From School Library Journal
Grade 1–4—A champion at the 2008 Beijing Olympics explains the training schedule that allowed him to accomplish the first-of-its-kind feat of winning eight Olympic gold medals. Comparisons are made that put miles swum, naps taken, calories eaten, weights lifted, etc., into a context that youngsters might more easily understand. For example, his six years of training (from 1998 to 2003) are described as "a kindergartner's whole life!" or "the same as 42 dog years!" Digitally rendered artwork humorously depicts the action, making the book visually appealing. The author states, "I got so strong from training that my legs could press 300 pounds 60 times in one workout. That's 18,000 pounds total, or nine tons! I could leg-press a Tyrannosaurus Rex and 10 velociraptors!" The illustration shows the smaller dinosaurs piled atop a T. rex on a platform while Phelps lifts them all with a leg-press machine. (However, the picture doesn't explain that he couldn't really lift that amount of weight all at once.) Providing an overview of an Olympian's rigorous preparations, this picture book may be useful for parents or coaches attempting to inspire children.—Maryann H. Owen, Racine Public Library, WI
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About the Author
is an American swimmer. He holds the record for winning the most gold medals (8) in a single Olympics (2008). He has won 16 Olympic medals, 14 gold and two bronze. He holds seven world records and has over 20 World Championship medals. After returning home from Beijing in 2008, Michael used the well-publicized $1 million dollar Speedo bonus to start the Michael Phelps Foundation through which he hopes to encourage children to lead healthy, active lives, and to continue to grow the sport of swimming. He now resides in Baltimore, MD with his dog Herman.
Ward Jenkins is an illustrator and animator. His first picture book was How to Train with a T-Rex and Win Eight Gold Medals
by Michael Phelps. He lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife and two children.Alan Abrahamson
is an award-winning sportswriter and a recognized authority on the Olympics. In 2006, he left the Los Angeles Times, where he had been a staff writer for 17 years, to write for the NBC suite of online properties, which now includes NBCOlympics.com, NBCSports.com and UniversalSports.com. Since 2003, Alan has also served as a sports and Olympic analyst on NBC's television networks. Among other honors, Alan won the 2002 National Headliner Award for sports writing and was named the Los Angeles Press Club's 2004 sports journalist of the year. Alan and his wife, Laura, and their three children live in Southern California.