An Award-Winning Book Club for Kids
Shop Now

Games: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about games?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to games. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about games.

Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid, and you can also use our table of contents to jump to particular topics you think your kid will enjoy.

When it comes to children’s stories about games, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Hedgehugs: Autumn Hide-and-Squeak to popular sellers like Treasure Island (Puffin Pixels) to some of our favorite hidden gems like Jumanji.

We hope this list of kids books about games can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.

Share this list

Top 10 Books About Games

#1
Add to list
The World-Famous Book of Counting
Written & illustrated by Sarah Goodreau
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-7

Prepare to be amazed by this fabulously clever lift-the-flap, pop-up, pull-out book about numbers. Sarah Goodreau’s magic-themed illustrations add a touch of nostalgia and vintage glamour to this fun and elegant counting book. With spectacular sorcery and sensational illusions, there’s something here for magic lovers of all ages.

A stylish lift-the-flap, pop-up, pull-out book about numbers with a magic theme

#2
Add to list
Hide and Seek
Written & illustrated by Taro Gomi
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

In this sly activity board book from celebrated international favorite Taro Gomi, young readers will delight to find hidden objects amidst familiar characters. When a crocodile’s dangerous smile can become a shiny toothbrush and a butterfly’s camouflage transforms into adorable heart shapes, there’s no telling what comes next! Kids will love learning that not everything in this world is as it seems. Sure to be a hit during both storytime and playtime!

#3
Add to list
Cat Nap
Written & illustrated by Toni Yuly
picture book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

A kitten doesn’t want to take a nap in this book about opposites by the author of Early Bird. It’s naptime, and Cat is ready for Kitten to settle down. But Kitten has other ideas!In this book filled with opposites (big and little, black and white, sleepy and awake) Toni Yuly proves once again -as she did with Early Bird and Night Owl - that simple concepts come alive for the youngest readers through bold art and charming language.

#4
Add to list
Cat Nap
Written by Toni Yuly
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

A kitten doesn’t want to take a nap in this book about opposites by the author of Early Bird. It’s naptime, and Cat is ready for Kitten to settle down. But Kitten has other ideas!In this book filled with opposites (big and little, black and white, sleepy and awake) Toni Yuly proves once again -as she did with Early Bird and Night Owl - that simple concepts come alive for the youngest readers through bold art and charming language.

#5
Add to list
Wiggle!
Written & illustrated by Taro Gomi
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-4

It’s more than a book—it’s a game! Every spread is missing a key element of a featured animal—from an elephant’s trunk to a penguin’s beak, these creatures are incomplete. And it’s up to young readers to help them out! Kids can finish the illustration by wiggling their fingers through suitably placed die-cuts. Children are sure to giggle at the silliness of turning their fingers into elephant trunks and chameleon tongues—and learn a bit about animal features on the way!

#6
Add to list
Jumanji
Written & illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle now Sony’s highest grossing film of all time!

Over thirty years ago, Peter and Judy first found the game—Jumanji—with the instructions that once the game is started, it must be finished or it will go on forever—and it was then, with this same wonderment, readers found Jumanji, too. Since its original publication, Jumanji has been honored with many awards, including the Caldecott Medal, and in 1996, the surreal story was adapted to fit the big screen for the first time.

#7
Add to list
The Gauntlet
Written by Karuna Riazi
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

When twelve-year-old Farah and her two best friends get sucked into a mechanical board game called The Gauntlet of Blood and Sand, a puzzle game akin to a large Rubik’s cube, they know it is up to them to defeat the game’s diabolical architect in order to save themselves and those who are trapped inside, including her baby brother Ahmed.

#8
Add to list
Goodnight Football
Written by Michael Dahl & illustrated by Christina E. Forshay
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

In rhyming text a child, home from a game, bids goodnight to all the sights and sounds of a school football game.

#9
Add to list
Who Was That?
Written & illustrated by Olivier Tallec
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

This fresh, visually sophisticated follow-up to Who Done It? and Who What Where? tackles the topic of memory, as each page asks the reader to remember a detail about the characters featured on the page before. With die-cuts, clever folds, and imaginative illustrations, this book requires the sharpest readers’ keen attention! The call to action on every page makes this a wonderful lap read or read-aloud, and kids of all ages will love the memory games.

#10
Add to list
Loteria / Lottery
Written by Patty Rodriguez and Ariana Stein & illustrated by Citlali Reyes
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

“Inspired by one of the oldest traditional games of chance, this book will introduce your little one to their first English and Spanish words”

Table of Contents
Scroll to books about Games and...

Books About Games and First Concepts

Add to list
The World-Famous Book of Counting
Written & illustrated by Sarah Goodreau
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-7

Prepare to be amazed by this fabulously clever lift-the-flap, pop-up, pull-out book about numbers. Sarah Goodreau’s magic-themed illustrations add a touch of nostalgia and vintage glamour to this fun and elegant counting book. With spectacular sorcery and sensational illusions, there’s something here for magic lovers of all ages.

