Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Eyewitness: Sports

Eyewitness: Sports

Tim Hammond
Nonfiction  Series
For ages 8 and up
DK, 2005   ISBN: 978-0756613907

For hundreds of years, sporting activities of various kinds have played a special role in human societies. In some cases, people have used a sporting event as a means to bring people together peacefully. In others, sporting events have become much loved gatherings that spectators look forward to watching with anticipation. In this book the author looks at a few of the sports that are popular today. Some of the sports featured are team events, like soccer, baseball, and ice hockey. Others, like tennis, involve smaller numbers of people. Fencing is a sport that involves two people who are competing against each other.

The author begins by telling us about soccer, a game that is “the most popular sport in the world and is played and enjoyed by millions.” We learn that the basic premise of the game has very ancient roots, and versions of soccer have been played around the world for centuries. In addition, we learn the key rules, what the field of play looks like, and how soccer shoes and balls have changed over the years.

After telling us about some other team sports, the author goes on to describe various athletic events. There are track events such as running and hurdling, and then there are field events such as javelin, discus, and high jump. Many of the events that we look forward to seeing during the summer Olympics are also here, including gymnastics and boxing.

The narrative concludes by looking at the ‘gentler’ bowling sports, golf, pool, and snooker. At the back of the book, the author provides his readers with some interesting and often bizarre sports facts, and answers some sports-related questions.

In each section in the book there is a short segment of text that is accompanied by numerous annotated photographs and diagrams. Readers will learn the rules of the sports, their histories, what kind of clothing and equipment is used, and much more. The title is structured in such a way that one can dip into the book at will, picking the subjects that interest one most.

This is one in a series of books in the Eyewitness collection.