Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to movement. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about movement.
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.
When it comes to children’s stories about movement, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like If You’re Happy and You Know It to popular sellers like Giraffes Can’t Dance to some of our favorite hidden gems like Barnyard Dance!.
We hope this list of kids books about movement 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.
Mama has trained up her baby possums in the ways of their breed, and now it’s time for all of them—even little Appleblossom—to make their way in the world. Appleblossom knows the rules: she must never be seen during the day, and she must avoid cars, humans, and the dreaded hairies (sometimes known as dogs). Even so, Appleblossom decides to spy on a human family—and accidentally falls down their chimney! The curious Appleblossom, her faithful brothers—who launch a hilarious rescue mission—and even the little girl in the house have no idea how fascinating the big world can be. But they’re about to find out! With dynamic illustrations, a tight-knit family, and a glimpse at the world from a charming little marsupial’s point of view, this cozy animal story is a perfect read-aloud and a classic in the making.
The message of this book is wonderful—I love that it inspires confidence in oneself and not worrying about what others think of you, and embracing your differences.
Gerald the giraffe is too clumsy to dance with all the other animals at the Jungle Dance, until he finds the right music. On board pages.
In this wordless book with interactive flaps, a friendship develops between a girl named Flora and a graceful flamingo, as they learn to dance together.
Betsy Bird knows all there is to know about kids and books. She is the New York Public Library’s youth collections specialist, she writes a blog hosted by School Library Journal, and has served on the Newbery Medal committee. Now Betsy Bird has written a children’s book of her own, Giant Dance Party. In this rollicking picture book, a group of giants shows up at Lexy’s door wanting dance lessons. After some initial hesitation, Lexy is happy to teach them, and her dance classes end with all her students—as well as Lexy herself—overcoming their fears and putting on a boogying performance. Brandon Dorman, an award-winning artist whose work can be found in The Wizard, and on the covers of Fablehaven and Goosebumps, brings the giants and their dance moves to life with his full-color illustrations.
This popular Sandra Boynton read is definitely a fun one. I like that readers can follow along with the dance moves and that it encourages dancing how you like best. I also really enjoy the fun, silly, and lyrical text. :)
Let’s do the Pookie Shimmy (Oh, yeah!) in this toe-tapping board book from the beloved and bestselling Sandra Boynton. Say hey, Little Pookie! You’re a wonder to see. Come on, my little Pookie, Won’t you dance with me? Are you ready to do the piggy-piggy shake? Then put on your snazzy sneakers and join the dance party as Little Pookie boogies to a Pookie-Pookie beat. With Sandra Boynton’s signature charm and piggy pizzazz, this fabulous story proves that every Little Pookie loves to shimmy!
Miss Bunny's Shapes - B is for Bookworm - This colorful, lift-the-flap book talks about different shapes, dancing, and partying at the bunny hop. The text rhymes, and I like that the illustrations have a lot of different details and shapes on the pages.
The Twelve Dancing Princesses - For generations, children have loved the enchanting story of the twelve beautiful princesses and the handsome young lad who solves the mystery of their tattered shoes. Now Marianna Mayer brings to life all the splendor and romance of this beloved classic, from the dazzling forests Of silver, gold, and diamonds to a twilight palace where the bewitched princesses dance to hypnotic music. And award-winning artist Kinuko Craft add, her own magic: a visual feast of exquisite, jewel-like paintings that sweep across the pages. Together, Mayer and Craft have created an unforgettable world that readers of all ages will want to return to again and again.
Zombelina - A young zombie gives a haunting performance in her first ballet dance recital.
Swan - B is for Bookworm - This beautifully illustrated book tells the story of Anna Pavlova, a ballerina who came from nothing and worked so hard to achieve her dreams, then traveled to share the joy she found through dance with others.
I have fond memories of being read this as a child, reading it myself to younger siblings and now reading it with my own child. Boynton’s illustrations are delightful as always, and this one has perfect cadence and just the right amount of silliness.
