Day By Day With... Book Reviews

view titles

Booklist, January 2014

On Gabby Douglas

Well-reproduced color photos become the high point of this series entry on U.S. Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas. The accompanying large-font narrative is brief and simple: "Gabby and the United States team did great! Gabby won a gold medal." Gabby’s love of and devotion to her sport, along with how her skills brought her to the apex of athletic recognition and what she plans to do in the aftermath, are reported without much detail. However, her family's strength, her development under her coach, and the bond shared by the U.S. Olympic team come across clearly and satisfyingly in the candid and formal shots included on every page. Although there is a significant emphasis on the amount of work involved in becoming an Olympic gymnast, there is little in the way of day-to-day information about a gymnast's life. But, nonetheless, young gymnastics enthusiasts may find Gabby's open and smiling demeanor on these pages satisfying enough to explore the sites and books noted in the bibliography.

Booklist, June 1, 2012

On Eli Manning

This entry in the Day by Day With series introduces New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, though it is more a compilation of factoids than a true biography. Still, kids who may have the interest but not the reading skills will find this happily within their reach. The colorful, design-heavy book places the text on photos capturing things like New Orleans (Manning’s hometown) or a close-up of football players on the field. The book traces Eli’s early life as one of three sons of an NFL quarterback, through his days in high school and college, at the NFL draft, and onto the professional field. There are also pictures of him at his wedding and working with his charity. Some of the wording is a bit odd. For instance, that baby daughter Ava “may someday follow in her own dad’s footsteps in some way” needs more explanation, even within the short text. The appended list of books and websites is particularly good for keeping things current.