Rating: 1-5: (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 3
Genre: Non-fiction, Sports
What did you like about the book? More poster than book, there are eight laminated panels just under two feet high that extend ten feet long when unfolded. Entries are amazing, amusing, and sometimes gruesome. For instance, in 500 BC, “Olympic superstar Milo of Kroton tries to pull apart a tree trunk, gets stuck, and is eaten by wolves.” The artwork is congested. However, the interesting factoids and some of the gorier images (there are three headless bodies along the bottom of the first set of panels alone!) work well to hook readers. Although it is impossible to include every single sport from the Ancient Olympics to present day, Lloyd does a respectable job of coverage. There did appear to be a Euro-centric focus, with well-developed sections on cricket, polo, tennis, rounders, and soccer. America sports enthusiasts will likely be looking for more baseball, basketball, hockey and lacrosse than what is presented.
Anything you didn’t like about it? No.
To whom would you recommend this book? This might appeal to sports-obsessed readers from about fourth to eighth grade and to physical education teachers in upper elementary or middle school.
Readalikes: The swarms of small figures reminded me of Where’s Waldo, except that here each figure conveys information about a milestone in a sport’s history.
Who should buy this book? It would be tough for a library to circulate this. Despite the lamination, it is not super sturdy. It would function best unfolded and displayed on a wall.
Where would you shelve it? I wouldn’t shelve it – I would display it. But, if I was going to put it in the circulating collection, I’d lay it flat on a shelf for oversized books near general sports in 796.
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No.
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Mary Melaugh, Marshall Middle School Library, Billerica, MA
Date of review: 2/7/17