Everybody sing along—because it’s time to do-si-do in the barnyard with a high-spirited animal crew! From Boynton on Board, the bestselling series of board books, here is BARNYARD DANCE, with Sandra Boynton’s twirling pigs, fiddle-playing cows, and other unforgettable animals. Extra-big, extra-fat, and extra-fun, BARNYARD DANCE features lively rhyming text and a die-cut cover that reveals the wacky characters inside. Guaranteed to get kids and adults stomping their feet. The “Barnyard Dance! song, performed by John Stey, is available for download.
Now available in a beautiful board book edition, the New York City Ballet presents a classic ballet tale for a modern ballet lover with George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, a holiday favorite. The New York City Ballet is known for showcasing classic stories of the ballet with their trademark stylish and modern sensibility. For the first time, this beloved holiday story is told based on George Balanchine’s quintessential production. The storyline of this gorgeous board book mimics the choreography of the famous ballet and the illustrations are inspired by the backdrops and scenery from the actual production. The New York City Ballet’s production of the Nutcracker is considered to be “the” leading production in the world. A holiday tradition for many families, now readers who can’t travel to New York will be able to experience this celebratory story. A must-have for every aspiring ballerina’s library and a holiday keepsake for every family’s bookshelf.
While the cover might be classified as “girly” by some (don’t get me started on the boy books/girl books discussion!), the inside is packed with examples of all types of dance (disco, gymnastics, break-dancing, synchronized swimming, and tap dancing) being executed by both little boy and little girl dancers, so there’s plenty of gender diversity going on. The holes for sticking your fingers through to be the dancers legs on each page are fun, both at the baby stage where they try to grab your fingers and giggle as you wiggle them around and as munchkins get older and can do it themselves. The verdict—cute interactive book for getting some of the wiggles out!
Readers make dancers disco, tap, or pirouette just by wiggling their fingers. But wait! There’s even more fun. In an impressive gatefold finale, readers use two sets of hands to help the dancers perform an encore. With interactive holes on every page and a satisfying touch-and-feel cover, this charming board book is the perfect way to play and read together.
Andy and Sandy hit the stage in this fourth book of an easy-to-read picture book series about friendship—from Caldecott and Newbery Honoree Tomie dePaola and Emmy Award–winning writer for the Muppets Jim Lewis. Outgoing Sandy convinces shy Andy to do a dance at the big talent show. The only problem? Andy doesn’t know how to dance! Luckily, Sandy is a good teacher. But when showtime finally arrives, it’s Sandy who freezes up! A true friend through and through, Andy overcomes his shyness to save the performance. Let’s give a standing ovation to friendship! Written in simple words and short, declarative sentences, this book is perfect for little ones just learning to read on their own.
Determined to win tickets to an Elvis Poultry concert, hens Marge and Lola enter the Barnyard Talent Show, then, while the ducks who usually win the contest jeer, they test out their abilities.
Baby Loves to Boogie! - The Goodfather - In Baby Loves to Boogie, it’s fun to see different animals doing all kinds of different dances that seem to match each animal very well. But what the little readers around our home really love to see is baby boogying!
Angelina Ballerina - A little mouse named Angelina becomes the famous ballerina Mademoiselle Angelina after much practice at Miss Lilly’s Ballet School.
Fancy Nancy: Budding Ballerina - What starts out as dancing school just for Dad quickly turns into a ballet class for Nancy’s whole family. Fans of Fancy Nancy will delight in learning to plié, pirouette, and jeté with Nancy as she demonstrates all of the positions she’s learned in ballet class. From the New York Times bestselling team Jane O’Connor and Robin Preiss Glasser, who have entertained millions of girls and boys with the Fancy Nancy series.
Cockatoo, Too - B is for Bookworm - This book just makes me laugh! I love the word play, and I love how silly everything sounds reading it aloud. The illustrations are cute, too! I recommend this for older children, though, as younger children won’t understand the play on words.
