Book review: Martina & Chrissie: The Greatest Rivalry in the History of Sports, Phil Bildner, illustrated by Brett Helquist

Bildner, Phil. Martina & Chrissie: The Greatest Rivalry in the History of Sports. Illus. by Brett Helquist. Candlewick, 2017. $16.99. unp. ISBN 978-0-7636-7308-6. Ages 7-10. P8Q8

This enthusiastic view of the careers and friendship of tennis greats, Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert, exhibits the action of their playing and the closeness that they experienced off the court during the 1970s and 1980s. Bildner also describes the differences between the two, one growing up behind the Iron Curtain in a Communist Country and the other a daughter of a professional tennis coach, and how their backgrounds were reflected in their approach toward the game. The acrylic and oil illustrations display the same energy as the text, with a play-by-play view of the competition between the two women.

Verdict: The message of how competition doesn’t need to destroy friendship is important for young people. The drama and excitement of the book will draw in readers and make them want to learn more about these two amazing women.

May/June 2017 review by Nel Ward.

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