Shannon Hunt, a Victoria writer and former Editor-in-Chief of KNOW and YES Mag, has set the bar high in her first foray into digital publishing. Written in a fun, conversational tone, London 2012 Olympics: The Kids’ Only Guide, is the perfect way to introduce iPad-toting kids to everything—and I mean everything—they want to know about the Olympics. From the planning and construction of the Olympic village, to the sports, the venues, and some of the star athletes, this reasonably priced eBook tells all. It’s a hefty tome with seven chapters and 228 pages, but it’s loaded with excellent photos and a very light text-to-photo ratio that doesn’t leave readers bogged down with rules and protocols. Whether kids want to know more about a specific sport or are keen to find out more about Olympic history, the London 2012 logo, British culture, or even London Olympics souvenirs, it’s all here.
Female athletes receive much attention in both the text, sidebars, and photos. Indeed women athletes often appear first—hurray! Chapter three features Paralympic Sports, including how they started, an overview of the variety of sports and “classes” to accommodate different abilities. The abundance of interesting factoids throughout reveals the author’s excellent research skills and her knack for crafting accurate, humorous, kid-friendly explanations.
As well as being packed with fun puns and cute asides (e.g., “Do you think those seats come with free popcorn?”), London 2012 Olympics: The Kids Only Guide includes special features a plenty. Here’s the low-down:
- Event Info sidebars outline the date, the location, and the number of athletes competing, while also including a photograph of the venue (e.g., Velodrome, Wembley Arena).
- Small cartoon kids (drawn by the author’s children) add extra tidbits of information, stats, or silly jokes. Many of these kids wave flags and include captions, such as “Go Sweden!” or others like “He’s a human pogo stick!” and even a sketch of Harry Potter in the London Underground saying “Where’s Platform 9 ¾?”
- “Photo albums” feature inspiring, full-screen views of athletes in action for various events.
- “Quiz Questions” give readers a chance to test their knowledge with multiple choice or true/false questions.
- Cartoon captions jazz up the photos that say things like, “Darn, I forgot my banner!” or “Oh no, I lost my hat!”
A Contents page, showing the titles of the chapters, would likely please traditional book lovers, but handy thumbnail snapshots along the bottom of the screen help even newbie-digital readers (like me!) navigate through the multiple pages of each chapter. Indeed, my only quibbles are with the eBook technology itself, which makes the iPad shut down when a page is left open too long (grrr!), but that’s not unique to this eBook, of course—yes, it’s a energy saver, and that’s good, but this doesn’t mesh with page ponderers and deliberating reviewers.
My verdict? It’s a winner, for sure! Celebrate Olympic fever and get sported up for summer. Get your copy on iTunes.
You can read a great article about this eBook by clicking this Saanich News link.
itunes.apple.com • published June 7, 2012 • $5.99 • www.twokidsandapup.com