Discover what these animals do in this playful board book by award-winning author Douglas Florian. Flamingos fly. Sailfish swim. Monkeys swing on a jungle gym! Discover what different animals do in this fun, rhyming story by award-winning author Douglas Florian! Animals include flying flamingos, swimming sailfish, swinging monkeys, diving dolphins, soaring swallows, creeping starfish, digging prairie dogs, lunging lizards, plunging pelicans, jumping jaguars, leaping llamas, and sleeping sloths.
Parents and children learn how to say “I love you” through yoga as they move through their day together in a perfectly mindful way.
I love you in the morning when we salute the sun. Wiggle and stretch out of bed, our day has now begun.
From morning to night, I Yoga You celebrates the love a parent shares with their child while also teaching simple yoga poses. Sun salutations give way to mountain poses, tree poses, and more as families move through their mindful day together.
This padded board book teaches little ones a new way to say “I love you”—reveling in those quiet daily moments that shine with energy, delight, and surprises.
Say namaste to Meddy Teddy, a rising star in the yogi world, in his debut picture book! Media and social media sensation Meddy Teddy is a cuddly, yoga pant-clad, completely poseable plush bear that introduces meditation and mindfulness practices to little yogis. In this first-ever companion book, Meddy encourages readers to try yoga poses as he comes out of hibernation, greets the springtime, and teaches his forest friends how to mindfully get through a variety of situations. On each page, Meddy shows how to execute a pose, including downward-facing dog, tree pose, the Warrior, and more. The youngest yogis, and their families and friends, will rejoice as they master each one, and work up to completing the whole sequence! Yoga and mindfulness have proven benefits for kids: they help them become aware of their own bodies, and deal with feelings like anxiety, frustration, confusion, fear, and sadness in a healthy way. Meddy Teddy is perfect for introducing kids (and grown ups) of all ages to the practice of yoga.
Grab hold of this book that lets you steer a race car that’s revving up to win the big race! This is going to be a tough race. . . . There are a bunch of speedy cars already ahead of you! You’re coming up to a blue car there on your right. Speed up and then swerve into the lane to get ahead of him! Put on your seatbelt and your helmet-it’s time to drive a race car! Kids will love using the die-cut handles in this novelty board book to control the race car to steer through the track around cars and into other lanes to try and win the big race!
Llama Llama TOUCH! Llama Llama TAP! Llama Llama Red Pajama CLAP, CLAP, CLAP!
Can you move like Llama Llama? Watch Llama hop, stretch, touch, and tap in this third board book by Anna Dewdney. Then you can do it, too!
Waddle! - It’s Waddle! And it’s in color. And boy, is it irresistible. In the same way that kids can’t read Gallop! without wanting to gallop around the room, Waddle!, an animals-in-motion Scanimation book, will inspire prancing, hopping, stomping, and scampering. And did we mention color? Created by the optical genius behind the phenomenal #1 and #2 New York Times bestselling children’s books, Gallop! and Swing!, Waddle! adds touches of color to the images and integrates it into the text. That prancing pig is pink, the leaping dolphin is blue, the slithering snake yellow. The Scanimation itself is also more lifelike, as the author continues to refine his patented Scanimation process, resulting in a more fluid, realistic motion. Nothing else compares. Waddle! teaches color and movement. Its language is a joy, the rhymes inspiring, the animals full of life. And one more thing: Waddle! has a surprise ending. Something else to grab the reader—literally.
ABC Yoga - Pairing simplified yoga poses with alphabetized animals and objects, ABC Yoga features colorful illustrations of children and animals practicing yoga along with playful rhymes to explain each movement. A fun family read, this interactive title is perfect for teaching toddlers their ABCs, as well as introducing them to familiar animals and basic, simplified yoga poses that promote health and well-being. Each letter of the alphabet is paired with an engaging illustration mimicking the various animals’ natural movements. Clever rhymes explain how toddlers (and their parents!) can copy the poses, each of which encourage movement, physical fitness, and mental health. The 26 yoga poses, one for each letter of the alphabet, are renamed for easy understanding, while an index at the end of the book identifies the correct name for each asana (yoga pose) for the adults. The engaging illustrations and playful rhymes encourage children and their parents to get up and move, promoting physical activity, learning, and togetherness.
