Gr 2–4—In true encyclopedic style, this series includes thorough overviews of history, gameplay, and more for each sport. Particularly for readers who are just getting into a new game, the historical context, including invention of the games, will help deepen their appreciation for the traditions and rules. Kids might not know that early basketball games had peach baskets instead of hoops, but when they imagine having to climb a ladder to retrieve the ball, they'll certainly appreciate how far the sport has come. What Is Football? and What Is Baseball? have a little more gear to explain, especially the protective clothing required. Valuable as teaching books for kids seeking to increase their understanding, these titles will be great assets, though their dry writing style will not endear them to casual browsers. VERDICT A fine pinch-hitter if you don't have a lot of options, but not a necessary purchase.