly and amplify the text. Early readers could gain much of the content by studying the illustrations. Often little jokes have been included in the illustrations.

Recommended for school and public libraries and for individual purchase.

Pat Steenbergen is a job-sharing librarian in the Professional Library for the staff of the Board of Education for the City of York in Toronto, Ontario

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