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20 Compelling Picture Books About Competition

Updated Jan. 19, 2019

Top 10 Competition Books

The Donut Chef book
#1
The Donut Chef
Written and illustrated by Bob Staake
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

When his competitor sets up his business right next door to the first doughnut shop in town, culinary chaos ensues as the original doughnut guru and the newcomer try to outdo one another with their crazy creations, including Gooey Coca-Mocha Silk and Peanut-Brittle Buttermilk.

Fox and the Jumping Contest book
#2
Fox and the Jumping Contest
Written and illustrated by Corey R. Tabor
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Fox and the Jumping Contest is a funny, surprising picture book starring Fox—a lovable modern-day trickster character—and his animal friends, from debut author-illustrator Corey R. Tabor. Fox really, really wants to win the jumping contest. He knows just where he’ll put that first-place trophy. The only problem? Fox is not a very good jumper. But he is a very good schemer. . . . Fox and the Jumping Contest is a perfect pick for readers who enjoy humorous picture books like The Day the Crayons Quit and Dragons Love Tacos.

Mira and the Big Story book
#3
Mira and the Big Story
Written by Laura Alary and illustrated by Sue Todd
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Mira is a girl with big questions. She knows two different stories about the way the world came to be. Which story is right? Can they both be right? Is there room for more than one way to think about the world and our place in it? Follow her on an inspiring journey as she discovers a story big enough to include everyone. Along the way, Mira learns to respect and revere the traditions and beliefs of others. Teach children kindness and acceptance with this beautifully illustrated and compelling tale. It is sure to keep young ones enthralled.

Chamelia and the New Kid in Class book
#4
Chamelia and the New Kid in Class
Written and illustrated by Ethan Long
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Chamelia is a chameleon who loves to stand out in a crowd. She's always the star of the show, especially at school. But when a new kid in class becomes the center of attention, Chamelia feels left out. Can she figure out how to beat her competition? Or will she learn to share the spotlight and make a new best friend? Join the fabulous Chamelia in this funny and charming story about friendship, school, and the true meaning of being a star!

Ta-Da! book
#5
Ta-Da!
Written by Kathy Ellen Davis and illustrated by Kaylani Juanita
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

What makes a good story? One little girl thinks it's a princess with magical powers that can—ta-da!—overcome any obstacle. Her friend thinks it's—dun dun duh!—a combination of dragons, pirates, and fire that cause total chaos. But as their stories intertwine, these two young storytellers soon learn that a good story needs both conflict—dun dun duh!—and resolution—ta-da! An irresistible celebration of imaginary play, storytelling, and the joys of collaboration, this gorgeous picture book features two strong voices throughout, making it the perfect read-aloud.

Dylan the Villain book
#6
Dylan the Villain
Written and illustrated by K. G. Campbell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

A surprising and laugh-out-loud showdown between two pint-sized super-villains, perfect for young fans of Despicable Me. Dylan’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Snivels, have always told him that he is the very best and cleverest super-villain in the whole wide world. And Dylan’s confident that it’s true–until he starts school and meets Addison Van Malice. Sure, Dylan’s costume is scary. But Addison Van Malice’s is bone-chilling. And yes, Dylan’s laugh is crazy. But Addison Van Malice’s is bananas. And Dylan’s inventions are certainly super-villainous. But Addison Van Malice’s are demonic! When their teacher, Ms. Ick, announces a Diabolical Robot Building Contest, Dylan sees his opportunity to prove that he really is the most evil villain of all. But Addison’s not giving in without a fight. And so begins a competition of skill and wits that doesn’t go the way anyone expected…

Officer Katz and Houndini book
#7
Officer Katz and Houndini
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

It’s all paws on deck in this hilarious picture book that explores the age-old debate of which four-legged friends are best: cats versus dogs? Officer Katz is looking forward to a nice retirement, complete with all the treats he could want, until his arch-nemesis, Houndini, reappears one final time to challenge Katz to a showdown. If Katz manages to catch Houndini after three tries, Houndini will stay out of Kitty City forever. But if Houndini manages to escape, the town will be renamed...Houndiniville. And Katz isn’t about to let his town go to the dogs. All the claws are out as Katz chases Houndini up, down and around town. With the help of their two assistants—Deputy Catbird and Squirrel—can Katz and Houndini call a truce? Or will this challenge have them both chasing their tails out of town?

The Great Race book
#8
The Great Race
Written by Dawn Casey and illustrated by Anne Wilson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Discover how 12 animals competed in a madcap swimming race to help create the lunar calendar! Includes facts about Chinese festivals, the lunar calendar and the animals that rule each year.

Go BIG Or Go Gnome! book
#9
Go BIG Or Go Gnome!
Written by Kirsten Mayer and illustrated by Laura K. Horton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Laugh your whiskers off with Albert the Gnome in this charming and funny picture book about friendship, self-acceptance — and beards! A beard is the biggest point of pride for a Gnome, but poor Al can't sprout a single whisker. Each year, Al feels left out of the Beards International Gnome-athalon, B.I.G. So Al decides to go BIG or go Gnome! It’s a close shave, but with a hidden talent and the help of his friend, Gnorm, Al learns accepting that you are different is the key to fitting in.

Battle of the Pirate Bands book
#10
Battle of the Pirate Bands
Written by Michael Anthony Steele and illustrated by Pauline Reeves
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Pirates from across the seven seas are gathering for the greatest of pirate competitions. But when the prize trophy is stolen, the Monkey Pirates are framed as the thieves. Can the crew clear their nearly-fearless names? A glossary, discussion questions, and writing prompts round out this exciting adventure story.

Table of Contents
  1. Top 10 Competition Books
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