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Good Sports: Rhymes about Running, Jumping, Throwing, and More    by Jack Prelutsky & Chris Raschka order for
Good Sports
by Jack Prelutsky
Order:  USA  Can
Knopf, 2007 (2007)
* *   Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke

Jack Prelutsky teams up with illustrator Chris Raschka in Good Sports, filling the pages with action in a collection of seventeen poems, accompanied by swirls of bright pen-and-ink watermark colors. Kids show the energy and humor involved in running, jumping, and throwing, in varied sporting activities.

In a game of softball a youngster shares one of life's embarrassing moments, 'I had to slide into the plate ... Though if I hadn't slid, then I / Would not have lost my pants'. A Karate Kid shares moments in training, 'I chop chop chop ... break a brick with one quick kick - Karate ... that's the sport for me!' A voice makes itself heard from the 'middle of the pack' in a long-distance run: 'It's time to make my move ... And get in the groove.'. Here's a different scenario in a short-distance meet: 'And hear the gun ... And run run run ... And out of breath ... Who won? Who won?'

Although the rhymes in Good Sports come up a dollop short, their value lies in teaching the enjoyment of physical activity - a child's daydreams of the future as she swims 'like an orca', the anticipation in the eyes of a boy swinging a baseball bat, the spirit of winning and losing, and satisfaction from the joy of participation. Jack Prelutsky, who has written more than forty books of verse, was named the first Children's Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation in 2006. Chris Raschka is the 2006 Caldecott Medal winner for The Hello, Goodbye Window (text by Norton Juster).

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