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Sunday, December 8, 2013

THE SPORTS BOOK: the games, the rules, the tactics, the techniques. DK, Tourmaline Editions. 2013. $35.00 all ages

"Also known as Ping-Pong, table tennis is a fast-moving and physically demanding racket game. Players play as individuals or in pairs, and win points by hitting a lightweight ball over a net so that their opponents either cannot return it or are forced into an error. Most matches are short and sharp, and the rules have ways of dealing with games that go on too long."

Ah, now that description brings back memories from my youth...and my exceptionally talented brother who played a mean game of Ping-Pong. And I MEAN it! He only had to whip it past me a few times so fast that I could barely see it before I slammed down the racket and departed. No competitor was I! The referees would have dealt with my gently lobbing means of playing very quickly.

No matter which book I receive from Chris at Tourmaline Editions, I am always impressed by the knowledge I garner while poring over their books from DK Publishing. The editors there do an exemplary job of compiling information that is sure to interest a wide audience.

In this book, which is sure to appeal to anyone interested in ANY sport, they begin with an inviting introduction:

"There are more than 200 sports in this book - team sports, racket sports, combat sports, water sports, winter sports, target sports, sports on wheels, motor sports, animal sports, extreme sports - and more than enough information to make you an instant expert on almost any competition you're likely to encounter."

And, they are right!

I like that it begins with the Olympics, since it won't be long until we are watching from afar as our national athletes compete on the world's stage. From Athens to Paris, from St. Louis to London and up to Sochi in 2014 and Rio in  2016, each of the venues is included, accompanied by a brief description, sporting highlights and a star profile. The Paralympics are here and the text offers highlights as well as criteria, adaptations and some of the stars of the Paralympic Games.

Then, we move right on to the sports themselves. Each double page spread offers an overview, stats, information boxes, captioned and clear illustrations to help readers understand what they need to know about the sport being described.

As is true with the multitude of brilliant nonfiction books that DK produces, this is a book that holds appeal for so many, of all ages. You are sure to know someone who would delighted to find it under the Christmas tree!

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