Recommended for ages 4-8
Sports Illustrated Kids’ Rookie Books series are great for burgeoning sports fans, big or small. Hey, I’m honest: whenever I’ve needed to learn something from the bare bones, I’ve gone to the children’s section. It’s how I learned to crochet more than a basic single stitch, it’s how I’m relearning all the high school Spanish I forgot, and it’s how I learned exactly what goes on during a hockey game.
An illustrated, cartoony “rookie” appears on the endpapers and throughout the book, acting as our guide. through Hockey 101. He gears up in the beginning, putting on all of his protective hockey equipment, and shows up on every spread, offering fun side commentary over the action photos. There are photos of real NHL players from several teams (don’t ask me who they are, please, I just learned what a slap shot is), with comic book word bubbles, big, fun fonts, and simple explanations to give readers a good starting point on understanding and enjoying hockey. Digital numbers add to the sports feel as the book, divided into three “periods” like a hockey game, breaks down what happens during each period.
There are great photos – think Sports Illustrated photography, after all – a glossary of terms, and a friendly introduction to the sport. Other books in the Rookie series include My First Book of Baseball and My First Book of Football. If they ever decide to release a My First Book of Soccer, I can guarantee it will circulate like wildfire in my library!
If you have sports fans in your community, these are a must-have. I’ll be adding a few of these to my shelves, and suggesting that my colleagues, who have field hockey teams in their communities, add My First Book of Hockey to theirs.