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*The Champ: The Story of Muhammad Ali* by Tonya Bolden, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie
The Champ: The Story of Muhammad Ali
by Tonya Bolden, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie
Grades 2-5 40 pages Dragonfly September 2007 Paperback    

With The Champ, a quick blast of Muhammad Aliís story is told with a fierce illustration style. R. Gregory Christieís illustrations range from ultra bright neons to deep earth tones. Figures are rough and unattractive. The illustrations are the depictions that represent the boxing world and every colorful, violent, skewed character within its boundaries.

That sounds like a frightening premise for a childrenís book but the execution is actually quite thrilling. Ali is represented as nothing short of an iconic superman, his achievements are glorious and his predicaments are quickly glossed over as merely minor roadblocks to greatness.

The Champ, is a contagiously positive book. Arms are outstretched triumphantly in nearly every illustration. Words are stretched and embellished into rowdy pops of noise.

Aliís life and character are truly amazing, and this book is a high energy, fast-paced introduction to that remarkable life.

This book is published by Dragonfly Books, a division of Random House. Dragonfly has several books written and illustrated in a similar style to The Champ. Dragonfly includes a mission statement written on the inside front cover: ďDragonfly Books introduce children to the pleasures of caring about and sharing books. Children will discover talented artists, writers and the worlds they have created.Ē

More than just popular characters, these are important stories and pieces of art. Well done, Dragonfly, and well done, Bolden and Christie.
 


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  Zane Ewton/2007 for curled up with a good kid's book  






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