Diary of a rugby champ by Shamini Flint

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Ill. by Sally Heinrich. Allen and Unwin, 2013. ISBN 978 1 74237 359 6.
Diary of a taekwondo master by Shamini Flint
Ill. by Sally Heinrich. Allen and Unwin, 2013. ISBN 978 1 74237 360 2.
(Age: 7-10) Recommended. Sport. Humour. 9 year Marcus Atkinson writes his diaries about his sporting prowess, but it is his father who thinks he is good at sport. Marcus knows he is not. He has already tried and failed at soccer and cricket, proving to one and all that sport is not his thing. In the previous two very funny books, he made this abundantly clear, but his Dad still wants him to give it a go, with cliches coming from his mouth, like, 'seize the moment' or 'you are what you believe son'. Marcus records each sporting disaster in his diary with each page covered with simple line illustrations. Many of the misunderstandings are a play on words, such as 'duck' in cricket having Marcus imagining the bird. And in Diary of a taekwondo master, of course, having to wear pyjamas leads to all sorts of jokes, while Diary of a rugby champ delivers on the idea of the opponent actually aiming to hurt you. Surprisingly in all books, Marcus does have some wow moments and manages to succeed in the end. This is light hearted fun and an easy read for 7 to 10 year olds. Children who have enjoyed The Diary of a Wimpy Kid and books by Geoffrey McSkimming will pick up to this series readily. The diary format is always popular and the four books published will no doubt grow into a larger set. The appealing cover will also help this series be easily recognised by young readers.
Fran Knight