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Martina & Chrissie: The Greatest Rivalry in the History of Sports
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Martina & Chrissie: The Greatest Rivalry in the History of Sports

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  231 Ratings  ·  69 Reviews
A fascinating dual biography of tennis greats Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert celebrates the power of equality, respect, and sportsmanship.
Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert come from completely different places and play tennis in completely different ways. Chrissie is the all-American girl: practiced, poised, with perfect technique. Martina hails from Czechoslovakia
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published March 14th 2017 by Candlewick Press

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Feb 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Phil Bildner writes about the rivalry between Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert with the enthusiasm of the sports lover that he is. This book reads in a conversational way that makes you feel like you're talking to your friends around the watercooler instead of reading a picture book biography.

This book also has the added benefit of having a demonstrable thesis statement to show students as an example of what it means to make a thesis and then support your argument. The thesis being this:

A lengthy and wordy account of one the most beloved and well known tennis rivalry.
Sep 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have been reading a lot of picture book biographies, and let me tell you, they can be a bit sleepy. Not this one. This one is like a double shot of espresso. The informal tone of the text makes it seem like a conversation and there is just the perfect amount of sassiness to keep the reader engaged. Bildner does an excellent job in explaining why their rivalry was so magical (and wasn't just about who won the most matches) and why their friendship was a crucial part of that rivalry. This would ...more
Jan 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I am not a fan of Tennis (sorry!) but I LOVE this book. It's got ALL the angles. Highly recommended for schools, tennis fans, women's history, sports history and especially those of us who NADDA about this rivalry.
Dec 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sports
This is a good overview of the rivalry between Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert. It talks about their different styles of playing, what made their rivalry great, and some key matches between them. It really emphasizes their friendship.

This is told in a very casual, chatty tone, and that seems to resonate with some people and alienate others. I mostly liked it, though it does assume an audience unfamiliar with the subject matter.

The treatment of the Cold War wasn't great. It includes some of w
Sep 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Gorgeously illustrated (Brett Helquist is one of my all-time favorite illustrators) story of the professional rivalry and personal friendship between tennis greats Martina Navratilova and Chrissie Evert. The pictures are big bold dramatic closeups in beautiful color, with action-cutaways, and the text is written in a fun informal style: "Hey guys--yeah I'm talking to you." "You know who they are, right? No? NEED to know about Martina and Chrissie." The book gives a brief background of thei ...more
Becky B
A picture book biography of tennis women's greats Martina Navratilova and Chrissie Evert, who were epic rivals but also good friends.

I kinda wish this book had touched a little on how tennis is scored. I doubt many of the target age group will understand the tennis terms or what the match numbers mean. After decades of seeing Brett Helquist's illustrations only in tongue-in-cheek fiction books I found myself having a really hard time taking the book seriously. I mean, Helquist illustrations have
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Bildner, Phil Martina and Chrissie: The Greatest Rivalry in the History of Sports Illustrated by Brett Helquist PICTURE BOOK Candlewick Press, 2017. $16.99 Content: G.

Chris Evert was an outstanding tennis champion from the United States. Martina Navratilova was also a great tennis champion but she was from the Soviet Union. They were great tennis rivals during the Cold War and although the world thought they should hate each other they were actually really good friends.

This book reads like som
Gary Anderson
May 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
I admire how Phil Bildner’s text assumes that most young readers today do not know about Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova, a fair assumption, even though those of us who are just a bit older clearly remember Chrissie and Martina. (I saw them play in the 1983 Virginia Slims of Dallas tournament. Although I saw them face other opponents in preliminary rounds, they would go on to meet in the finals.) As Bildner and artist Brett Helquist make the case for their rivalry being the greatest “in the ...more
Aug 31, 2017 rated it liked it
I wonder how many of the matches between Martina and Chrissie I watched... many, many of them, especially the grand slam tournaments. It seemed fitting that I read this during the US Open. A few things bugged me about this. First of all, I don't believe it has been the greatest rivalry of all time. The tone seemed just a bit condescending to me. And, why can authors and editors get it right?? Martina would have been hitting against a concrete wall, not a cement wall.

