Monday, January 22, 2018

Hockey then to wow! created by Sports Illustrated Kids

I've previously looked at volumes in this series on Baseball and on Football and I am still not particularly happy with their presentation. So, it's a history of the sport with lots of photographs, interesting facts, and player bios. The breakdown of each spread is as follows.

The introductory material includes a comparison of the original sweater and modern jersey, table of contents, brief history, and a timeline of the changes in the rules. This is followed by several pages of history of equipment, skates, sticks, uniforms, etc. There are several pages on arenas and players (most of them are Canadian). The chapter on the players covers historical and current players, all in the NHL so either American or Canadian. Players with quirks, players with famous records, statistics on size, and length of career. A page on "hockey dynasties" analyzes the sport including coaches, strategies, the international scene, records and one spread (2 facing pages) on women's hockey. Then there are famous goals, team dynasties, and the Stanley Cup. The final chapter covers wacky antics by the fans and team players from growing beards to tossing things on the ice.

Did you miss that? Because I nearly did. ONE spread, 2 facing pages, on women's hockey. A WHOLE CHAPTER on people growing beards and throwing dead fish on the ice. The only other mention of women is in the spread on international hockey, which briefly mentions the Canadian women's hockey team. Every single reference to players in descriptions of strategy, rules, equipment, and traditions is to male players. Every timeline, every profiled player, all male. The publisher's description ties this book in to the centennial of the NHL. Fair enough, that makes sense they'd focus on NHL players. But nowhere in the book itself is this mentioned - it's titled and presented as a history of hockey. And women get 2 pages and a couple sentences out of 80 pages.

Will this circulate? Yes. Do I personally care about women's sports (or sports at all)? Not really. Does this book annoy me? YES. Would I be willing to spend money on books profiling male and female athletes and players equally? Absolutely. Would they check out? Maybe. While I have many girls who play and read about sports, the entertainment industry centered around sports is heavily male-centric, which influences what the kids read about and ask for. But if I don't even have the books to offer, we'll never know, will we?

Verdict: It's paper over board so it will fall apart fairly soon anyways. I'm still annoyed though.

ISBN: 9781683300113; Published 2017 by Time Inc/Sports Illustrated Kids; Review copy provided by the publisher

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