Staying Cool


Year Published: 1997
Written by: Nancy Antie
Illustrated by: E.B. Lewis

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Bumpitybumpity … whap whap whap.

Curtis is working out, punching the speed bag, jumping rope. He is training at his grandfather’s gym for the local Golden Gloves boxing tournament, because more than anything he wants to make his grandfather proud. Curtis wants to prove to his grandfather that he can get right back in the ring after losing. He wants to show his grandfather that he won’t lose control when another boxer hits him too hard. But how can he stay cool when he has so much to think about?

Young readers will be enchanted by Nancy Antle’s warm family story that is superbly complemented by E.B.Lewis’s moving watercolors.

Publishers Weekly

“Lewis (Big Boy) renders the central activity described on each page in animated watercolors, and adds depth by allowing the background figures to recede into shadow. His faces are full of character and he’s captured the look and feel of a busy boxing gym. This is a book that works well on many levels, and offers young audiences a peek at a rarely visited world.”

American Library Association

“Framed full-page paintings show the gym setting with background figures in silhouette. In the foreground with Curtis and Grandpa are men and boys working out, lifting weights, shadowboxing, jumping rope. The boxing and workouts will grab kids’ attention and so will the smiling love between Curtis and Grandpa that is the heart of the story.”

The Horn Book

“Lovely, limpid watercolors contrast the gym’s monochromaticity with the colorful attire of the characters.”