Review Detail

Kids Fiction 1640
Basketball and Life Lessons
Overall rating
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Little Shaq is not at all excited about the upcoming school art fair because he doesn't feel that he is good at anything artistic. His cousin Barry doesn't help, but his friend Rosa suggests that he try lots of things before giving up. It's not just art that makes Shaq frustrated-- he is also leery of trying new foods like sushi as well. Once he tries several forms of art, and is frustrated by each one of them, he finally tries sculpting. He likes it, and is able to complete his project in time for the art show. He also decides to stop being stubborn and to try sushi as well.
Good Points
This is a short book (64 pages) that is set up like an I Can Read book. There are no more than about five sentences on each page, and the illustrations by Theodore Taylor III are plentiful. These are two crucial elements for readers who are either beginning to read or are struggling with it. These readers like to be able to turn pages quickly and finish books, and the pictures provide clues to the content.

While the reluctance to try something new is a topic that will resonate best with younger readers, the bright covers have cartoon style pictures that make them look solidly middle grade. Older readers can carry them around without being embarrassed.

I wish that there were a little more basketball in this story, but young readers of any age interested in basketball will find Shaq's story of trying new things to be amusing as well as informative.
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