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Basketball: Sporty Kids    by Felice Arena & Tom Jellett order for
by Felice Arena
Order:  USA  Can
Puffin, 2017 (2017)
*   Reviewed by Jessica Maguire

Sporty Kids: Basketball introduces young readers to Jessica and her teammates. Jessica plays on the Panthers basketball team and she is phenomenal. This young girl attributes her success to her new sneakers, that Jessica believes bring her luck at each game.

Predictably, something happens to Jessica's sneakers, and she has to wear her old shoes. Of course, without the special sneakers she plays horribly, costing her team the game. Jessica moans 'I'm hopeless without my lucky sneakers.'

As they read about Jessica and the Panthers, young readers ages six to eight years old, will learn about the importance of teamwork and believing in oneself. At the end of this chapter book, all of the sporty kids are introduced; Coach Michelle gives tips on dribbling a basketball; and Jessica tells her favorite cheesy basketball jokes.

I find the plot to be predictable and the moral of the story expected. However, a complicated story line is not exactly a great idea for beginning readers. With their disproportionately large heads and odd features (the character's eyes set really far apart, for example) I find the black and white illustrations to be strange, drab, and not aesthetically pleasing at all.

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