Young sports fans score big this season with Beach Ball Books, a new children's book imprint of Shoreline Publishing Group. A triple threat of spring offerings includes an amazing and hilarious examination of the world's weirdest sports, a fact-packed guide to basketball, and a colorful, kid-friendly look at the birth and evolution of baseball.

Ostrich racing, anyone? How about cheese rolling or extreme ironing? From Estonia to Pakistan, Finland to Malaysia, offbeat events the world over are the subject of Weird Sports, which shows kids just how weird, wild, and amusing athletics can be. Yes, it's amazing how skill, strength, and strategy come to the fore in mind-boggling sports like underwater hockey, elephant soccer, extreme unicycling, and even bog snorkeling. Cool facts, awesome photos, and "tips from the pros" make Weird Sports a must-read for everyone from mini-athletes to junior couch potatoes.

Ultimate Guide to Basketball is a slam-dunk for young hoop fans. This stat-packed book includes heroes and history, rules and records. Readers will learn about the greatest dunkers, scorers, three-point shooters, and clipboard kings, get insider info on nationally-famous college teams, and find out why everyone wants "the rock." A spread on each NBA team features "Ultimate" players, "Magic Moments," "Funky Facts," and more. Includes action photos and basketball trials and triumphs from yesterday to today.

America's foremost baseball historian hits a home run with First Pitch: How Baseball Began, the first book for kids about the birth of America's National Pastime. The book traces baseball back to its roots, introducing young readers to the men who created this uniquely American sport, and showing how early versions of the game evolved into Major League Baseball. This beautifully designed and illustrated book uses colorful artifacts and memorabilia to bring baseball history alive for young fans. Author John Thorn, the former editor of Total Baseball, has written many books on baseball history. Winner of the Bob Davids Award, the highest honor given by the Society for American Baseball Research, he was senior creative consultant for Ken Burns' documentary, Baseball.

Beach Ball Books was founded by the creators of the Shoreline Publishing Group, a veteran book packaging company that has written and designed more than 350 books for major national publishers for both trade and school/library markets. They bring the expertise and kid-oriented style of those successful books to all the books from Beach Ball. Beach Ball publisher James Buckley Jr. is the author himself of more than 60 sports books for kids from DK, Scholastic, Readers Digest, Chronicle, Triumph, and other national publishers, and formerly worked at Sports Illustrated and NFL Publishing. Kids love beach balls . . . and kids will love Beach Ball Books. Learn more at


Weird Sports
Written by Michael Teitelbaum  Published by Beach Ball Books
March 2011  Ages 7-14  48 pages  $6.99 paperback  $12.95 hardcover
ISBN: 978-1-936310-03-6 pb  978-1-936310-14-2 hc

Ultimate Guide to Basketball
Written by James Buckley, Jr.  Published by Beach Ball Books
January 2011  Ages 7-up  160 pages  $7.99 paperback  $15.95 hardcover
ISBN: 978-1-936310-02-9 pb  978-1-936310-13-5 hc

First Pitch: How Baseball Began
Written by John Thorn  Published by Beach Ball Books
March 2011  Ages 9-up  48 pages  $14.99 paperback  $19.99 hardcover
ISBN: 978-1-936310-04-3 pb  978-1-936310-05-0 hc