What are the Winter Olympics? by Gail Herman, illustrated by Jake Murray

What are the Winter Olympics? by Gail Herman, illustrated by Jake Murray. Penguin Workshop, 2021. 9780593093764 

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Format: Paperback

What did you like about the book? Another in the What Are series that is sure to entertain readers as the Winter Olympics approach.  This overview of the history of the Winter Olympics begins with their inception in 1924. Fans of the sporting event will enjoy the year by year overview centered mostly on American athletes, but including athletes from around the world as well as their impact on the growth of this event.  The influence of world and cultural events on the games are also noted.  Simple black and white illustrations add depth to the stories. Black and white photos in the center of the book are informative and engaging. Backmatter such as timelines, websites and bibliography are a welcomed addition and will help readers who wish to do further research on this subject.

Anything you didn’t like about it? Personal views of athletes are noted yet no quotes are used, giving the impression that these are the author’s interpretation of what the athlete could have felt. This may be confusing for young readers. 

To whom would you recommend this book? Readers, in grades 3 to 7, who enjoy reading about the history of the Olympics or enjoyed other What Are titles would like this title.  

Who should buy this book? This would be a good purchase for elementary schools or public libraries that cannot get enough books on the history of the WInter Olympics.

Where would you shelve it? 796.98

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? I feel that this title would reside near the middle of the “to read” pile.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Elena Schuck, Nathaniel H. Wixon School Library, Dennis, Massachusetts

Date of review: January 23, 2022

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