A stylish lift-the-flap, pop-up, pull-out book about numbers with a magic theme

Add to list
Wiggle!
Written & illustrated by Taro Gomi
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-4

It’s more than a book—it’s a game! Every spread is missing a key element of a featured animal—from an elephant’s trunk to a penguin’s beak, these creatures are incomplete. And it’s up to young readers to help them out! Kids can finish the illustration by wiggling their fingers through suitably placed die-cuts. Children are sure to giggle at the silliness of turning their fingers into elephant trunks and chameleon tongues—and learn a bit about animal features on the way!

Add to list
Who Was That?
Written & illustrated by Olivier Tallec
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

This fresh, visually sophisticated follow-up to Who Done It? and Who What Where? tackles the topic of memory, as each page asks the reader to remember a detail about the characters featured on the page before. With die-cuts, clever folds, and imaginative illustrations, this book requires the sharpest readers’ keen attention! The call to action on every page makes this a wonderful lap read or read-aloud, and kids of all ages will love the memory games.

Honorable Mentions
Circle book
Add to list
I Thought I Saw an Elephant book
Add to list
Clever Colors Photo Book: 700 Things To Learn book
Add to list
Countablock book
Add to list
  1. Circle - Multi-award-winning, New York Times best-selling duo Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen deliver the final wry and resonant tale about Triangle, Square, and Circle. This book is about Circle. This book is also about Circle’s friends, Triangle and Square. Also it is about a rule that Circle makes, and how she has to rescue Triangle when he breaks that rule. With their usual pitch-perfect pacing and subtle, sharp wit, Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen come full circle in the third and final chapter of their clever shapes trilogy.

  2. I Thought I Saw an Elephant - Hide-and-seek fun with sturdy sliders! This silly but stylish slider book is sure to give little ones a giggle. They’ll love joining in a game of hide-and-seek as they move the sliders to reveal the animal hiding in every scene. With beautiful artwork from Lydia Nichols, the whole family will enjoy reading and playing with this novelty series.

  3. Clever Colors Photo Book: 700 Things To Learn - This over-sized Search & Find padded board book is a great educational tool that teaches children colors. More than 700 real-life images throughout the book feature various cars, toys, shapes, animals, and birds. Children easily recognize the images as part of the daily world. Each spread shows everyday objects of the same color and shape that helps children quickly grasp these basic concepts. Photo books are incredibly popular for the intended audience as is the big format, thick board pages with rounded corners, and padded cover - a great gift for preschoolers!

  4. Countablock - Following on the heels of a successful abecedary, Countablock features thick pages cut into the shape of each numeral, creating a peek-through guessing game around the number form itself. One acorn becomes . . . one oak tree! From snowmen to puddles and eggs to chicks, quantities are illustrated twice: both before and after their “transformations.” As children interact with the pages, they will familiarize themselves not only with the numbers 1–100 and associated quantities, but with each numeral’s physicality—angles, holes, and curves, both front and back. Die-cut numerals include 1–10, and 20–100 by tens. Illustrated by hip British design team Peskimo, this fresh take on the 1-2-3s encourages readers to manipulate numbers in a whole new way. Note: illustrations are in the style of vintage screen prints, with imperfect variations in color and texture.

Books About Games and Playing

Add to list
Cat Nap
Written & illustrated by Toni Yuly
picture book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

A kitten doesn’t want to take a nap in this book about opposites by the author of Early Bird. It’s naptime, and Cat is ready for Kitten to settle down. But Kitten has other ideas!In this book filled with opposites (big and little, black and white, sleepy and awake) Toni Yuly proves once again -as she did with Early Bird and Night Owl - that simple concepts come alive for the youngest readers through bold art and charming language.

Add to list
Cat Nap
Written by Toni Yuly
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

A kitten doesn’t want to take a nap in this book about opposites by the author of Early Bird. It’s naptime, and Cat is ready for Kitten to settle down. But Kitten has other ideas!In this book filled with opposites (big and little, black and white, sleepy and awake) Toni Yuly proves once again -as she did with Early Bird and Night Owl - that simple concepts come alive for the youngest readers through bold art and charming language.

Add to list
Jumanji
Written & illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle now Sony’s highest grossing film of all time!

Over thirty years ago, Peter and Judy first found the game—Jumanji—with the instructions that once the game is started, it must be finished or it will go on forever—and it was then, with this same wonderment, readers found Jumanji, too. Since its original publication, Jumanji has been honored with many awards, including the Caldecott Medal, and in 1996, the surreal story was adapted to fit the big screen for the first time.

