________________ CM . . . . Volume XX Number 9. . . .November 1, 2013


Crazy About Basketball.

Loris Lesynski. Illustrated by Gerry Rasmussen.
Toronto, ON: Annick Press, 2013.
32 pp., pbk. & hc., $12.95 (pbk.), $22.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-55451-540-0 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-55451-541-7 (hc.).

Subject Heading:
Basketball-Juvenile poetry.

Grades 3-5 / Ages 8-10.

Review by Sherry Faller.

**** /4



Born to Play Basketball

Your feet just lumps of muscle,
     your arms just sacks of skin,
your eyeballs wobbly jelly blobs
     until the game begins.
Then something brilliant happens-
     all your parts (and in between)
connect and shoot together!
     You’re a basketball machine!


Author of Boy Soup, Cabbagehead, Dirty Dog Boogy and more, Loris Lesynski, one of Canadian children’s favourite poets, has created a side-splitting, rhythm-catching book containing 32 poems about basketball. She has also written Crazy About Soccer!, mixing the love of sports with fun reading. What a great way to get jocks to read!

     Funny poems, from “The Ball’s Point of View” to “Too Many Trophies”, cover all the aspects of the game. Did you know the game of basketball was originally invented by a Canadian teacher? Dr. James Naismith hung peach baskets from the wall and taught his students how to play. Yes – there is even a poem about the historic development of the game, the changes in equipment, and also the uniforms that have been worn through the ages.

     One poem tells how basketball is played around the world, calling it Baloncesto in Spanish, Basketbol in Turkish, and Koszykówa in Polish. Another poem scores a lesson on library shelf Dewey Decimal call numbers when it tells the reader that other sports books can be found at 796. All the poems have great rhythm, sometimes like the bouncing of the ball – buh-BOMP, buh – BOMP, buh – BOMP. The sounds of the game, the cheers of the crowd, the exciting (and also the defeated) emotions are all incorporated to make this book come alive.

     The colourful, cartoon-like illustrations range in size from full double-page to small drawings scattered on the page. And always, they convey the frenzied action of the sport. The delightful facial expressions and athletes’ energetic body contortions are true to the game. It is as though the drawings are moving – and fast!

     It is impossible to calmly read this book! It will make you want to get up and dribble a ball up the court. Even if you don’t play basketball, the rhythms and chants, emotions and colourful illustrations will win you over to the game. Hopefully Lesynski will continue to play with words and sports to create even more wonderful poems about many other sports. This book is highly recommended for young girls and boys. (Adults will love it, too.)

Highly Recommended.

Sherry Faller is a retired teacher-librarian in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.