________________ CM . . . . Volume XII Number 14 . . . . March 17, 2006


Skating Superstars.

Debbi Wilkes. Photographs by Gérard Châtaigneau.
Markham, ON: Scholastic Canada, 2006.
40 pp., pbk., $6.99.
ISBN 0-439-94704-9.

Subject Heading:
Skaters-Pictorial works-Juvenile literature.

Grades 3-6 / Ages 8-11.

Review by Patricia Fay.

*** /4


Emanuel Sandhu

Yet even with his roller-coaster performances - occasionally clean, but often not - Emanuel continues to excite and inspire audiences with his ability to interpret all kinds of music, from rap to pop to Prokofiev. Add to this his beautiful positions, the perfect stretch of his muscles and his elegance on ice, and you've got the makings of a world champion.

This updated book features a two-page spread on each of the current figure skating stars. Each figure skater or figure skating pair has a full-page coloured photograph and page of brief biographical notes such as place and date of birth, home, height, coach, where training takes place, choreographers, competition category and which country each skater represents. Highlights are listed for each skater, examples being, "1st at Skate Canada 2004", "7th at World Championships 2005", and so on.

     Some of the stars highlighted in the book are familiar faces: Irina Slustkaya, Michelle Kwan, Evgeni Plushenko and Emanuel Sandhu. Others are newer stars and not much has been written about them yet: Jeffrey Buttle, Belbin and Agosto, Sasha Cohen, Brian Joubert, Navka and Kostomarov and Johnny Weir to name a few. The information on these up-and-coming stars is helpful in understanding the competitive nature of international figure skating today.

     Each short biography tells of all the hard work and determination required to achieve the recognition now received and how each element of the skating program must be polished in order to achieve success. The biographies also touch on the sacrifices made. Many of the skaters have left homes and families to train in another city or country.

     The photographs are stunning, and all show the skaters as they perform. However, there is no index or table of contents, and the skaters are not in any particular order.

     With this being the year for the Winter Olympics, this book will be popular with readers wanting to learn more about their favourite skating stars.


Patricia Fay is a teacher-librarian at Beaumont Elementary School in Winnipeg, MB. Her figure skates still hang in the garage, and she has been known to test an edge or two now and then.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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