Honorable Mentions
Fun and Games: Everyday Play book
Add to list
Hide and Seek book
Add to list
The Night Before the Snow Day book
Add to list
Play with Your Food book
Add to list
  1. Fun and Games: Everyday Play - Follow a diverse group of children as they enjoy their favorite games! Readers can delight in familiar play like hide-and-seek to more unusual activities like tangrams, all while learning about the importance of taking turns and participating. Includes end matter about the cultural origins of the featured games and toys.

  2. Hide and Seek - The mischievous stars of Seen and Not Heard climb out of their paintings for another nighttime adventure in this gently spooky bedtime story. A midsummer moon shines on Shiverhawk Hall, where portraits of children come alive on the wall. As night falls, the playful painted residents wake up for another Gorey-esque rhyming caper. When the DeVille twins are nowhere to be seen, the other children escape their frames in search of two girls in white dresses — and, possibly, a midnight game in the garden. Out in the night air, through the maze, and into the woods they go, looking for their mysterious friends. Will they be able to find the twins before the sun rises? Charming and eerie without ever being too scary, Katie May Green’s second tale is perfect for Halloween story times and bedtime read-alouds after a long day of play.

  3. The Night Before the Snow Day - Could it be the night before a Snow Day? It’s nighttime and snow is falling hard. Will the town be snowed in? Will there be a snow day? Odds are looking good in this newest Night Before book for the kids who dream of snowball fights, sledding, and the possibility that it may snow again tomorrow!

  4. Play with Your Food - The Permian Period was millions of years before the age of the dinosaurs…but it was still a eat-or-be-eaten world! A tiny gecko-like lizard confronts this once it lands on the menu of much larger, and oh so hungry, dimetrodon. Refusing to accept its fate lying down, the lizard dares to counter generations of hallowed wisdom. It advises the big predator that it’s better to play with your food than to eat it. When the carnivore balks, the lizard simply won’t take no for an answer!

Want to see books about playing?

Books About Games and Playing Hide-and-seek

Add to list
Oliver's Tree
Written & illustrated by Kit Chase
Thoughts from Lemony Snickers
The illustrations for Oliver's Tree are warm and homey with an older, Winnie the Pooh feel to them. The book teaches a valuable lesson about helping friends. Oliver is sad that he can't climb in the trees like his friends while they play hide and seek far above the ground. While he walks away pouting and disappointed, his friends rally to build a tree house where they can all play together. The book really is quite reminiscent of a Winnie the Pooh story. It's simple and sweet. Oliver's emotions get the best of him, but that happens to most of us at some time or another, and it sure makes a difference when we have good friends to help us through.
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A board book about three adorable best friends!

Oliver, Charlie, and Lulu love to play outside together. Their favorite game is hide-and-seek, but it’s not fun for Oliver when his friends hide in the trees—he can’t reach them! So the friends set off to find a tree that Oliver can play in.

But there’s a reason we don’t see elephants in trees, and just when Oliver is ready to give up the search, Charlie and Lulu surprise him with the perfect tree for them all to play in together!

Add to list
Hide and Seek
Written & illustrated by Taro Gomi
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

In this sly activity board book from celebrated international favorite Taro Gomi, young readers will delight to find hidden objects amidst familiar characters. When a crocodile’s dangerous smile can become a shiny toothbrush and a butterfly’s camouflage transforms into adorable heart shapes, there’s no telling what comes next! Kids will love learning that not everything in this world is as it seems. Sure to be a hit during both storytime and playtime!

Add to list
Have You Seen Elephant?
Written & illustrated by David Barrow
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

“Elephant wants to play hide and seek. You can play too, but you’ll have to try your best, he’s very good!”—Back cover.

Honorable Mentions
My Pet Giraffe book
Add to list
A B See book
Add to list
The Elephants' Guide to Hide-and-Seek book
Add to list
Little Elliot, Fall Friends book
Add to list
  1. My Pet Giraffe - Giraffes make the best pets! Follow a little girl and boy and their pet giraffe as they spy, dress up for Halloween, and play hide-and-seek!

  2. A B See - A beautifully illustrated, graphic alphabet book with a fun search-and-find twist. If a picture is worth a thousand words, what’s in a single letter? Everything in A B See! Because hidden in each graphic letter are tiny troves of ABC treasures waiting to be found by sharp-eyed readers. Can you find the apple, arrow, and armor in the letter A? Or the bear, banjo, and bike buried in the letter B? Read along in this unique alphabet board book that asks audiences to A B See beyond the ABCs.

  3. The Elephants' Guide to Hide-and-Seek - Elephants are great at many things…playing hide-and-seek is not one of them. But The Elephant Hobby and Sport League is here to help all those frustrated, always “found” elephants out there with The Elephants’ Guide to Hide-and-Seek. This handy guide offers sympathy, support and superior hiding solutions to elephants who long to overcome their size disadvantage when playing hide-and-seek. A hilarious tongue-in-cheek book perfect for elephants and their best human pals.

