By Charles R. Smith Jr.
(Candlewick, Hardcover, 9780763614232, 42pp.)
Publication Date: January 19, 2004
Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover
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Cheer on twelve top basketball pros with a dynamic collection of verse by Charles R. Smith Jr., set against vibrant photos of the players in action.
Tim Duncan cashes in double-digit points by banking it off the backboard. Kevin Garnett makes his new-and-improved moves in 3-D. As for the "Super Human Atomic Quake" Shaquille O’Neal, just open the foldout and see what it might take to fill his gargantuan shoes (shown actual size). With pumping, energetic, rap-inspired wordplay, Charles R. Smith Jr. profiles the distinctive playing styles of twelve of the best players in basketball. A striking cover treatment, arresting design, and eye-catching action photos make HOOP KINGS a guaranteed magnet for kids who love basketball—and a valuable find for teachers who love language.
Charles R. Smith, Jr. says that while growing up in California, he spent many hours reading anything he could get his hands on. "Reading books filled with stories and poems inspired me to write my own," he says. "The more I read, the more I wrote. And if I wasn’t reading a book, I was playing a sport: I played everything, particularly basketball, and spent many afternoons on the court, perfecting my jump shot." While working on his high school yearbook as a writer, Charles R. Smith Jr. was introduced to photography and immediately decided to make a career of it. He graduated from photography school and headed to New York to pursue his dream. "I continued with my writing, and, with a heavy influence of rap music, began writing more poetry instead of stories," he says. "Now, I have combined my photographic skills with my love of reading, writing, and sports to create an exciting career for myself!" In addition to the companion book HOOP QUEENS, Charles R. Smith Jr. wrote and illustrated the American Library Association Notable Book RIMSHOTS: BASKETBALL PIX, ROLLS, AND RHYTHMS, among other titles.