Sports Are Fantastic Fun!

Sports Are Fantastic Fun! tr. from German by Monika Smith. illus. by Ole Könnecke. 56p. Gecko Pr. Sept. 2018. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781776572014.
PreS-Gr 1—Mix the bustling, anthropomorphic style of Richard Scarry with Disney's "Goofy World of Sports" and you'll get this exuberant picture book. Showcasing sports from all around the globe, Könnecke provides brief snapshots of different games with silly animals performing their hearts out in pursuit of "fantastic fun!" Though the text itself is quite small on the page and not particularly heavy on facts, it still conveys the basics of each sport without sacrificing opportunities for humor. Silly asides during activities like boxing ("Have you ever considered how lucky you are not to be a punching bag?" ) and fishing ("Anglers like to be photographed with their catch. But if there's nobody to take a photo, it doesn't matter. They will still tell you how big their fish was.") will delight adult readers while the many details in the pen-and-watercolor illustrations will give young listeners plenty to pore over. Ample white space frames and separates segments, allowing each spread to be enjoyed slowly and making this delightful read best for one-on-one sharing. While it won't make readers an expert on any specific sport, it'll certainly merit repeat readings, making it a real winner.
VERDICT This book is fantastic fun and a strong addition to any nonfiction collection.

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