cover image Swish!


Michael Sampson, Bill Martin, Jr.. Henry Holt & Company, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8050-4498-0

Martin (Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?) teams up with Sampson (The Football That Won) for this account of a girls' championship basketball game between the Cardinals and the Blue Jays. As the seconds tick away, girls pass, dribble and shoot until a final Cardinals' basket breaks the tie. Part sportscaster (""Referee hands the ball to Lynn, Blue Jay pass comes bouncing in"") and part cheerleader (""Only 3 seconds more, pass it now, we gotta score!""), the narrator imparts a sense of urgency that young basketball fans may initially find contagious. Yet a sometimes sloppy rhyme scheme (rebound/bounds; brows/how) and the repetition of the word ""dribble"" may make this a disappointing read for some sidelines spectators. The visuals make the most of Martin and Sampson's text. With a predominantly red, white and blue palette, Chesworth's (Television) cartoon art creates the illusion of camera shots as aerial views from the bleachers are juxtaposed with close-ups of on-court action (e.g., a concentrating Cardinal preparing for a lay-up shot or the scoreboard viewed from between a running player's legs). Clever use of white space adds to the instant-replay energy; in this game, the art gets the extra point. Ages 4-7. (Sept.)