The Bookworm for Saturday, July 30, 2011

If anybody asks, you’re the kid who knows the score. You can rattle off your favorite teams’ standings. You know who leads in career touchdowns and career goals. You can describe the butterfly, the crawl, the trudgen, and you know who does them best.

Is there anything better than watching a game? How about seeing your favorite sports stars up close and in your face? Grab a copy of “3D Sports Blast!” by David E. Klutho and check it out.

Just by the title of this book, you’ve probably already figured out the hook: 3D photography, which is a way of using two camera lenses (or a stereo camera) to make pictures pop off the page with the help of special glasses used as decoders. It’s a cool method of picture-taking that’s more than 100 years old.

3D photography, as 13-year-old Auston V. Henning says in his foreword, makes you feel like you’re “in the center of the action.”  It’s like biking without a bike, catching a Peyton Manning pass without stepping onto the field, and doing laps with Michael Phillips without getting a drop of water on you. It’s like being freaked out by The Freak, only you don’t have a bat in your hand. But you’re a sports fan, and you know that sports aren’t just on a field or in a pool.

 That’s why “3D Sports Blast” includes some sports that are unusual and unusually fun to participate in.

Why not, for instance, see what it’s like to be upside-down-spun-around on a skateboard at the X Games with Pierre-Luc Gagnon?  What can happen to you if you jump on the back of a 1,800-pound bull?  Would you participate in a track meet if you knew it was going to be more than just running and jumping?

In this book, you’ll find out how LeBron stacks up against a monster truck tire. You’ll learn which is the fastest sport without a “mechanical aid.” You’ll go hot-air ballooning, climbing (but not on a tree!), and skydiving.  There are 3D pictures of other kids playing their favorite sports, some SuperFans, and tons of you’re-in-the-middle photography that will make you feel like the next win that’s grabbed will be yours.

“3D Sports Blast!” is a very cool book. Kids are going to love that it’s action, action, and more action; in fact, author David E.  Klutho included very few words here. What little narrative you’ll find – and you almost have to hunt for it – is mostly used to describe the sport depicted.

This, by the way, serves nicely to draw in a reluctant reader who can’t live without his game. Be warned, though: parents who buy or borrow this book should be positively sure that the 3D glasses are included. The pictures are nothing but a headache (literally) without the glasses, and their disappearance could make for disappointment.

So check first, then give your child a second to dive into up-close-and-personal sports action. Handing him (or her) “3D Sports Blast!” is going to win you all kinds of points.

• The Bookworm is Terri Schlichenmeyer. Terri has been reading since she was 3 years old and she never goes anywhere without a book.

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