Tag Archives: Sports

My Dream Time – Ash Barty

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Harper Collins Australia

November 2022

  • ISBN: 9781460762820
  • ISBN 10: 1460762827
  • Imprint: HarperSports AU
  • List Price: 49.99 AUD

Like many others, I am a huge admirer of Ash -though I am no fan of tennis per se. This vibrant young woman has completely captivated the nation with her unfailing professionalism, humility, grace and low-key humour. She has become a stand-out role model for our young people, not only those who are First Nations but for any kid with dreams and aspirations.

I can tell you that having shared some of the Young Ash stories with little people, that even those youngsters not only know who she is but appreciate her athleticism and her style. Yet also like many others, I think, I have never really considered what went before those stellar wins at Grand Slam tournaments and although we are usually cognisant of the hard work athletes put in to achieve their peak, rarely do we consider the mental and physical toll this can take on a person.

Ash takes this opportunity to share the struggle and the triumphs, to thank her team and her family, and to reflect upon the ups and downs, the tears and frustrations and overcoming adversity in whatever shape it presents. It makes for an engrossing read and one which, certainly from my point of view, convinces me even more of the innate integrity, humanity and gutsy fortitude of this amazing athlete.

Ash traces her journey from little kid in Brisbane who, from an early age, displayed an uncanny ability with a racquet and was actively encouraged and supported by family and friends to the proud woman who won the 2022 Australian Open, then gracefully exited the tennis spotlight. The doubts and bouts of depression, the loneliness of the tour, the teen years that were so very different to that of her mates, the solid and enduring friendships she has made are all here, told in a warm and conversational tone – makes me feel as though I’m sitting down with her chatting over a cold beer almost. She really leaves no stone unturned in that history and,throughout it all, we realise that her success may be the end result of a whole lot of teamwork but the essential personality has always been there.

What a champion she is and will continue to be, whatever is next in store for her – aside that is from parenthood – (wishing her all the very best for the forthcoming jarjum!)

Whether you are a sports fan, a tennis fan, a biography fan or just an admirer as I am, I highly recommend this to you. You certainly won’t regret the time spent enjoying the Ash story.

You Can’t Let an Elephant Drive a Racing Car – Patricia Cleveland-Peck and DavidTazzyman

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Bloomsbury Publishing

August 2022

ISBN9781526635402
ImprintBloomsbury Children’s Books

RRP: $14.99

We all know that kiddos love absurd humour and this book fits that bill to a T. I shared this one with a Prep class who were all pretty much shrieking with laughter all the way through it.

This is a hilarious look at sports, most of which the children will likely be very familiar, but put into the most ridiculous of contexts. Hippos doing high jump, octopuses playing table tennis or warthogs tossing footballs – as you can imagine, disaster lurks at every turn.

In case you’ve missed this rib-tickling series already, do yourself a favour and check them all out – better yet, put them on your orders list!

Also available: You Can’t Let an Elephant on the BusYou Can’t Let an Elephant Drive a DiggerYou Can’t Call an Elephant in an Emergency and You Can’t Take an Elephant on Holiday. Collect them all!

Highly recommended for small humans who love to giggle from around 3 years upwards.

The Colourful World of Poppy Starr Olsen: A novel inspired by the life of the Australian Olympic skateboarder – Poppy Starr Olsen & Jess Black

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Penguin Australia

  • August 2022
  • ISBN: 9780143778837
  • Imprint: Puffin
  • RRP: $16.99

From the opening pages this is just a joyful experience and one that I binged in just two sessions. I’ll be honest here. I didn’t know of Poppy (I don’t watch or follow the Olympics) and I know – well knew – zilch about skateboarding so I didn’t really know what to expect. What I got is a delightful narrative (based on fact, presumably) that revolves around family and friends, following one’s dream, being adventurous, having self-belief and standing up for one’s rights and expectations.

Not only did I thoroughly enjoy Poppy’s story but I really did learn so much – as will readers – and not just via the interspersed facts, but also from the lively descriptions of skating and surfing. Of course, with The Kid now pursuing surfing, it was this connection between the two sports that really grabbed my full attention. Now Grom is the proud owner of a surf-skate carver skateboard and learning to use it is a priority in the agenda! And really it’s pretty fun when your surf coach demonstrates his own skateboard skills (notwithstanding the age he was turning the next day!)

sorry John, and you know you are the coolest guy we know! 😘😍

Poppy lives with her lively and adventurous family in beautiful Bondi and her passion is skateboarding, closely followed by surfing, along with art and craft, family adventures and hanging out with friends. She loves to skate and while she has entered competitions, they have been more about a fun one-off rather than serious events. But when her local skatepark is about to host an awesome comp, Poppy knows she wants to definitely be part of it and give it her best shot. Except it looks like she’s not allowed to compete! Feisty young Poppy is not going to let discrimination stand in her way and just as she wins that battle, another one looms when a local councillor tries to thwart the competition taking place.

It is totally engaging and exciting and the proof of that is that I did a first chapter read-aloud with my Year 6 relief class last week and even the ‘difficult’ boys were totally absorbed!!! WINNING!

I guarantee you will have just as much success promoting to your readers – from middle school right up to year 7 and as much fun doing so!

Highly recommended for kiddos from around ten years on.

Just watch this winning performance!

Super Sporty Girls

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9781760896058

Penguin Australia

April 2020

  • ISBN: 9781760896058
  • Imprint: Puffin
  • RRP: $24.99

At long last it seems our female sporting stars are getting some recognition. Women’s team sports are being televised and of course, our brilliant Ash Barty has done and is doing so much to raise the profile of successful sporting women.

So this book is particularly timely to encourage the Mighty Girls in your readership to focus on their preferred sport – whether as an enthusiastic amateur, potential professional or simply for general health and fitness.

Eighteen individuals and teams feature in spreads which face text offering a provocation to the reader as to what sport they might like to try out encompassing a wide variety of possibilities such as soccer, running, BMX, horse riding, sailing, tennis, surfing, golf (yayy!) and more. In short, something to suit every young girl who may be wondering what sport would suit them most.

Whether you already have some girls keen on their physical activity or you are planning to encourage them to have a go, or perhaps you are  undertaking an inquiry into inspirational Australians, this is going to be a definite for  your collection.

Highly recommended for readers from around 8 years upwards.

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Supertato Run, Veggies, Run! – Sue Hendra & Paul Linnet

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Simon & Schuster

May 2017

ISBN 781471121036

RRP $14.99

Supertato just makes me laugh so much every time! With the corny veggie puns (see what I did there?) and the crazy antics of the produce section at night, these are sure-fire winners with younger readers. The big bold illustrations also help create the right atmosphere of fun!

As Supertato encourages the other vegetables to be fit – you know, healthy vegetables, right? – he comes up with the brilliant plan of a Sports Day.

Of course Evil Pea (and given that I detest peas I’m so glad he’s the wicked one) has plans to sabotage the race day and enters his friend Gloria, seemingly a watermelon but really a robotmelon!

Just as Evil Pea is convinced he’s won the day with Gloria scooping all the prizes, Supertato announces the final event – the swimming race. Crackle! Zap! And that’s the end of Gloria’s winning streak.  Naturally Supertato makes sure Evil Pea is suitably punished and returns him to the freezer in no uncertain terms.

These are always so humorous and ideal for read-alouds. Highly recommended for little readers from around 5 upwards or just to have a giggle as a bigger person!