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Book Review: Kids Running: Have Fun, Get Faster & Go Farther
Book by: Carol Goodrow
Review by: Robert Scribner

Editor's note: Robert Scribner is currently enjoying his fifth and final year of athletics eligibility at the renowned Mississippi State University, where he specializes in producing mediocre performances in the 5000 and 10000 meter footrace competitions.  His hobbies include jogging, typing, welding, and equestrian. He loves America.

When Weldon Johnson approached me (indirectly, via the message board) and asked me personally to do this review, I had no choice but to jump at the opportunity. I love children, and I love books. I also find running tolerable.

The only question was, “Would I love a combination of all three?”

The answer is a boisterous “Yes.” Upon finishing “Kids Running,” I can say with full confidence that it is perhaps the best children’s running book of 2008, so far.

For those with children on this site, or for those who are actually children on this site, this book can serve as an excellent and very unique introduction to fitness and health. Its 82 pages are filled with colorful images, running jokes, running and nutrition tips, and more.

“Kids Running” provides a very detailed beginner’s guide to our sport, with explanations for some of the seemingly basic aspects that older, more experienced runners might take for granted. It does a great job of defining running and its terminology to a reader that has likely had very little exposure to the topic before.

This is all conveyed effectively with the inclusion of hundreds of child-friendly illustrations, poems, and jokes. Although its jam-packed 82 pages might be a little too much for a young mind to process all at once, it would likely serve as an entertaining read over the span of several days or weeks. And FYI, Amazon describes the target age for this book as 9-12, but I would probably estimate it to be a little lower, maybe 7-10.

In general, I think that Goodrow has the right idea with this book. As Letsrunners know, it’s important to hook the kids early with running, lest they drift off to the more lucrative, yet less fulfilling sports. I’ve long said that our culture needs to do a better job of instilling an appreciation for fitness into our children. There are a variety of ways to accomplish this. Running to school, like the Kenyans. Replacing traditional bed-time fairy tales with running-related fairy tales, like Alberto Salazar has recently done with Galen Rupp. Or we can provide them with children’s running books, like those of Carol Goodrow.

Note: If you buy the book from our amazon.com link, letsrun.com gets a small commission.

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