Before basketball star Michael Jordan's name was uttered reverently in households all over the planet, young Michael was just a shrimpy kid trying to play ball with the big boys in the neighborhood. Tired of being teased by the biggest boy on the court, Michael is convinced the only solution is to grow taller. His mama smilingly suggests putting salt in his shoes and saying a prayer every night. His daddy tells young Michael that "Being taller may help you play a little better, but not as much as practice, determination, and giving your best will. Those are the things that make you a real winner." And so they are. At 6-foot-6, Michael may not have grown up to be the tallest player on the court, but he sure did turn out to be one of the best!
As his mother and his sister, Deloris Jordan and Rosalyn Jordan are in a pretty good position to tell us all about what made Michael a star. They create an image of a cozy, loving family life any child would be happy to come home to. Award-winning illustrator Kadir Nelson's oil pictures of the gangly little Michael with hyperlong arms and oversized hands capture the preteen potential as well as his gawky grace. This warm, uplifting story will encourage young readers to chase their dreams with hard work and faith. (Ages 5 to 9) --Emilie Coulter
--This text refers to the
From Publishers Weekly
Michael Jordan's mother and sister team up for an inspirational story about this athlete's earliest on-court efforts. Nelson (Big Jabe) is also a strong player here; he contributes animated art, rendered in a cartoon style that is informal yet polished. In the opening scenario, a bully intimidates young Jordan during a basketball game at a neighborhood park, causing him to flub a pass. Michael tells his older brothers, "I am really sorry, guys. If I were taller that wouldn't have happened." When he asks his mother what will make him grow, she advises him to put salt in his shoes and say a prayer every night. Though he obligesDand continues to practice shooting baskets at homeDhis efforts don't immediately pay off. One day, his father convinces him that, rather than being tall, "practice, determination, and giving your best" are the keys to being "a real winner," and Michael runs off to join his brothers in the park, where he makes the game's winning shot. Though the book ends with a rather facile slam-dunk, the authors offer authoritative insight into this six-foot-six-inch-tall hoopster's boyhood spunk as well as reassurance to young athletes impatient for a growth spurt. Nelson handily balances in-your-face on-court action with more reflective portraits of the player's inner growth. All ages. (Nov.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to the