  4. Little Elliot, Fall Friends - It’s autumn in the Big City! Little Elliot and Mouse love the hustle and bustle of the city streets. But sometimes it feels like there are too many people, too many noises—just too much! The best friends decide to get out of town for a vacation in the countryside. There, they’ll discover the sights and smells of autumn in the country. Everything is more fun when shared with a friend!

Books About Games and Social Themes

Add to list
Hiding Heidi
Written & illustrated by Fiona Woodcock
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A beautiful and enchanting story by exciting new talent Fiona Woodcock, about a little girl with an amazing gift for concealing herself. Meet Heidi—if you can find her, that is! Heidi is the best at hiding: in school, at the playground, or in the park. Heidi’s friends know how much she loves hiding, so they always let her play and win. But Heidi learns the importance of sharing the limelight with other people when being too good at hiding makes her miss all the other fun her friends are having—and how much more fun it can be when you appreciate what your friends are good at too! She learns Freddie is great at bouncing on hippity-hops, Katie is sensational at roller-skating, and Lizzie is incredible at climbing. Heidi then realizes that she has fun doing the activities her friends like, even if she isn’t the best.

Add to list
The Boys
Written & illustrated by Jeff Newman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A shy boy, seeking the courage to play baseball with the other children in a park, is coaxed out of his shell by some “old timers” sitting nearby who, in turn, discover they are still in the game.

Add to list
Argyle Fox
Written by & illustrated by Marie Letourneau
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Argyle Fox, with his signature style, wants to play outside on a springtime day, but the wind is wreaking havoc with his fun and games. As soon as he builds a card tower, climbs into a giant spider web, or takes up his pirate sword, here comes the wind: Woosh! Mama Fox tells grumpy Argyle that if he thinks long enough, he will come up with something to do. Following his mother’s suggestion and inspired by her knitting, he works all the pieces of his day together and creates the perfect solution. The story of Argyle teaches that failure is often a path to success and celebrates perseverance, creative thinking, and an old-fashioned springtime activity.

Honorable Mentions
My Life as a Gamer book
Add to list
Penny and Her Marble book
Add to list
The Tapper Twins Go to War book
Add to list
I'm Bored book
Add to list
  1. My Life as a Gamer - Derek Fallon gets the chance of a lifetime when he is asked to test software for new video games, but he soon discovers that his dream job isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

  2. Penny and Her Marble - Caldecott Medalist Kevin Henkes’s award-winning Penny returns in the third easy-to-read story about a sweet and curious mouse, perfect for fans Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse, Owen, and Chrysanthemum. When Penny spots a marble in Mrs. Goodwin’s front yard, she picks it up, puts it in her pocket, and takes it home. It’s a beautiful marble—it’s big, shiny, blue, smooth, and fast, and Penny loves it. But does the marble really belong to Penny? Penny and Her Marble was named a 2014 Geisel Honor book by the American Library Association. This annual award, given to the most distinguished books for beginning readers, is named for the world-renowned children’s author Theodor Geisel, also known as Dr. Seuss. Kevin Henkes is a master at creating beautifully illustrated books that resonate with young children. The Penny books are new classics for beginning readers and will appeal to fans of Frog and Toad, Little Bear, and Henry and Mudge. Don’t miss Penny’s newest adventures in Penny and Her Sled, coming this fall!

  3. The Tapper Twins Go to War - This bestselling first book in the Tapper Twins series is a hilariously authentic showcase of what it’s like to be in middle school in our digitally-saturated world, told as a colorful “oral history” with photos, screenshots, text messages, chat logs, and online gaming digital art. Twelve-year-old twins, Claudia and Reese, who couldn’t be more different…except in their determination to come out on top in a vicious prank war. But when the competition escalates into an all-out battle that’s fought from the cafeteria of their New York City private school all the way to the fictional universe of an online video game, the twins have to decide if their efforts to destroy each other are worth the price.

  4. I'm Bored - When a bored girl meets a potato who finds children tedious, she tries to prove him wrong by demonstrating all of the things they can do, from turning cartwheels to using their imaginations.

Books About Games and Video Games

Add to list
The Boy Who Thought Outside the Box: The Story of Video Game Inventor Ralph Baer
Written by Marcie Wessels & illustrated by Beatriz Castro
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10

Crazy about Wii, Nintendo, X-Box, and PlayStation? Meet the inventor whose work made them all possible: Ralph Baer, creator of the first home video game system!

Today, the video game industry keeps growing, with ever more platforms available to fans. But how did the very first system come about? This picture-book biography of Ralph Baer, whose family fled Nazi Germany for the US, introduces kids to a great inventor AND the birth of the first home console. Using wartime technology, Baer thought outside the box and transformed the television into a vehicle for gaming; Baer’s invention, the Odyssey, is a precursor to the Atari gaming system. Today, interactive systems like Wii and PlayStation are descendants of Ralph’s innovative “Brown Box,” making this award-winning inventor the true “Father of Video Games.”

