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“Amazing Moments” is a hit for sports fans in the family

The Bookworm

“A is for Amazing Moments” by Brad Herzog, illustrated by Melanie Rose, c.2008, Sleeping Bear Press, $17.95, 40 pages.

So, Sport – what’s your favorite sport?

Are you a nut for a net or goofy for golf? Do you go bats for baseball? Bonkers over biking? Passionate for the pommel horse?

Are you a basket-case for basketball, totally sunk over swimming, screwy over soccer, or do touchdowns tickle you?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you need a copy of “A is for Amazing Moments: A Sports Alphabet” by Brad Herzog, illustrated by Melanie Rose.

Ever since you were a really little kid, you’ve loved your favorite team or athlete. You don’t miss a minute of any game they play. You’ve hung posters in your room. You have team jerseys and the team’s colors are on your notebooks. Someday, you’re going to be a famous athlete, too. But in the meantime, learn more about your favorite sport and others by reading this book.

B is for baseball and basketball, of course, but B is also for Battle of the Sexes. Billie Jean King (a woman) beat Bobby Riggs (a man) in a big tennis match in 1973.

More than 60 years ago, baseball Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson became the first African American major league baseball player. It wasn’t easy being such a first, and his bravery is why C is for Courage.

Long before the last Olympics made swimming history, Gertrude Ederle decided that she wanted to swim 21 miles across the English Channel, a feat no woman had accomplished before. E is for English Channel, but it could also be for endurance.

L is for launch, leap and long jump because, in 1968, Bob Beamon took 19 running steps and jumped feet-first, landing more than 29 feet away. That’s way more than half the length of a school bus!

T is for a solid 10, which is what Nadia Comaneci got at the 1976 Summer Olympics, the first time a perfect score was awarded. Comaneci got the score on the uneven bars in gymnastics.

And if you’re a sports fan, you’ll have another T-word for this book: Terrific!

Is there a future Tiger Woods in your house or maybe a young Michael Jordan? Perhaps you know a kid who’s simply silly for sports. If you do, this is a great book to have around.

While so many alphabet books are meant for babies and toddlers, “A is for Amazing Moments” is a nice surprise because it’s written for older kids. Each letter is assigned to a monumental moment or figure in sports history. Author Brad Herzog includes a short verse and a back-story to accompany illustrator Melanie Rose’s full-color pictures. Best of all, this book includes a huge variety of sports, both amateur and professional.

Although it has a target audience of 6-to-10-year-olds, I think a pint-size sports fan would definitely enjoy paging through this book before the big game. Pick up “A is for Amazing Moments” – and run with it.

The Bookworm is Terri Schlichenmeyer. Terri has been reading since she was 3 years old and never goes anywhere without a book. She lives in West Salem, Wis., with her two dogs and 9,500 books.

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