Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday - sports books - 7.21.21

 It's Olympic and Paralympic time, which means many of us are thinking about sports!  Here are some books to share with your sports enthusiasts!

The Floating Field by Scott  Riley
The Floating Field: How a Group of Thai Boys Built Their Own Soccer Field
written by Scott Riley
illustrated by Nguyen Quang and Kim Lien
When your soccer field depends on the lunar cycle, you may be thinking of alternative places to play.  But when there is no additional room in your city for a field, what do you do?  Build a floating field, of course!  That's just what Prasit Hemmin and his friends decided to do.  My favorite part is whoever kicks the ball out of bounds (into the sea), has to jump in and get it!  Really interesting story about the dedication to this sport!

Finish Strong by David J. McGillivray
Finish Strong: Seven Marathons, Seven Continents, Seven Days
written by Dave McGillivray with Nancy Feehrer
illustrated by Shululu
It's a really interesting story!  I didn't even know about this challenge, but it exists and people have completed it!  I think young readers will enjoy following Mr. McGillivray on his journey to complete the World Marathon Challenge.
At the bottom of each page is a saying that is meant to be a positive message about the page.  I don't think there needed to be one for every page, they were a bit redundant.  

Amazing Athletes: An All-Star Look at Canada's Paralympians (Hardcover) |  RJ Julia Booksellers
Amazing Athletes: An All-Star Look at Canada's Paralympians
written by Marie-Claude Ouellet
translated by Phyllis Aronoff and Howard Scott
This book publishes Aug. 15th, which is just in time for the Paralympics!  I was able to read an advanced copy of this book via Edelweiss.
Not going to lie, I downloaded this one for very personal reasons.  Since my daughter will be competing in the upcoming Paralympics, I wanted to see who her competition might be, lol!  The way Canada choose their Paralympic Team was very very different this year because of Covid.  They didn't hold a Trials because of a conflicting meet in Berlin.  So their team was chosen based on past times in World Para meets going back to 2019.  This means their times are not in the current world rankings, so there is no way of knowing who your competition is!
But back to the book, it's actually very interesting.  I would LOVE to see a USA book like this published.
At the start of the book it gives a very very quick intro, but I liked the things that are mentioned.  It specifically says the Paralympics are made up of the "best high performance athletes."  I have found many people confuse Special Olympics, where the goal is inclusion, compared to Para where there are extremely high standards for competitions, just like the Olympics.  The book also gives an intro to the International Paralympic Committee, which oversees everything.  Many people are familiar with the Olympic Rings, but Para also has it's own symbol, which are three "swoops" that are red, green, and blue.  These colors are chosen because they are the colors that are most represented on the world's flags.  This symbol means "spirit in motion".  It talks briefly about how the athletes are classified based on disability so equal competition can occur.  Finally, there is mention of how the Paralympic movement is slowly gaining media attention.  Yes!
The book then moves on to highlight current athletes from different Paralympic sports - which like their Olympic counterpart, have Winter and regular Olympic sports.  It's interesting to read about the different athletes because how they came to the sport and their disability are all different.  Some were born with their disability, others are a result from a life-altering injury or illness.
My favorite quote came from swimmer, Benoit Huot.  He said, "I dream of a day when the public considers a Paralympic medal just as valuable as an Olympic medal.  To achieve that, we have to increase the visibility of Paralympic athletes."

The Secret Science of Sports by Jennifer Swanson
The Secret Science of Sports:The Math, Physics, and Mechanical Engineering Behind Every Gland Slam, Triple Axel, and Penalty Kick
by Jennifer Swanson
The first book I read by Jennifer Swanson was her Super Gear: Nanotechnology and Sports Team Up book and I found it fascinating!  This one was too and I love that readers will be able to approach it in different ways.  It is full of STEM information and how it influences sports.  In fact, each STEM letter is covered in a chapter - science, technology, engineering, and math!  Whether a reader wants to focus on one part - there is a chapter for that reader!  Or maybe a reader really wants to focus in on a specific sport.  Swanson includes a wide variety of sports in each chapter, demonstrating how STEM comes into play.  That's how I chose to read the book.  Obviously swimming is a highly watched and enjoyed sport in our family.  I skimmed through the other sports, slowing down when it caught my eye, but really looked for the swimming portions!
Swanson makes sure to include science by including experiments that have to do with the STEM topic that is focused on in that chapter.  Readers can stop and try out the experiments to get a better understanding of the concept.  There are also illustrations by Laurene Boglio on every page that gives a visual to the topic.  By the time I got to the engineering and math chapter, I was glad to have the visual supports!
I suspect this book will have readers from STEM fields and sports fields who will be pouring over sections, if not the entire book!

And one fiction book!

Lucas at the Paralympics by Igor Plohl
Lucas at the Paralympics
written by Igor Plohl
illustrated by Urska Stropnik Sonc
I had to include this picture book in the roundup because it had quite a bit of information about the Paralympics.  There's the story about Lucas and how he came to learn more about the Paralympics, and then there is information throughout the story and in captions on every page that gives factual information.  I thought it did a really nice job giving explanations and an overview.  I gave it to my daughter to read to see if she saw anything problematic that I missed and she said it was good!  The only thing she said would have been good to explain is in some sports, like track and field and swimming, visual swimmers do not compete against those with a physical impairment.  She said it's something she's seen confused before, and there is mention in the book in regards to other sports about how the two impairments might be working as a team.  Good feedback!

Enjoy watching the Games!
First day of Olympic competition - July 23rd
First day of Paralympic competition - August 25th (the day my daughter competes!)
Happy watching!

1 comment:

  1. This is an awesome set of books—and very timely too for the Paralympics and Olympics! The Floating Field sounds like an interesting read, and I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on Amazing Athletes. Lucas at the Paralympics sounds like a great story as well! I am so excited for your daughter about her competing in the Paralympics! Thanks so much for the great post!