Did you know that basketball was invented by a Canadian?
Despite Canada’s lack of NBA teams (though we do have the Toronto Raptors), it is still a game many people in Canada enjoy…which brings me to today’s book review: B is for Basketball: An Alphabet Book.
Published by McKellar and Martin (2010), B is for Basketball is a collaboration with the students and teachers of school district No. 50 (Haida Gwaii) with illustrations by Judy Hilgemann.
From the jacketflap: “Basketball has been an integral part of life in northern British Columbia’s aboriginal communities for generations, culminating each year with the All Native Basketball Tournament in Prince Rupert, B.C. We believe children need books that reflect the world they see around them. After discovery that there were no books on Aboriginal basketball for young children, we decided to create one. Hidden within its pages are may more stories to be told.”
Why I like it:
1) While this is an alphabet book, it also succeeds in painting a picture of the All Native Basketball Tournament. Now in its 53rd year, this is a significant cultural event in B.C. and I found it gave a nice window into a part of their culture that I was largely unaware of.
2)More than one word is used to highlight the various letters of the alphabet. For Aa: “Aunties from Alaska arrive at the All Native Tournament”. Additionally, for each letter, there is a list of other words that are in the illustration. My son liked trying to find them all, and some of them were kind of tricky!
3) The detailed watercolour illustrations by Judy Hilgemann give depth and invite the reader to share in the experience of the basketball tournament . Each page also has a smaller illustration of something (bentwood box, abalone shell) which can be found in the Haida Gwaii and are important both to the community and environment as well. To learn more about Haida Gwaii, go to http://www.gohaidagwaii.ca
With a foreward by award winning artist Robert Davidson, B is for Basketball is definitely a great little book to teach the alphabet and aboriginal culture as well!
——>*Giveaway* For a chance to win a copy of this book, leave a comment below on who you would share this book with. Unfortunately (or fortunately for some) this is only open to Canadian residents. Winner to be drawn at random April 18th.