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THE FASTEST GAME ON TWO FEET by Alice Low

THE FASTEST GAME ON TWO FEET

And Other Poems About How Sports Began

by Alice Low, illustrated by John O’Brien

Age Range: 6 - 10

Pub Date: Sept. 15th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-8234-1905-0
Publisher: Holiday House

Need a clever book on sports to entice boys—and one of poetry, at that? These 19 poems, each for a different sport, score a goal. Under the title, a short paragraph establishes a context for the origin of the sport. “RUNNING: They Ran for Their Lives” posits that running began as a form of survival and self-defense; the fine line drawings humorously depict a wooly mammoth chasing cave people across the spread to a finish line. From soccer to surfing, the poems are tightly phrased and put a spin on the historical information of how the sport has evolved. O’Brien’s signature style of dappled watercolors-over-ink comically underscores the theme that sports are fun. “Sing a song of Frisbie, / A pie plate in the sky. / Hungry college students / Purchased a pie. / When the pie was eaten / One hurled the plate away. / Another caught it, wasn’t that / A super game to play?” Informative and entertaining, this is an all-around winner. One nit: The font of the explanatory paragraph is quite small. (author’s note, other anecdotes, timeline) (Poetry/informational picture book. 6-10)