Are you the parent of the next Gabby Douglas or Danell Leyva?

Reviewer Debbie Glade takes a look at a great book (to be released November, 2012) that helps children who are interested in gymnastics get started.

With the success of the U.S. Women’s Gymnastic Team from the Olympics this summer, there are many young Americans who dream of becoming champions, too. The Gymnastics Book: The Young Performer’s Guide to Gymnastics ($19.95, Firefly, Ages 7-11) is a wonderful way for those interested in the sport to get started. Written by Elfi Schlegel, a gymnastics medalist from the Canadian National Team and writer Claire Ross Dunn, The Gymnastics Book’s meaty 144 pages is packed with information and excellent photos profiling all the basic gymnastics moves.

After reading this comprehensive guide, any budding gymnast will understand the fundamentals of the sport and the basic technical skills required. The book starts with an introduction that will help your child decide if gymnastics is indeed right for him or her, how to choose the proper coach and place for lessons and what’s needed to get started. Readers will learn how to warm up, practice, master the basic skills, cool down properly and even how to stay healthy and eat right while practicing. In addition, there are chapters on adding rhythm to your program and how competitions work. Plus readers will learn about some of the world’s best gymnasts. Some gymnasts have even written a few tips and insights into their routines or even superstitions they practice when competing. There’s a helpful index at the back of the book as well.

This timely book certainly provides children with a nice, positive introduction to a sport they can enjoy, whether or not they want to compete. The information is comprehensive, and readers are likely to be inspired to not only get started, but also to do their best in the sport. The descriptions of the moves are quite detailed, and when paired with the excellent photos, the proper skills for each move is made quite clear.

Gymnastics is a wonderful and well-respected sport for kids, and even more important, it is a terrific way for kids to get and stay fit and build discipline and confidence. The Gymnastics Book provides a solid beginning to this popular sport.

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