Elim, The Determined Athlete is based on a true story and told according to the pup. Elim, The Determined Athlete, reveals the real reason a four month old Alaska village husky joined champion musher, Jeff King's team on the Iditarod trail. Uplifting and motivating, the reader learns about setting goals, working hard, proving oneself, and ignoring peer rebuffs. Jeff King assisted the pup in becoming a real athlete -- a sled dog, instead of just another basketball wanna-be.
This is a slender but charming picture book based on the true story of a "village dog" that followed sled-dog champion Jeff King along the Iditarod Trail. In real life, King took the dog home and made it part of his dog lot. In the book, which reads like a diary, we find out how Elim made his decision to become an athlete. The hand-lettered text could seem amateurish, but it works, since the book feels like a canine reminiscence. Jackson's story can be used as a read-aloud for younger children, and also as an "I can read it myself!" story for beginning readers. Gilmore's cartoonish illustrations are appealing, as are the faithful depictions of Alaskan huskies, sleds and varied hues of snow. 1998, Publication Consultants. Ages 3 to 8. Reviewer: Donna Freedman