I'm sure this will be of inte
I am not much into tennis, professional athletes, or rivalry.... but nonetheless was excited to see this title come out and wanted to read it right away when it came to the library. I love the idea of the relationship between the two women and the illustrations are well-suited to the topics involved, but something about the tone is just wrong to me. It's too aggressive and too familiar to my liking. It feels like a coach yelling at the reader. For kids who are already into sports and/or rivalry, ...more
Aug 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
#rivalry #sports #biography - this book had excellent reviews and since I'm trying to increase my biographies for young children I got it. There were a number of things I didn't like about this book. The tone - kind of chatty, coachy aggressive was the worst of them. Then there was this horrendous "land of the free" sub-text that was cringeworthy - "But Martina was from Czechoslovakia, a communist country. In communist countries, you weren't free. Not like America, not at all" ... "The Cold War ...more
I enjoyed this biography about tennis greats, Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert. I was never a big tennis fan, but I do remember snippets of their accomplishments throughout my childhood. I like author Bildner's lively and conversational narration, and illustrator Brett Helquist's fierce, athletic depictions of the women. I didn't know that much about their friendship and was glad that, despite a brief time of rivalry because of Martina's coach's philosophies about friendship and opponents, th ...more
Jun 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
As a big tennis fan this was fun to read! I liked the pictures and..gained a little respect for each of the players I didn't already have. I know of them, they 'are
legends, but I didn't get interested in Tennis until the Mid 1990s so their heydays were before my time (and of course this book is written to kids who don't even have a clue who they are !) I have heard Chrissie as a commentator on ESPN and Martina shows up for interviews or commentary on TV during tennis tournaments so this was coo
Kaitlin Howard
I did not know who Martina and Chrissie were before reading this book. Maybe a bit simple for anyone who does know who they are. I felt like I was sitting in a comfy chair hearing someone tell me a story with the conversational tone of this book. I enjoyed the tidbits of history and brief explanations for younger readers who may not have heard of the Cold War. I liked the timeline at the end and lots of resources at the end. I think the history could have been brought to life more with some phot ...more
What did I like about this book? The illustrations are great--very appealing and bring the material to life. The focus on two outstanding female athletes. The story of competition and the strive to improve. What didn't I like? The. Annoying. Writing. That's ok in a text from a friend, but I found it hyperbolic and condescending. I also don't think it was the greatest rivalry in sports (I'm biased-Red Sox/ Yankees?)
Overall, an enjoyable read and a good introduction to two tennis legends, as well
Laura G
Sep 30, 2017 rated it liked it
I always like learning about people in picture book bios, but this one left me wanting more--more specific details, more anecdotes, some photos of the real life people. I didn't care for the conversational tone, although it seems it was the author's attempt to establish voice--speaking directly to readers, calling us "guys" ("but guys..."). The author (over) used devices like repetition ("perfect, perfect", "automatic, automatic") and Periods. For. Emphasis. Not my favorite.
Katie Lalor
Jun 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
There are many reasons why I really enjoyed this book! The author used great word choice and figurative language, and formatted words creatively, which the illustrator helps show. The true story is interesting enough to be told over and over again. This book also includes many numbers that the teacher can refer to for number talks. Most importantly, this teaches everyone a great life lesson especially in this competitive driven world.
Diana Colby
May 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
2017 Copyright - This book combines all of my favorites, biographies, women & sports. Of course I enjoyed the book. I also enjoyed how Phil Bildner repeated text for emphasis. I am not sure I loved how he told the story of the Cold War, but it worked for this book. It was simple enough for young students to get the picture and feel of the Cold War from the point of the United States. 4/4
Julie Kirchner
May 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a fabulous look at two famous tennis great players. I like the way Phil Bildner uses a casual writing tone to make it interesting and relatable. I love Phil's books and this one rose to the two of my "must share" list at school. I know exactly which students will love this the most. Can't wait to share it with them.
Jul 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
The engaging text will draw in non-tennis fans, and entertain all readers.
I can easily imagine youngsters clamoring to choose big names in sports to compare. Perfect book to show another way to produce opinion writing pieces.
The illustrations, done in acrylic and oil, show the determination in the many up-close scenes.
Eleanor Jan
Jun 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
After reading sooooooooo many biographies on so many great ladies, they all had one thing in common: they never cared what others think!
Women were, still are, expected to act a certain way, to behave a certain way, to do certain things. They weren't the type of women who did what they were supposed to do, either are we.
Katie Lawrence
May 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love that this book exists! I love the enthusiasm Bildner exudes for his subject. You can tell he was passionate about his subjects from each word you read. Really, really well done. I'm so glad there is a great female sports rivalry book to add to library sports sections. Plus it's about tennis! You almost never see tennis books. If you haven't read this yet you simply must.
Chris Hays
This book is not quite a biography or a history but teaches a little of both. The narrator's voice comes through as being the older adult or grandparent who wants to share his love of an event(s) which (s)he or he lived through. The illustrations help to keep the story flowing and lively. This book would be great to peak curiosity into further study of these two super stars.
Maureen Tully
Feb 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Well written and beautifully illustrated, but it goes beyond just telling the story of two amazing athletes. To quote another reviewer: "In addition to tracing the history of Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert’s friendship and rivalry, this compelling picture book biography also weaves in historical information that provides a global context."
Jo Oehrlein
Jan 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books, sports
Written in a casual style, this is the story of both Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova with a focus on tennis, especially their matches against each other.

The illustrations really add to the story. Best if you have some idea about tennis (like the exact meaning of game, set, and match, match point, Grand Slam, etc.).
A true sports and friendship story set in the Cold War? Love it. Narrated interactively, as is the story-teller was sitting with us. Focuses on the aspect of friendship of sharpening one another, and on hard work and making yourself better.
Great story about two fine sportswomen, nice connections to sportsmanship and playing well together even if you are rivals. Also a nice historical connection to the cold war. The illustrations are wonderful.
Dean Wright
May 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This beautiful biography about tennis stars Martina Chrissie follows their matches and friendships throughout 30 years. It is historical and brings in facts about what was happening in the world along with their lives.
Laura Shovan
Oct 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful NF picture book about one of the greatest sports rivalries in history. I was a kid when Martina and Chrissie were queens of the courts. What I love most is the story of how these two athletes had an enduring friendship that thrived alongside their fierce competition.
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Phil Bildner, 41, grew up in the New York City suburb of Jericho, Long Island. He attended the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, where he received his undergraduate degree in political science. Phil then attended the New York University School of Law (J.D. ’90) and was admitted to the bar in both New York and New Jersey.

Phil went to work for a large Manhattan law firm; however, afte
More about Phil Bildner

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