If you swim like you’re “chasing after porpoises” or play basketball waiting for the “soft, sweet sound of swish” as the ball falls through net, then this collection of sports-themed poetry is for you! Renowned Children’s Poet Laureate Jack Prelutsky has joined forces with abstract artist Chris Raschka to celebrate the love of sports in words and illustrations. You don’t have to be a basketball player to appreciate the poem that is illustrated with an aerial perspective of teammates lining up on the edges of the court as a player sets up a shot. You don’t have to be a football player to know what the guy at the bottom of the heap is feeling—just line up the poem with the image and you are magically transported into another world where the game means EVERYTHING!
Fans of Prelutsky’s other anthologies may be surprised that this collection is not zany or silly. These poems speak to the heart of each athlete, each child who is working towards his/her personal best—and many times failing again and again until, at last—success. Artist Raschka’s illustrations, however, are zany and fluid, and their subjects sometimes defy the laws of gravity. Spend some time with “Good sports” and rethink your own experiences with whatever activity you enjoy best. You may be inspired to write poetry or create watercolor or tempura illustrations of how YOU feel when you’re living the sporting life. You won’t be sorry you did.
Recommended by Shari Shaw, B.A., M.L.I.S., Michigan, USA