Dance - From the #1 New York Times bestselling children’s book creator Matthew Van Fleet comes a laugh-out-loud, jazzy story of a little baby chick who learns how to dance from a friendly band of animals who know all the right moves! Shake, shake, shake, shimmy, shimmy, shake! You can dance! Young readers will delight in the charming art, jazzy text, and in pulling the five sturdy pull tabs to make the different animals bounce, shake and bop as they dance to the Hippoppta Hula, Gator Mashed Patater, and more! Listen and dance to the song at VanFleetBooks.com. Get your dancing feet ready!
Plinka Plinka Ting Ting - Ting ting, boom boom, pata pata. Maracas shake, cymbals crash, and the kazoo goes WHA WOO. Every page in this music box of a book invites children to pick up an instrument and play a tune. They’ll love joining in and making a joyful noise!
Llama Llama ZIP! Llama Llama ZOOM! Llama Llama Red Pajama VROOM, VROOM, VROOM!
On the playground, Llama goes fast! Llama zips by on his scooter and swishes down the slide–whoosh! Younger audiences will love doing as Llama does in this supremely adorable fourth board book.
Black car, green car, nice car, mean car. Near car, far car. Whoa! Bizarre car!
Ready to hit the road? Gear up for a nonstop parade of shapes, sizes, sounds, and even smells in a wild array of cars packed with big personalities, awesome features, and eccentric passengers. Driven by Peter Stein’s bouncing verse, Bob Staake’s high-powered artwork merges vibrant color and crisp, dynamic design with humor, warmth, and whimsy. This rousing excursion is sure to thrill all fans of things that go, as well as aficionados of the illustrator’s signature style.
Sometimes kids’ lives can get busy and out of control, and worries can take over. When that happens, knowing how to pause and regain composure with mindfulness can help! This easily digestible guide introduces kids to mindfulness as a way to find clarity, manage stress, handle difficult emotions, and navigate personal challenges. With step-by-step instructions to over thirty breathing, relaxation, and guided meditation exercises, readers will have an entire toolkit at their disposal and writing prompts will help them process their discoveries. Clearly written and incredibly relatable, this invaluable resource provides a positive introduction to the world of self-care and mindfulness.
An eagle soaring among the clouds, a star twinkling in the night sky, a camel in the desert, or a boat sailing across the sea . . . Yoga has the power of transformation. Not only does it strengthen bodies and calm minds, but with a little imagination, it can show us that anything is possible. New York Times bestselling illustrator Peter H. Reynolds teams up with author and certified Yoga instructor Susan Verde in this book about creativity and the power of self-expression. I Am Yoga encourages children to explore the world of Yoga and make room in their hearts for the world beyond it.
Gallop! - There’s never before been a book like Gallop! Employing a patented new technology called Scanimation, each page is a marvel that brings animals, along with one shining star, to life with art that literally moves. It’s impossible not to flip the page, and flip it again, and again, and again. A first book of motion for kids, it shows a horse in full gallop and a turtle swimming up the page. A dog runs, a cat springs, an eagle soars, and a butterfly flutters. Created by Rufus Butler Seder, an inventor, artist, and filmmaker fascinated by antique optical toys, Scanimation is a state-of-the-art six-phase animation process that combines the “persistence of vision” principle with a striped acetate overlay to give the illusion of movement. It harkens back to the old magical days of the kinetoscope, and the effect is astonishing, like a Muybridge photo series springing into action—or, in terms kids can relate to, like a video without a screen. Complementing the art is a delightful rhyming text full of simple questions and fun, nonsense replies: Can you gallop like a horse? giddyup-a-loo! Can you strut like a rooster? cock-a-doodle-doo! Every child who opens the book will be amazed—and so will every parent.
