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How to Train with a T. Rex and Win 8 Gold Medals Hardcover – June 2, 2009

4.5 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Michael Phelps 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.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; 16093rd edition (June 2, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416986693
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416986690
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #83,339 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book is great! My son is a huge fan of Michael Phelps, and this is a wonderful book that explains how hard Phelps had to work to win 8 gold metals. This book does a fantastic job of presenting math and numbers to kids. Phelps presents the information in a fun and informative way, ensuring kids can relate to the facts, and can see real world applications for math. My son and I met Phelps during his book signing tour back in December, ("No Limits: The Will to Succeed") and the way Phelps treated my son and all the other kids proved that he is an excellent role model and a real American hero. I am pleased that he wrote this children's book, giving fans of all ages the chance to appreciate what a superstar he truly is.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ward Jenkins illustrations in this book are of superior quality. And you learn a little about Michael and Herman too!

How to Train with a T. Rex and Win 8 Gold Medals
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After watching my kid go nuts watching the excitement of Michael Phelps at the Olympics, I quickly looked up stuff on amazon that would spark his interest. I found this book which is PERFECT for a 7 year old boy! The story is pretty good and easy to read aloud, and the pictures are entertaining and colorful. It's just long and short enough to be a great bed time read. It's got a motivating story line and will keep young kids interested long enough to make purchasing worth it. All in all, if you're child is into Olypic Swimming and/or Michael Phelps, they will surely appreciate this book!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Cute book! My daughter (age 8) says it's her favorite book... most likely because Michael Phelps wrote it. She is quite the fan! She is an avid swimmer and has stretch goals to also become an olympic swimmer one day. My husband thought that the book was very "Me" and "I", a trumpeting your own horn type of book, but it is fine for little ones. Although my 8 year like it I think the book is more suited for a younger child 4-5 years old unless they are very interested in swimming. The illustrations are appealing and fun.
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Format: Hardcover
Regardless of whether or not you or your child is a fan of Michael Phelps, this book is a great read for kids! The message is that you can do anything you set your mind to IF you are willing to work for it, and work HARD. This book does a great job of explaining things to kids in a fun way which they can understand, such as that eating 10,000 calories a day is like eating 912 pizzas a year. Furthermore, Phelps explains about the rigorous and demanding training schedule he endured for six years in order to win those medals, and he does it in a way that kids won't find boring. I would agree that Phelps does not come across as being humble in this book, and he does not share credit for earning those eight medals. I wouldn't call it bragging, though. This book isn't about being humble or about the importance of teamwork. If you are a collectivist, this isn't a book you'll enjoy, and it isn't a book you're going to want your children to read. However, if you are an individualist, and you are raising your children to be individualists, then this book does a great job of explaining what it takes to be great. Not everyone has the skill, desire, or perseverance to achieve greatness (and that's okay!). Greatness isn't easy. It's not supposed to be.
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Format: Hardcover
Very. Difficult.

This is a great book that lets a child visualize exactly how difficult it is to train for something big.

It's a simile book -- a true one.

No days off for 6 years. That's a kindergartener's whole life!
10,000 calories a day. That's like eating 912 pizzas per year. That's a half a ton of pizza.

Lots and lots of visual comparisons to show and tell your child what repeated practice toward a goal can add up to. Fascinating book. Michael Phelps has the gold medals to show it, but your child's goal could just as easily be the next piano recital, or entering a photography contest, or earning their first $1000.00

Love it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wish Phelps wouldn't have gotten himself in trouble with the media right after this cute book came out. Ward Jenkins is an excellent illustrator. Really makes the book adorable and readable with the fun pictures!
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By MrsG on November 11, 2015
Format: Hardcover
A very arrogant, egotistical book. No credit to anyone but himself. I agree, it took a lot of discipline and hard work on his part, but I'm sure he didn't do it alone. My 5 year old liked it okay, but actually expected it to have more to do with the T. Rex. He was really bored with the book.
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