D is for Derby: A Kentucky Derby Alphabet
by Helen L. Wilbur
The Kentucky Derby is the oldest continuous sporting event in the United States. But don't call it just a horse race. This annual May event, known as "the most exciting two minutes in sports," is steeped in tradition and pageantry far beyond what happens on the track. Following the alphabet, D is for Derby: A Kentucky Derby Alphabet uses poetry and expository text to explain this world-famous event. Topics include famous jockeys, legendary horses, fabled Bluegrass farms and owners, as well as offering a behind-the scenes view of thoroughbred breeding and racing. Readers young and old, along with horse enthusiasts and diehard Derby fans, will enjoy this celebration of one of the most prestigious sporting and cultural events in our country.
- Dewey: 798.4009769/44
- Hardcover (9781585368136): 40 pages, 11 (w) x 10 (h), © 2014, 01/15/2014
- PDF (9781627537261): 32 pages, © 2014, 02/01/2014
- Hosted ebook (9781627537476): 32 pages, © 2014, 02/01/2014
- Suggested Interest Level: Age 8 - Age 11
- Suggested Reading Level: Grade 6
- Lexile® Measure: 1150
- Guided Reading Level: S
- ATOS Reading Level: 7.0
- ATOS Interest Level: MG
- Accelerated Reader® Quiz: 165740
- Accelerated Reader® Points: 1.0
- JUVENILE NONFICTION / Concepts / Alphabet (JNF013010)
- JUVENILE NONFICTION / Animals / Horses (JNF003110)
- JUVENILE NONFICTION / Sports & Recreation / Equestrian (JNF054170)
Booklist Review - D is for Derby: A Kentucky Derby Alphabet
Reviewed on 25 March 2014
The latest entry in the publisher’s alphabet series spotlights the Kentucky Derby, from “A is for Aristides” (the first winner of the Derby) to “Z is for Zeal.” Like others in the series, this picture book presents topics in rhymed couplets accompanied by paragraphs of text in smaller type and a large painting for each entry. The quality of the verse is uneven, but the accompanying prose text is clearly written and interesting. A Kentucky painter who specializes in horses, Corum contributes pleasing paintings that are equally effective in depicting women showing off their Derby Day hats or a groom calming a thoroughbred before the race, and horse lovers will linger over the dramatically lit portrait of Secretariat. While the book’s alphabetical structure leads to a rather haphazard arrangement of ideas, children interested in the Derby will absorb each bit of information from each entry while enjoying the colorful illustrations.
Author: Helen L. Wilbur
A former librarian, Helen L. Wilbur spent many years in the world of publishing. She has a B.A. in English Language and Literature from the University of Chicago and an M.A. in Library Science from Columbia University. Helen’s award-winning children’s books include Finnegan and Fox: The Ten-Foot Cop (2014 Bank Street Best Books of the Year for Children, 2013 Creative Child Seal of Excellence Award), Lily’s Victory Garden (2011 Storytelling World Resource Honor Award: Stories for Pre-Adolescent Listeners Category, 2011 IRA Teacher’s Choices Reading List – Primary Category) and Z is for Zeus: A Greek Mythology Alphabet (2009 Mom’s Choice Award). Other awards include the Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People. Helen lives on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, and spends her summers in the mountains of New Hampshire.
Illustrator: Jaime Corum
Jaime Corum received her Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Kentucky. Her art career began, however, when she started drawing her favorite animal, the horse, at the age of seven. Since then her equine art has evolved from doing portraits of friends’ horses for fun to a full-time career of commissioned portraits and original compositions in oil paint. Her primary areas of expertise are thoroughbred racing, dressage and eventing, but she loves painting horses of all shapes and sizes.
D is for Derby is Jaime’s first adventure in book illustration. Speaking about the experience, she says, “The Derby is a great source of pride for me and my home state of Kentucky. It was an honor to pay homage to this prestigious race and the culture that surrounds it.” Jaime lives in Louisville, Kentucky, with her dogs, George and Sugar, and her horse and chief muse, Sandy-Man.
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