Add to list
PopularMMOs Presents: Enter the Mine
Written by PopularMMOs & illustrated by Dani Jones
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

New York Times bestselling authors and YouTube sensations Pat and Jen from the Minecraft-inspired channel PopularMMOs fall into a “hole” new world of adventure in their exhilarating second graphic novel. Fans of DanTDM: Trayaurus and the Enchanted Crystal and Minecraft: The Crash will love the second graphic novel from PopularMMOs, full of hilarious jokes, thrilling action, and all of your favorite characters in an exciting new setting.

After Pat and Jen saved Bomby, their cat Cloud, and one hundred friendly zombies from the clutches of Evil Jen and brought them home from the underworld, they thought their adventuring days were over. But ever since their return, more mysterious new holes have started appearing—and more and more of their friends have started disappearing! After Jen stumbles into one and Pat rushes after her, they find themselves trapped in a dark, dank boomium mine. Now Pat and Jen need to free their friends, figure out who’s behind this evil plot, and find a way to get back home—before it’s too late. In this sequel to their New York Times bestselling graphic novel, go on a brand-new adventure with PopularMMOs, one of the most popular YouTubers in the world with over 19 million subscribers and 12 billion views!

Add to list
On a Magical Do-Nothing Day
Written & illustrated by Beatrice Alemagna
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A compelling, magical picture book with whimsical, stunning art and heartfelt, charming text, from award-winning illustrator Beatrice Alemagna. “Hands down, Beatrice Alemagna is my favorite contemporary illustrator,” said the Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator of Last Stop on Market Street, Christian Robinson. All I want to do on a rainy day like today is play my game. My mom says it’s a waste of time, but without my game, nothing is fun! On the other hand, maybe I’m wrong about that… While reading On a Magical Do-Nothing Day, one gets the sense that the illustrator became lost in her drawings, and as a reader, you will want to do the same. Perfect for fans of picture books by Julie Morstad, Carson Ellis, Jon Klassen, and Tomi Ungerer. From the creator of The Wonderful Fluffy Little Squishy and A Lion in Paris!

Honorable Mentions
Timmy's Monster Diary: Screen Time Stress book
Add to list
PopularMMOs Presents A Hole New World book
Add to list
Posey, the Class Pest book
Add to list
Double Down book
Add to list
  1. Timmy's Monster Diary: Screen Time Stress - Meet Timmy, a lovable monster who can’t get enough of the coolest gadgets and video games. Too bad he doesn’t realize how much time he spends each day in front of a screen. In the same humorous spirit of Diary of a Wimpy Kid comes Timmy’s Monster Diary: Screen Time Stress. Using the “Time-Telling” and “ST4” techniques developed by Dr. Raun Melmed of the Melmed Center in Arizona, Timmy’s Monster Diary teaches kids how to self-monitor the amount of time they spend on technology. Timmy’s hilarious doodles and diary entries chronicle his delightful adventures, misadventures, and eventual triumph in a funny, relatable way. It’s the one book that kids will want to turn off the TV and read! Timmy’s Monster Diary also includes a resource section to help parents and teachers implement Dr. Melmed’s methods, plus ST4 reminders that kids can remove, color, and place around the house.

  2. PopularMMOs Presents A Hole New World - Minecraft-inspired YouTube star PopularMMOs brings everyone’s favorite characters to life in a thrilling adventure to save their friend, battle the undead, and escape the hole new world they’ve crashed into with one unfortunate misstep. Fans of DanTDM: Trayaurus and the Enchanted Crystal and Zach King: My Magical Life will love this PopularMMOs graphic novel adventure, filled with hilarious jokes, thrill-a-minute action, and beloved characters. When Pat and Jen stumble into a hidden hole while playing hide-and-seek, they find that they’re trapped in a dangerous underworld and that their good friend, Bomby, has been kidnapped! Now it’s up to our daring duo and their “friend” Carter to battle the zombies, find the castle, and get back home before it’s too late. Can Pat and Jen find Bomby and flee the underworld before they get zombified by the evilest villain of them all—Evil Jen? One of the most popular YouTubers in the world, with over 13 million subscribers and 10 billion views, PopularMMOs brings together one magical unicorn, one talking cloud, an enormous golem, a dimwitted ship captain, and one oblivious cat in this heart-stopping adventure, as Pat and Jen try to rescue their friends from the zombie-filled new world they’ve fallen into with a single regrettable stumble.

