Posted in Non-Fiction, Non-Fiction

My First Book of Soccer explains the game to rookies!

My First Book of Soccer: Mostly Everything Explained About the Game (A Rookie Book), by the Editors of Sports Illustrated for Kids (May 2017, Sports Illustrated), $11.99, ISBN: 978-1-68330-002-1

Recommended for readers 4-8

Sports Illustrated’s newest book in their Rookie series introduces readers to Soccer – football, if you’re from anywhere other than the U.S. As with previous Rookie books, there are two Rookies on hand to show readers the ins and outs of the sports. I’m particularly excited about the Soccer Rookies, because we have a girl and a boy, and the girl – also the more knowledgeable of the two – is a lovely, brown-skinned young lady who’s too happy to teach her friend about the sport!

My First Book of Soccer is a light-hearted, informative introduction to the sport, featuring photos of current soccer stars (with silly word bubbles providing funny commentary) and the Rookies alike, interacting from the sidelines. The fonts are big and bold, with key words and ideas in capital, larger size. Scoreboards in the upper left- and right-hand corners keep track of the quarter and game time, giving kids a breakdown of what goes on during each part of a game.

Kudos to Sports Illustrated Kids for adding female players AND a female child of color Rookie! A must-add to sports bookshelves and collections for early readers, My First Book of Soccer joins previous Rookie books on football, baseball, and hockey. Put these out for a great sports-themed display and add them to a sports-themed storytime. I’d pair these with the Dino-sports series by Lisa Wheeler for a fun fiction/non-fiction pairing. Add some printables, courtesy of Sports Illustrated, for even more fun – check out My First Book of Soccer activity sheets.

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Posted in Early Reader, Non-Fiction, Non-Fiction, Preschool Reads

Gear Up! Sports Illustrated Kids Talks Hockey!

si_hockeyMy First Book of Hockey: Mostly Everything Explained About the Game (A Rookie Book), by the Editors of Sports Illustrated for Kids (Sept. 2016, Sports Illustrated), $11.95, ISBN: 978-1618931771

Recommended for ages 4-8

Sports Illustrated Kids’ Rookie Books series are great for burgeoning sports fans, big or small. Hey, I’m honest: whenever I’ve needed to learn something from the bare bones, I’ve gone to the children’s section. It’s how I learned to crochet more than a basic single stitch, it’s how I’m relearning all the high school Spanish I forgot, and it’s how I learned exactly what goes on during a hockey game.

An illustrated, cartoony “rookie” appears on the endpapers and throughout the book, acting as our guide. through Hockey 101. He gears up in the beginning, putting on all of his protective hockey equipment, and shows up on every spread, offering fun side commentary over the action photos.  There are photos of real NHL players from several teams (don’t ask me who they are, please, I just learned what a slap shot is), with comic book word bubbles, big, fun fonts, and simple explanations to give readers a good starting point on understanding and enjoying hockey. Digital numbers add to the sports feel as the book, divided into three “periods” like a hockey game, breaks down what happens during each period.

There are great photos – think Sports Illustrated photography, after all – a glossary of terms, and a friendly introduction to the sport. Other books in the Rookie series include My First Book of Baseball and My First Book of Football. If they ever decide to release a My First Book of Soccer, I can guarantee it will circulate like wildfire in my library!

If you have sports fans in your community, these are a must-have. I’ll be adding a few of these to my shelves, and suggesting that my colleagues, who have field hockey teams in their communities, add My First Book of Hockey to theirs.