A Hop Is Up - Wiggly, giggly preschoolers will love the action in this picture book with its catchy sequence of movements and directions — hop up, bend down, spin round, jump over — that are endlessly fun! A young boy and his energetic puppy take a walk in their neighborhood, where they encounter and interact with lots of friends along the way! Dempsey’s poetic and playful text is brought to life by Richmond’s rich, kid-friendly illustrations. It all comes together for an inspired story that will have everyone on their feet!
Happiness Doesn't Come from Headstands - Trying—and failing—can be a path to happiness too. Leela loves to do yoga. She could do all sorts of poses, but there was one pose she couldn’t do. Every time Leela tried to do a headstand…KERPLUNK! This book explores the themes of acceptance, resilience, and self-compassion and offers the message that just because we may experience a failure does not mean that we are a failure. Written as a counterpoint to the message of The Little Engine that Could, Happiness Doesn’t Come from Headstands is a story about a girl who tries her best, but still falls down. Through the process she learns that happiness is not determined by external achievement. Even in the face of failure, peace can be found if we accept that we cannot do everything and focus on our experience.
Yawning Yoga - A beautiful bedtime routine for yogis of any age! Starting with a gentle Om, Yawning Yoga’s simple instructions, gorgeous illustrations, and soothing poetry guide readers through a relaxing routine to end the day. Thoughtful poems depict a series of step-by-step yoga poses. Each of the poses is accompanied by its Sanskrit name, adding to the layers of learning. Written by a specialist in yoga for children, this lovely introduction to the elements of yoga practice—including stretching, posture, and breath work—will help children and their caring adults ready their bodies for a restful sleep.
With simple instructions and bright, clear illustrations, award-winning artist Taeeun Yoo invites children to enjoy yoga by assuming playful animal poses. And she sparks their imagination further by encouraging them to pretend to be the animal – to flutter like a butterfly, hiss like a snake, roar like a lion and more. Yoga is great for kids because it promotes flexibility and focus – and it’s relaxing good fun! The charming pictures of children and animals and the lyrical text make this gentle introduction to yoga a book to be treasured.
Who loves yoga? Everyone from ballerinas to football players to moms and dads! It’s a great way to keep your body and your mind happy and healthy! Includes instructions for eleven classic yoga poses.
This award winning series has been specifically designed for babies. A great introduction to books through well-known nursery rhymes and interactive text. Singing songs and rhymes is the perfect way to bond with your baby and share quality time. It also aids language development by introducing them to the natural sounds and patterns of speech. Combining these with actions also stimulates the brain and helps muscle development.
Young readers can learn all about what happens at yoga class in this Pre-level 1 Ready-to-Read with sweet text and photographs of yogis-in-training! It’s the first day of yoga class in this early reader by Biscuit creator Alyssa Satin Capucilli. Roll out your yoga mat! What will it be like? Yoga students stand on sticky mats and learn poses with animal names like “downward dog” and “lion pose.” Young readers will love seeing kids their age practicing yoga in this adorable introduction to the sport! Includes a special section of step-by-step instructions for basic yoga poses—to be done with a parent or guardian’s supervision.
I'm Bored - When a bored girl meets a potato who finds children tedius, she tries to prove him wrong by demonstrating all of the things they can do, from turning cartwheels to using their imaginations.
Yoga Baby - In this photographic board book, a diverse group of babies show off yoga moves that come naturally to them.
Peaceful Piggy Meditation - What can you do when you’re mad, sad, or anxious? Find a quiet spot, sit, and breathe. When you meditate every day, your mind stays happy, and even bad days are a little easier.
Yoga Magic - Make yoga magic with the most beautiful and interactive kids yoga book out there! Pull the levers, turn the wheels, and watch as 13 adorable children come to life to act out 13 yoga poses and create other yoga magic. Kids will delight in seeing the sun rise over the mountain pose, boats float beneath the bridge pose, and branches magnificently blossom when a child makes the tree pose. A perfect tool for instructing and inspiring little yogis of all ages.
An illustrated board book with words and music to a song celebrating all the things a child can make ten fingers do, including shutting them up tight and opening them wide.