  3. Posey, the Class Pest - Daisy brings her totally true imaginary friend, Posey, to visit her totally real school in this seventh Daisy Dreamer chapter book! Nerd alert! Guess what? I, Daisy Dreamer, have a big confession. I love school. You know what else I love? Posey. He’s my totally true imaginary friend. So if I were to mix school and Posey together, then I would have the absolutely, most perfect day. Obviously. Unfortunately, sometimes mixing two great things together makes for an absolutely huge mess, like grape juice and fluffy carpets, or lollipops and long hair. Well, I would not recommend mixing school and Posey together, unless you love having a classroom pest. With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Daisy Dreamer chapter books are perfect for emerging readers.

  4. Double Down - The pressure’s really piling up on Greg Heffley. His mom thinks video games are turning his brain to mush, so she wants her son to put down the controller and explore his “creative side.” As if that’s not scary enough, Halloween’s just around the corner and the frights are coming at Greg from every angle. When Greg discovers a bag of gummy worms, it sparks an idea. Can he get his mom off his back by making a movie . . . and will he become rich and famous in the process? Or will doubling down on this plan just double Greg’s troubles?

Books About Games and Imagination And Play

Add to list
Fantastic Toys
Written & illustrated by Monika Beisner
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

This delightfully imaginative book catalogs eleven fantastical inventions of magical toys, with detailed descriptions and vivid illustrations that will make kids want to create their own fantastic toys Fantastic Toys is a dream catalog of eleven marvelous inventions, magical toys that would make the world far more interesting, if only they existed. Here are inventions based on fantasy, like winged jumping boots that let you leap so high you startle the birds; inventions to assuage fears, like a glowing teddy bear; inventions to improve upon boring tasks or gloomy weather, like child-size bath-foam animals and animal umbrellas; and even educational inventions, like the treasure-hunt letter maze. Best of all are the inventions just for fun: the skipping machine that should be in every playground and the sheep toboggan (real sheep not included) that takes sledding to a whole new level. In a perfect mimicry of marketing, each toy is advertised with an earnest, compelling description and a detailed hand-drawn illustration of happy children demonstrating the fun that can be had. Reminiscent of Marjorie Winslow’s Mud Pies and Other Recipes, Fantastic Toys is a book not only for reading but for marveling, inventing, and building. Who knows what other fantastic toys are just waiting to be invented?

Add to list
High Five
Written by Adam Rubin & illustrated by Daniel Salmieri
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

From the creators of the New York Times bestseller Dragons Love Tacos comes a rollicking, rhyme-tastic, interactive high five competition–starring YOU!

Discover the lost art of the high five and improve your slapping skills just in time for the annual high five contest! From hand-limbering stretches to lessons on five-ing with finesse, readers are guided through a series of interactive challenges, each goofier than the next.

Acclaimed creative duo Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri have dreamed up another one-of-a-kind, laugh-out-loud book that kids will beg to read again and again.

Add to list
Tom Gates: Genius Ideas (Mostly)
Written & illustrated by L. Pichon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Dreams of rock stardom take the edge off embarrassing family activities in Tom’s fourth “homework diary” crammed with doodles and stories. After receiving the shock of a lifetime — seeing his big sister, Delia, without her sunglasses on — Tom is trying to gear himself up for sports day at school. It does not help that his dad is training for the parents’ race on that day — and plans to wear bizarre cycling shorts! Meanwhile, Tom’s band, DogZombies, is supposed to play in the school talent show, meaning they’d better start practicing — a lot. It might all be worth it, though, if the absolutely brilliant band DUDE3 appears as special guests!

Honorable Mentions
Play Hide-and-Seek with Pepe & Millie book
Add to list
Five Flying Penguins book
Add to list
Ladybug Girl Plays book
Add to list
  1. Play Hide-and-Seek with Pepe & Millie - Pepe and Millie are playing hide-and-seek! When their friend Emma joins in the fun, Pepe and Millie can’t find her. Where could she be hiding?

  2. Five Flying Penguins - Five little penguins flee from a seal, flying through the water, and find themselves in an innocent game of tag.

  3. Ladybug Girl Plays - For the youngest Ladybug Girl fans comes a concept board book about all the different kinds of games that kids like to play. With its sturdy format and at 12 pages long, this book is perfect for toddlers. Ladybug Girl and her dog Bingo love to play all different kinds of games, from jump rope, to hide-and-seek, to tea party. When Ladybug Girl uses her imagination, those games become even more fun!

Books About Games and America

Add to list
The William Hoy Story
Written by Nancy Churnin & illustrated by Jez Tuya
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

All William Ellsworth Hoy wanted to do was play baseball. After losing out on a spot on the local deaf team, William practiced even harder—eventually earning a position on a professional team. But his struggle was far from over. In addition to the prejudice Hoy faced, he could not hear the umpires’ calls. One day he asked the umpire to use hand signals: strike, ball, out. That day he not only got on base but also changed the way the game was played forever. William “Dummy” Hoy became one of the greatest and most beloved players of his time!

