Friday, October 28, 2011

Giveaway & Review: Little Sports Series from Sleeping Bear Press

Why do some kids (and their favorite adults) love various sports and others not so much? Part of it has to do with exposure. Many kids grow up with an ingrained love of certain sports passed down generation after generation. Same goes when choosing favorite sports teams. My kids root for the Packers, the Brewers, and the Badgers, as does our entire extended family.

With exposure comes familiarity. If a kid is familiar with a sport, he or she will also likely feel more confident participating. I started playing t-ball when I was around six years old. I went on to enjoy athletics in school and played on many different team sports throughout my school career. While I don't participate in any organized sports now, I do enjoy watching and sharing my love of sports with my family.

Sleeping Bear Press has published a series of board books that focus on the basics of several different types of sports. The Little Sports Series books turn learning about the various sports into a guessing game for young kids. All the books feature the same design. Each book consists of ten rhyming riddles with picture teasers, one per page. After listening to a rhyming riddle and viewing the corresponding picture teaser, kids use the clues to guess each fundamental of the game.

Little Baseball (Little Sports) by Brad Herzog, illustrated by Doug Bowles. Sleeping Bear Press (February 2011); ISBN 9781585365470; board book

Sample riddle: "Hit the ball? / You surely could / with a mighty swing / of this piece of wood."

Baseball terms covered: Bat, Pitcher, Home Plate, Baseball, Umpire, Baseball Glove, Scoreboard, Hot Dog, Baseball Cap, Bench

Little Football (Little Sports) by Brad Herzog, illustrated by Doug Bowles. Sleeping Bear Press (February 2011); ISBN 9781585365463; board book

Sample riddle: "It's full of air / and mostly brown, but in this sport / it isn't round."

Football terms covered: Football, Helmet, Goalpost, Shoulder Pads, Referee, Jersey, Cheerleaders, Whistle, Scoreboard, Quarterback

Little Basketball (Little Sports) by Brad Herzog, illustrated by Doug Bowles. Sleeping Bear Press (September 2011); ISBN 9781585361816; board book

Sample riddle: "This is what / you pass and shoot. / It's round and orange / but not a fruit."

Basketball terms covered: Basketball, Jersey, Net, Court, Whistle, Shorts, Shoes, Backboard, Bench, Mascot

Little Soccer (Little Sports) by Brad Herzog, illustrated by Doug Bowles. Sleeping Bear Press (September 2011); ISBN 9781585361977; board book

Sample riddle: "It rolls and bounces, / flies through the air. / Players chase it / from here to there."

Soccer terms covered: Soccer Ball, Whistle, Net, Cleats, Goaltender, Teammates, Foot, Shin Guards, Jersey, Coach

The Little Series board books probably are not the best choice for babies but are most suitable for toddlers, preschoolers and quite possibly early elementary students. In fact, answering the riddles requires problem solving and logical thinking skills. All kids will enjoy the challenge.

The bright, zoomed-in, partial illustrations that accompany each riddle offer essential clues for helping the youngest readers solve the riddles. When you turn the page for the answer, the illustration shows the element of the game in its entirety. Some of the riddles, like the one introducing a soccer ball aren't specific enough to be solved without the help of the illustration or knowledge of the book title. Additionally, both my kids pointed out that some of the elements featured like the whistle, bench and jersey, are not sport specific and appear in multiple books. Of course, this is not something you would notice if you were reading only one of the books alone.

Even with the picture clues, my 3yo son has a hard time solving some of the riddles because he just doesn't have the vocabulary and background knowledge necessary to correctly identify, for example, an umpire or referee. My daughter likes to help him solve the riddles and sometimes even she stumbles. But, as in sports, practice makes perfect. After a few rereads, the books have enlarged both my kids' sports vocabulary. Now, when we sit down to watch a football or baseball game together they both can point out the scoreboard as well as home plate or a goalpost, as well as many other aspects of the game!