With simple text and fun, engaging illustrations, Yoga Storytime is the perfect book to introduce kids to the benefits of yoga. Discover the basics of practicing yoga by tracing the story of its beginnings in India, showing how its earliest practitioners observed things in nature, such as trees, cats, snakes, and lions, and then imitated their poses. They realized that the most simple and natural thing to do is breathe; the practice of yoga starts with becoming mindful of one’s own breath and then learning how to breathe and do nothing more. Míriam Raventós was born and still lives in Barcelona, Spain. It wasn’t until her thirties that she began training to be a yoga instructor. She now teaches at Proyoga, a yoga studio that her mother founded in 1985. Maria Girón was also born in Barcelona and grew up in Garrotxa, Spain. She studied fine arts at the University of Barcelona and illustration at the Llotja School of Art and Design in Barcelona.
This lively, hands-on guide to meditation, mindfulness, and yoga is a perfect introduction for tweens and teens. Don’t just do something, be here. The key to happiness is being able to find comfort in this moment, here and now. When you are completely present and not distracted by regrets, worries, and plans, even for a little while, you begin to feel more confident and can deal more easily with everything you experience. This is mindfulness: paying attention to this very moment, on purpose and without judgment–simply being present with curiosity. This engaging guide, packed with simple exercises and endearing full-color artwork, provides a handy starting point for bringing mindfulness into your daily life. Chapters on meditation, yoga, and mindful breathing explain the benefits of these practices, and you are free to pick and choose what to try. There are quick exercises throughout, and a more extensive tool kit at the end of each chapter. The final chapter offers satisfying five-day challenges that map out ways to pull all of the book’s mindfulness techniques together in your day-to-day life.
Presents the lyrics to the nursery rhyme along with illustrations featuring children acting out the motions indicated by the song. On board pages.
Kick! Jump! Chop! - In a tale reminiscent of The Gingerbread Man, Sensei bakes a Ninjabread Man to spice up the sparring in his dojo, and the new cookie is undefeated until a fox appears.
Wiggle and Move - Features five songs and activities that encourage interaction between parent and baby. On board pages.
Touch & Tickle - Features special activities to promote feelings of security and confidence and encourage interaction between parent and baby. On board pages.
If You're Happy and You Know It - The words to a familiar nursery song encourage babies and their parents to have fun together. On board pages.
Adorable ocean creatures sway, jiggle and play, glide, flip, and dive in this beautiful board book from indie collage artist Kate Endle and children’s music star Caspar Babypants. Toddlers will love this colorful board book about ocean creatures, featuring beautiful and playful collage art by indie artist Kate Endle and the clever word play of Seattle songwriter Caspar Babypants. Walruses warmly wave! Sea turtles tip and flip. River otters race through the ripples. Belugas blow bubbles.
Yeah, what do wheels do all day? Well . . . they push . . . race . . . stroll . . . fly . . . whiz . . . and spin . . . all day long!
Simple, direct text, combined with brilliant cut-paper relief illustrations, captures kids’ fascination with “things that go” and opens their minds to the wide variety of wheels and what they do.
Join these animals as they leap, crawl, race, and sing in this playful board book by award-winning author Douglas Florian. Leap, frog, leap! Creep, caterpillar, creep! In this playful, rhyming story by award-winning author Douglas Florian, join these animals as they do what they do best! Watch a frog leap, a caterpillar creep, a rabbit race, a cheetah chase, a hen peck, a turtle trek, a sparrow sing, a monkey swing, a crab crawl, a crow call, a gull soar, a bear explore, a spider spin, a crocodile grin, and a chick peep! At the end, a child sleeps with all the animals surrounding him.
Feast your eyes on the latest split-page board books from Eric Carle. In the sumptuous My Very First Book of Food, children can match each animal with the food it eats. Do you know what a squirrel eats? How about a seal? In My Very First Book of Motion, children can match each animal with the way it moves. Which animal hops? Which one waddles? Only you can match them. These fun books are full of bright animals, and are lots of fun for young children.