Add to list
Duck & Goose, Let's Dance!
Written & illustrated by Tad Hills
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

“Duck and Goose have fun dancing together as friends”—

Add to list
Pass Go and Collect $200
Written & illustrated by Tanya Lee Stone
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Boldness, imagination, and ruthless competition combine in Tanya Lee Stone and Steven Salerno’s Pass Go and Collect $200, a riveting picture book history of Monopoly, one of the world’s most famous games. In the late 1800s lived Lizzie Magie, a clever and charismatic woman with a strong sense of justice. Waves of urban migration drew Lizzie’s attention to rising financial inequality. One day she had an idea: create a game that shows the unfairness of the landlord-tenant relationship. But game players seemed to have the most fun pretending to be wealthy landowners. Enter Charles Darrow, a marketer and salesman with a vision for transforming Lizzie’s game into an exciting staple of American family entertainment. Features back matter that includes “Monopoly Math” word problems and equations. Excellent STEM connections and resources.

Honorable Mentions
If You're Happy and You Know It book
Add to list
Baseball Is . . . book
Add to list
Anybody's Game book
Add to list
Harry Houdini (First Names #1) book
Add to list
  1. If You're Happy and You Know It - Sing, stomp, and clap along - if you’re happy, let it show! Get the youngest listeners moving, clapping, and flapping in this brightly colored board book, perfect for small hands, full of joyful jungle animals. Nod along with groovy giraffe, flap with baby bird, and ROAR out loud with lion. Jane Cabrera’s fresh spin on the familiar song is a family favorite for baby dance parties since 2003. An Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award Winner. Jane Cabrera’s Story Time celebrates children’s best-loved read along nursery rhymes and songs. These interactive favorites are given a new twist by award-winning artist Jane Cabrera and feature her bold, bright, kid-friendly illustrations. Other titles in the series include Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush, One Two Buckle My Shoe, and Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.

  2. Baseball Is . . . - The ultimate celebration of an all-American sport, this picture book captures the joy and the history of baseball—and knocks it out of the park! Don’t wait for Opening Day to start your baseball season! Crack open Baseball Is… and revel in the fun of this all-American game! Perfect for the stats-counting superfan and the brand-new little leaguer, Baseball Is… captures the spirit of this cherished pastime, honoring its legendary past, and eagerly anticipating the future of the sport that is “stitched into our history.”

  3. Anybody's Game - In 1950, Kathryn Johnston wanted to play Little League, but an unwritten rule kept girls from trying out. So she cut off her hair and tried out as a boy under the nickname “Tubby.” She made the team—and inspired future generations. An inspiring and suspenseful story about what it means to want to do something so badly you’re willing to break the rules—and how, sometimes, breaking the rules can lead to change.

  4. Harry Houdini (First Names #1) - Discover the man behind the magic and see how Houdini pulled off his most daring escapes Before Harry Houdini (1874-1926) became the greatest magician in the world, he was just little Ehrich Weisz, a Hungarian-born immigrant who moved to America with his family and performed stage tricks for a little extra cash. He started off with card tricks and then eventually began performing the escape acts that would make him famous. Known for his daring and death-defying illusions, he would do some of the greatest tricks ever: escaping from a milk can, being buried alive, and being locked inside a crate and thrown into a river. He conquered each of these seemingly impossible feats and showed the world the power of a little magic. Fun, fast-paced, and highly illustrated, Harry Houdini tells the story of the curious boy who became the world’s greatest magician and reveals how Houdini did some of his most stunning escapes. It includes a timeline, glossary, and index.

Want to see books about America?

Books About Games and Bedtime

Add to list
Goodnight Football
Written by Michael Dahl & illustrated by Christina E. Forshay
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

In rhyming text a child, home from a game, bids goodnight to all the sights and sounds of a school football game.

Add to list
Goodnight Hockey
Written by Michael Dahl & illustrated by Christina E. Forshay
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

A young fan cheers on his hometown hockey team, and then returns home to snuggle into bed.

Add to list
Goodnight Soccer
Written by Michael Dahl & illustrated by Christina E. Forshay
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

From the opening kickoff to the final goal, a young girl says goodnight to her most beloved sport: soccer. With delightful, rhyming text and energetic art, this bedtime book captures the thrill and excitement of the world’s most popular sport. Full color.

Honorable Mentions
Piggies book
Add to list
Simon Says Open the Book book
Add to list
Buster and the Baby book
Add to list
  1. Piggies - Children will delight in the antics of ten marvelous little piggies who romp from fingers to toes in this original bedtime fantasy. Don Wood’s oil paintings explode with mirth and magic and will engage all young readers.”Trying to describe these luxuriant, witty pictures doesn’t really work, however; seeing is believing, and what luck for us there’s so much to see.”—Booklist

  2. Simon Says Open the Book - In this illustrated board book based on the beloved children’s game, readers and listeners alike are prompted to act out the commands as the rhythmic text leads to a sleep-inducing conclusion.

