Ferrer transports readers to a time gone by, when stoopball and jacks, string games and stickball, hopscotch and marbles were the staples of childhood.
As Ferrer notes in his introduction, games have been a part of childhood since the beginning of time, helping children “learn new skills, discover unknown strengths, and build peer relations—which translates directly into solving problems, creating solutions, and becoming a good team player.” Divided into seven sections, the text covers all sorts of games in all sorts of venues: ball, brain, solitary, car, card, group and partner. The format puts the name of the game (and its aliases), number of players, object and materials needed right at readers’ fingertips, summarizing the basic rules in an easy-to-follow paragraph and listing any additional rules, hints or tips in separate, bulleted sections. Most include variations to either modify the challenge or offer variety. “Fun Facts” sections are set off in black and scattered throughout, providing background on many old favorites (Bingo was invented in 1500s Italy), as well as some fascinating factoids (the stone-skipping world record is 51 skips!). Grayscale drawings break up the text and help illuminate some of the more difficult activities (string games, yo-yo tricks), though they also introduce a measure of modernity to what is largely a retro-themed book.
A wonderful resource for households, schools, Scouting groups and other organizations catering to kids.
This interactive manual is fun to read and even more fun to put into practice. From hopscotch to dodge ball, jacks to solitaire, and string games to memory games, all types of activities are included. Games to play with a ball, with cards, in a car on the go, alone, or in a group are all here to be enjoyed. Th einstructions are clear and easy to follow. There are also historical and factual assides for many of the entries. Some include variations on the main game or alternate names for the activity that have been used through the years. The illustrations depict children demonstrating a particular aspect of a game or just enjoying themselves playing. This is a great resource for parents and teachers, as well as for children.
—School Library Journal