The Olympics in Rio are well underway. The events are fun and exciting to watch and the effect is often a good one for kids. They become more active and their interest in sport’s related books takes off. National Geographic Kids has two great ones to keep the budding superstar busy.
The first is WEIRD BUT TRUE! SPORTS. Here’s the official run-down from AMAZON:
Did you know that the average NFL team produces some 5,500 pounds of laundry per WEEK, or that a table tennis ball broke the sound barrier, or the Olympic torch has been to space? Weird But True Sports, the newest installment in the wildly popular Weird But True series, contains 300 wacky sports stats, facts and stories — all coupled with big, bright, bold photos and graphics. From a national marbles tournament to the record for the most dogs on a surfboard, Weird But True Sports not only reveals the craziest info about football, baseball, hockey and soccer, but also delves into the more obscure sporting events out there (like the Rabbit Grand National in North Yorkshire England!). WBT Sports is also a bit of a cultural trip, as it features sporting events from around the world like the Asian sport of Sepaktakraw, the Japanese sport of Bo-taoshi and the Indian game of Kabaddi. The book is also packed with lots of fun Olympics trivia as well — like the fact that olympic gold medals aren’t actually made of gold — they are mostly silver!
I read this in between breaks watching the opening ceremonies of the Summer Olympics. I smiled (the record for the number of dogs on a surfboard is 17, and yes there is a picture), shook my head (there’s an annual race in North Carolina where participants run 2.5 miles, eat a dozen donuts, and race back to where they started), and my jaw dropped several times at many of the weird facts (A study found that a 3-hour baseball game involves an average of just 18 minutes of actual play time).
All 300 facts can be read in order or start with the handy Factfinder Index to point yourself to your favorite sport. Entertaining and hard to put down this would be great on car trips. Teachers beware : the kid who is suddenly engrossed in his or her math book might have a copy of WEIRD BU T TRUE tucked inside!
The companion offering, EVERYTHING SPORTS by Eric Zweig is a full size book filled with facts and splashy, colorful photos that put you smack in the middle of the action. Many span two full pages. There are four chapter categories to organize the action: SPECTACULAR SPORTS; DRIBBLE, DRIVE, HUSTLE; A WORLD OF SPORTS; and SPORTS FUN. In the back is an interactive glossary with a test to check on your sports smarts, where to find out more, and an alphabetical index.
Here’s the official word: Perfect for reluctant readers and featuring Olympics-specific spreads, this book has it all. From archery to zip lining this book covers EVERYTHING about the world’s most popular, most obscure and most grueling team and individual sports. Dozens of athletics pursuits are profiled and the book covers sports history, rules and regs, and training, and and a Hall of Fame that profiles the giants in downhill skiing, hockey, gymnastics, football and more. There is even a quiz kids can take to see if they’d make a good ref. Packed with big, bold pictures and graphics and featuring a diverse array of athletes (men and women of all races, young and old,) Everything Sports not only includes the most popular sports such as baseball, basketball, football, soccer, tennis, but also features the more extreme and quirkier sports like parkour, wakeboarding, fencing, curling, and table tennis.
Once the Olympic closing ceremonies take place there will be no need for withdrawal. Just pick up both these fun and memorable titles. A springboard for your own Olympic size dreams.
Only 11 days until my anniversary celebration giveaway. It’s the biggest one yet. Many of these summer National Geographic Kids books are included. Time to go… I need to get back to watching the Rio Summer Olympics.