Hello, friends! Our book today is There Goes Patti McGee!: The Story of the First Women’s National Skateboard Champion, written by Tootie Nienow and illustrated by Erika Medina.
Adventurous Patti McGee found her passion the day she saw a group of boys skateboard past her house. Building a skateboard out of roller skate wheels and a plank of wood, Patti taught herself how to skate by trying, zooming, and crashing. Despite taunts from adults and other girls as well as facing a nearly exclusively male skateboarding community, Patti carved herself a place in the early days of the sport, practicing hard and proving her skill, even earning a place on a thus-far all-male team. She became the first skateboarder – male or female – to perform a rolling handstand in competition, earning her a perfect score and a National trophy, and proving that skateboarding was a sport for everyone who had the courage to try, just like Patti.
Inspiring fun. This enthusiastic picture book biography does a good job of telling the story of McGee’s very early skate career by balancing the technical aspects of skateboarding with the specific challenges Patti faced as a female pioneer in a male-dominated sport. Backmatter provides further context and info on McGee’s later career, but aspects like era and setting are vague in the main text; this might make the story more relatable for modern readers but does lose some of the educational appeal. The cartoon illustrations are bright, sunny, and energetic, and cleverly integrate the names of skateboarding moves and tricks. The length is good for a storytime, and JJ enjoyed this one. Not an overly comprehensive look at McGee’s life, but an exciting and inspiring sports story for little bookworms, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!
(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)