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Book cover of "A" Is for Axel: An Ice Skating Alphabet

"A" Is for Axel: An Ice Skating Alphabet

by Kurt Browning, Melanie Rose

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press
Pages: 40
ISBN: 9781585362806

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Children's Literature

Winter Olympics or no winter Olympics, some children are drawn to that glistening, icy surface and just love to ice skate! For those who would like to learn a little more about this exhilarating sport, this alphabet book can satisfy such curiosity. A short poem and a beautiful oil painting illustration pertaining to a specific topic highlight each letter of the alphabet. In-depth technical definitions and explanations, historical tie-ins, and other fun facts follow. The letter "I", for example, discusses how the quality of the ice can make even the most exceptional skater suffer problems. The letter "Z" gives the ever-popular Zamboni (which was invented in 1949) the spotlight, emphasizing the crucial role it plays in resurfacing the ice. Completely enjoyable as a picture book for youngsters as well as serving as an informative resource book for older kids, this book is a winner. The author is a four-time ice skating world champion and is in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the first person to complete a quadruple jump in competition. Highly recommended. 2006, Sleeping Bear Press, Ages 4 to 10.
—Cindy L. Carolan

School Library Journal

Gr 2-4-The popular and successful Canadian figure skater gives readers a great deal of information about skating technique and equipment. As an alphabet book, it works reasonably well with the exception of a few weak word choices (e.g., "N is for Needs more practice...And Never give up-." and "Y is for You." There's a typo for the letter "Q": "The rink becomes a blur,/your spinning now don't quit." The colorful, realistic oil paintings are the book's best feature. The reading level varies as this is almost two books in one. The rhyming text giving the alphabet is appropriate for K-3 level, while the majority of the text in the sidebars is about a grade three and up reading level in rather small type. Add this to your collection as an "extra" purchase for your skating fans, not as a first choice. Or you may prefer Naia Bray-Moffatt's Ice Skating School (DK, 2004) or Debbi Wilkes's The Figure Skating Book (Firefly, 2000).-Kate Kohlbeck, Randall School, Waukesha, WI Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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