Other titles in the Little Series from Sleeping Bear Press (publication date in parenthesis):
Little America (July 2011) ---------------- Little Arizona (January 2012)
Little California (March 2011) ----------- Little Canada (March 2012)
Little Colorado (April 2011) -------------- Little Florida (May 2010)
Little Illinois (May 2011) ----------------- Little Louisiana (July 2011)
Little Maine (February 2010) ------------ Little Michigan (February 2010)
Little Minnesota (December 2011) ------ Little New Jersey (August 2012)
Little New York (February 2010) -------- Little North Carolina (July 2011)
Little Ohio (January 2011) --------------- Little Pennsylvania (April 2010)
Little South Carolina (January 2011) --- Little Texas (July 2010)
Little Wyoming (June 2010)

Story Extension - Pennant Flag Craft

This week my son and I worked on making our own sports pennant flags. I posted a homemade sports pennant tutorial yesterday. Instead of using paints, my son used markers to decorate his flag.

Shibley Smiles
A Mommy's Adventures hosts the "stART" meme (Story + Art) each week. Add your kids craft post to the Kid's Get Crafty linky at Red Ted Art's Blog. Writing a post about play? Join the It's Playtime party! Find more great book tie-ins at JDaniel4's Mom Read, Explore, Learn link-up. Browse more book posts at Little Sprout Books' Feed Me Books Friday.

Want to solve a few riddles? Sleeping Bear Press has kindly offered to give away a choice of a Little Sports series book to two (2) different Brimful Curiosities readers.

For a chance to win, leave a comment relative to this post or answer the following question: Which Little Sports book would you choose if you won?
• For contact purposes, if you are a non-blogger or your email is not accessible in your blog profile, please leave a valid email address within the comment section.
• Contest is open to US only
• Contest ends on Monday, November 14th, 2011 at 11:59 PM CST.
• Winner will be chosen at random and sent an email notification.
Three ways to gain extra entries (Maximum total entries is 4; please leave a separate comment for each entry):
1st extra entry: Blog about this contest then post your link in the comment section.
2nd extra entry: Follow me on twitter (iambrimful) and tweet about the contest.
3rd extra entry: Follow Me! or subscribe by email or RSS reader

I am an Amazon affiliate and may receive a very small commission for products purchased through my Amazon links. (View my full disclosure statement for more information about my reviews.)


MaryAnne said...

I think I would choose Little Basketball. It's a sport my kids are interested in, and since they're all tall they might even be pretty good at once they're a little older...

Teacher said...

We have the Little Ohio book. My son at age 2 1/2 knows the responses to the riddles after many readings, but still enjoys responding. I wish they had a Little Hockey book though! We take the Sleeping Bear Press Z is for Zamboni with us to hockey games to read at intermission time. I follow you, would love to be entered. Thanks.

lag123 said...

I would choose Little Baseball. My grandson loves baseball!

lag110 at mchsi dot com

freddie said...

I follow you on Twitter and tweeted giveaway.!/flipper211/status/130390661752033280

Jen said...

Oh, cute! I think I'd choose Little Baseball. Little man attended his first game this past summer. Basebawl, basebawl......

Anonymous said...

The little pennants turned out nice.
I would choose the football book to give to my 1 year old nephew.
lisa.otis6 at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

gfc follower as Lisa Otis.
lisa.otis6 at gmail dot com

Terra Heck said...

Cute books. I'd choose Little Football. The sports pennants turned out nicely. Thanks.

Staci A said...

These sound like fun books! We would love Little Soccer!
mommastaci33 at yahoo dot com

Megan Earley said...

I'd choose Little Football because my husband is such a big football fan and wants our daughter to be a fan.
mearley1979 at gmail dot com

Kathy said...

Little Baseball. My son played baseball and this would be great for his grandson

Anonymous said...

I'd choose the little football book.

Desiree Dunbar

Linda said...

I would choose the Little Football book, my grandson loves football.

Jodi Kershuk said...

I would chose little football.
kershuk at comcast dot net

Jodi Kershuk said...

I'm following you on twitter @agitatedmama and tweeted!/AgitatedMama/status/135830532113182720
kershuk at comcast dot net

Jodi Kershuk said...

I subscribe via email
kershuk at comcast dot net

McKim said...

I would choose the Little Baseball book for my little grandson.

Anonymous said...

My little one would love the "Little Soccer" book. Thanks for the giveaway

Shannon_Herrington at frugalslhf@hotmail dot com

Anonymous said...

"Little Baseball" is my book of choice!