With Mr F being a kid’s sports coach, it is no surprise that we have encouraged all three children to try out a range of activities over the years. Despite being only four Leo has been given the opportunity to participate in a range of sporty clubs and sessions already, however gymnastics is one that we have yet to try. I was therefore excited when we were sent a copy of the book Bendy Wendyand Jumping Jack Join Gymnastics by Gemma Coles to share with Leo.
Gemma, a Mum of three from Bournemouth, has owned and operated Head Over Heels, a successful recreational gymnastics club since 2000. Using her substantial knowledge and experience she has created a number of books, DVD’s and Apps to assist budding gymnasts in developing their skills with Bendy Wendy and Jumping Jack Join Gymnasticsbeing the latest addition to the range.
Aimed at a younger audience and inspired by real life class experiences, this book sees Wendy and Jack’s first time at gym class-any new experience can be a daunting one which can be filled with nerves and apprehension and not just for children. The book addresses this issue in such a positive yet simple way by allaying any fears the new starters had with the help of the friendly Coach Gemma and the gymnasts they encounter. This sees them slowly grow in confidence and developing friendships throughout the story.
In the book we see the gymnasts showing off their different moves including rolling, stretching, climbing, balancing, leaping and jumping depicted in a fantastic visual way using illustrations. Before I knew it Leo was up on his feet giving them all a go himself making the book become very interactive! He was very keen and extremely excited to be doing gymnastics like Wendy and Jack! Lots of the moves shown in the book are skills that children will encounter during PE lessons at school giving Leo a fantastic head start for when he starts in September.
I was really pleased to see that the book features a wheelchair user, showing gymnastics as fully inclusive sport, something that is not often portrayed. Having a close family member who is a wheelchair user this is something that I feel very passionate about so it’s fantastic to see that Gemma has included this in her book helping promote the message of inclusion.
The book contains bright, colourful and engaging illustrations by Anthony Charles which really help to bring the story to life. There aren’t many words per page meaning it would be ideal for children who are able to or are just beginning to read as the language is fairly simple. The story has a fantastic message of encouragement to help children to overcome their nerves empowering them to give new things a try . This book is a fabulous, fun introduction to gymnastics and we really enjoyed combining our love of reading with our love of discovering new activities to try.
You can purchase a copy of Bendy Wendy and Jumping Jack Join Gymnastics from the Head Over Heels Online Store for £7.99 (RRP £8.99)
We received a copy of this book in return for an honest review, All thoughts and opinions expressed are our own.