All content © Ward Jenkins unless otherwise noted.

How to Train With a T.Rex and Win 8 Gold Medals

by Michael Phelps with Alan Abrahamson.

Illustrated by Ward Jenkins.

Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.

“Debut illustrator Jenkins's digital cartoons comically mine this and other quirky references, depicting Phelps as a cheerful, larger-than-life caricature. Sports fans with a love of statistics should be both amused and impressed.”

“In blocky digital paintings Jenkins stacks up pizza boxes, whole sports teams, Washington Monuments and herds of dinosaurs to back up the claims about distances run, calories consumed and weights lifted, and closes with a view of the athlete lounging on a sofa, holding a bowl of broccoli and thinking up new goals...Motivational and self-aggrandizing, like most of its ilk, but not too heavy-handed with the Message.”

From Publisher’s Weekly:

From Kirkus Reviews:

Super Important Book Details:

Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, June 2009

Hardcover, 32 pages

ISBN-10: 1416986693

ISBN-13: 9781416986690

Ages: 4 - 8

Grades: P - 3

Excerpts from Reviews:

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The first children’s book I ever illustrated came out of the blue for me. I was very elated to be given such a great opportunity to work on a book about multiple gold medal winner, Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps! It was a lot of fun to draw Michael and his bulldog, Herman.

On this page, you can order the book, as well as see the progression of how I designed the cover.


Cover progress:

Originally, I drew Michael holding up his own name, as if he was lifting weights, training with his T.Rex pal in the background. But it wasn’t working for me. It was kinda hard to tell if he was actually holding up his name or not.

So I switched them around and moved the title to the middle. I did some new drawings and liked having the T.Rex closer, making him bigger in size on the cover. Now, he was equal to Michael on the left, with both of them working on lifting dumbbells. I liked the gag of the T.Rex having a hard time because of his small forearms. Poor guy.

All images © Simon & Schuster and Ward Jenkins.

Click on the icons below to check out some of the pages inside the book, how I drew Michael Phelps and find some hidden stuff that I put in the book! Shhh! Don’t tell!

Inside the Book

Drawing Michael Phelps

Hidden Stuff