  3. Buster and the Baby - Buster the dog and a baby engage in a playful game of chase all day. When nighttime comes, they’re still bonding.

Want to see books about bedtime?

Books About Games and Magic

Add to list
Quidditch Through the Ages
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

If you have ever asked yourself where the Golden Snitch came from, how the Bludgers came into existence, or why the Wigtown Wanderers have pictures of meat cleavers on their robes, you need Quidditch Through the Ages. This invaluable volume is consulted by young Quidditch fans on an almost daily basis. Proceeds from the sale of this book will go to Comic Relief, who will use your money to continue improving and changing lives — work that is even more important and astonishing than the three-and-a-half-second capture of the Golden Snitch by Roderick Plumpton in 1921. — Albus Dumbledore

Add to list
The Rambling
Written by Jimmy Cajoleas
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

From the author of Goldeline, a Booklist Top 10 First Novels for Youth pick, comes a mesmerizing middle grade fantasy about family and the power of storytelling. Perfect for fans of The Girl Who Drank the Moon and The Thickety. Buddy Pennington is headed to river country, hoping his luck might change. He’ll be better off with his daddy, a wandering soul and a local legend for his skills at Parsnit, a mysterious card game of magic, chance, and storytelling. But no sooner are Buddy and his pop reunited than some of Pop’s old enemies arrive to take him away. Boss Authority, the magical crime lord who has held the rivers in his grasp for years, is ready to collect on an old debt Buddy’s father owes. Now Buddy must set out on a dangerous rescue mission, learning to play Parsnit with the best of them as he goes. Because the stars are aligning for one last epic duel—one that will require a sticky-fingered ally, a lucky twist of fate, and the hand of a lifetime. And in this game, you’re only as strong as the story you tell.

Add to list
Guess Which Hand
Written by Hans Wilhelm & illustrated by Ilaria Guarducci
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Kids know the drill: Two hands are closed, and there’s something hidden in one palm. Which hand is it? This novelty board book brings the classic guessing game to life in a playful new way! Children turn an interactive “wheel” to hide a variety of objects (a bone, fish, ladybug, flower, and more) under flaps (hands, paws, hats, seashells, ears) on every spread. All that’s left is to wager a guess and lift the flap for the reveal!

Honorable Mentions
King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table book
Add to list
Excellent Ernesto Cousins 3/Wrestlevania book
Add to list
  1. King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table - Embrace your inner geek with Puffin Pixels Puffin Pixels is a collection of classics featuring pixelated, 8-bit video game cover artwork in the Minecraft style. King Arthur is one of the greatest legends of all time. From the magical moment when Arthur releases the sword in the stone to the quest for the Holy Grail and the final tragedy of the Last Battle, Roger Lancelyn Green brings the enchanting world of King Arthur stunningly to life.

  2. Excellent Ernesto Cousins 3/Wrestlevania - In this next installment of the new play-your-way adventure tale, players encounter a haunted arcade on a deserted boardwalk. Upon entering, the reader finds themself absorbed into one of two video games in which the reader determines the course of action, ultimately controlling whether they live . . . or die! During a late-night stroll on your boring summer beach vacation, you discover a derelict video arcade managed by a ghostly attendant. Presented with a magical game token, you select one of two games you wish to play, the Excellent Ernesto Cousins 3 or Wrestlevania. Once you place the token in the slot, you have to make choices to advance through the games, and your decisions control whether you beat the game–or die. Both games feature unique challenges and life-like game play that will delight readers, and the most important choice in either game for those now trapped inside them, is the one that will keep them alive.

Want to see books about magic?

Books About Games and Nature

Add to list
I See a Pattern Here
Written & illustrated by Bruce Goldstone
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

An introduction to the ubiquitous and aesthetic world of patterns reveals less-recognized examples while showcasing a diverse, colorful array of patterns from nature and art, and offering suggestions for how children can make patterns of their own.

Add to list
Fall
Written & illustrated by Ailie Busby
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

Children describe their favorite things to do during the fall, from collecting acorns to baking pies.

Add to list
Winter
Written & illustrated by Ailie Busby
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

Children describe their favorite things t do during the winter, from playing in the snow to indoor activities.

Honorable Mentions
Summer book
Add to list
Spring book
Add to list
  1. Summer - Follow the children in this book as they discover and explore the unique character of summer through indoor and outdoor play.

  2. Spring - Follow the children in this book as they discover and explore the unique character of spring, through indoor and outdoor play.

Want to see books about nature?

Did you enjoy our games book recommendations? Did you know you can help us improve this list? Check out our Community Handbook and learn how to add tags to books.

Additional book lists you might enjoy:

Suggested Links