Cover image for Take it to the hoop, Magic Johnson
Take it to the hoop, Magic Johnson
Troupe, Quincy.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Jump at the Sun/Hyperion Books for Children, [2000]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 32 cm
A poetic celebration of Magic Johnson and his quicksilver moments of triumph on the basketball court.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.4 0.5 57055.
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3570.R63 T35 2000 Juvenile Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PS3570.R63 T35 2000 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



A hip, funky lyrical tribute to none other than Magic Johnson.

Author Notes

Quincy Troupe is the award-winning author oftwo other picture books and many books for adults, including the American Book Award-winning Miles, the Autobiography (with Miles Davis) and #1 NewYork Times bestselling The Pursuit of Happyness (with Chris Gardner). He lives with his wife in New York City.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 2^-5. Troupe's exuberant picture-book poem captures not only the "magic" of Erwin Johnson but also the exuberance of NBA basketball at a time when it was changing from a plodding game to the epitome of American cool. Each turn of the page reveals a bright, clear, cartoonlike drawing (frequently double-page) by Shane W. Evans, which shows Johnson in action, against an even brighter background. The words explode between the pictures, coming in all directions, in fonts of all sizes. They celebrate basketball savvy and street talk: "juke & dazzle, Shake `n Bake, down the lane / take the sucker to the hoop Magic Johnson." Don't look for biographical information about Johnson here: this focuses on the skill and style on the court that makes Magic magic. --Todd Morning

Publisher's Weekly Review

Only occasional commas and a single dash break up Troupe's (Miles and Me) rambling, stream-of-consciousness tribute to the on-court skills of Magic Johnson. Though the momentum of the text recalls that of a basketball player in motion, much of the narrative is oblique and beyond the grasp of the intended audience. Addressing Johnson, Troupe celebrates this star's " fusion of Shake 'n Bake/ energy, using everything possible,/ you created your own space to fly throughÄ/ any moment now/ we expect your wings to spread/ feathers for that spooky takeoff/ of yours/ then, shake & glide & ride up in space/ till you hammer home a clothes-lining deuce off glass/ now,/ come back down with a reverse hoodoo gem/ off the spin & stick in sweet, popping/ nets clean from twenty feet, right side..." High-contrast colors help animate Evans's (Osceola: Memories of a Sharecropper's Daughter) stylized and often spare pictures, which depict Johnson's basketball moves from diverse perspectives. Perhaps the most distinctive aspect of the book is its design. Type of varying size is arranged in a spectrum of configurations, some of which mimic the motion of a basketball. But the volume on the whole is erratic and will likely appeal mostly to hardcore hoops fans. Ages 5-9. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-5-This celebration of the basketball star's skills and career is more tribute than biography. Written in a loose, rambling style, the verse makes liberal use of basketball jargon to convey a feel for Johnson's talent. The appeal to fans will be obvious, even though the descriptions of play often apply to any professional basketball player: "juke & dazzle,/Shake 'n Bake/down the lane/take the sucker to the hoop,/"magic"johnson,/recreate/reverse/hoodoo/gems/off the spin." Troupe's poetry is flashy and fast paced, and fits Johnson's style. Evans's bright, cartoon-styled illustrations add to the appeal. His work here is most similar to his illustrations for Shaquille O'Neal's Shaq & the Beanstalk (Scholastic, 1999) and harsher than the softened pictures in Angela Johnson's Down the Winding Road (DK Ink, 2000). A perfect choice for reliving the excitement of watching this athlete perform.-Jeffrey A. French, Euclid Public Library, OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.