horse

H.O.R.S.E.: A Game of Basketball and Imagination by Christopher Myers

A basketball court + a ball + two kids = the perfect sum to play horse!  When two boys meet at the basketball court, they immediately invite one another to play horse or ghost.  It’s the game where one person takes a shot and then the other person has to try to match the shot exactly.  It starts out simply enough with a layup with your eyes closed, but watch where this game goes!  Filled with a banter that challenges one another to seek an even wilder idea, the two boys quickly start to talk about shooting a basket from the roof of a neighboring building when standing on one toe.  The Magellan shot takes it even further, with a jump across the ocean and around the world and a dunk with a tongue!  That’s not the end of the game though, you will just have to read it to see the final play.

I love the playfulness of this book and the friendly tone of the banter between the two boys.  The fact that not a single shot is actually thrown makes it very funny too.  This is not a challenge about sports but about imagination and thinking outside the court.  Myers writes with a feel for modern dialogue between teens that doesn’t resort to modern vernacular but instead has the perfect rhythm and posturing.  Myers’ art is equally modern with lanky boys against bright colored backgrounds.  He also mixes in photographs and builds collages that add texture and pattern. 

Great fun to read, it will have you challenged to a game of horse as soon as you can find a court and a ball.  My favorite shots were always with my eyes closed and backwards.  How about you?  Appropriate for ages 5-7. 

Reviewed from copy received from Egmont.