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Playgrounds: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about playgrounds?

As you can see, this list of kids books about playgrounds is a work in progress! We’re currently exploring the best books available, and we’d love your input. If you have a title you’d suggest including on our list of kids books about playgrounds, please share it with us!

We’ll be featuring a variety of titles on our list, from well known classics to popular bestsellers to lesser known titles that deserve a bigger audience. We’re also including books for a range of ages, from board books for babies and toddlers, to picture books for preschool and kindergarten age kids, to chapter books for early elementary age kids.

We’d love to hear any book suggestions you have—you can comment below or email us at [email protected].

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David Jumps In
Written by Alan Woo & illustrated by Katty Maurey
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

This lyrical tale, written in simple free verse, tells how a game with roots in ancient China — called elastic skip in this story — helps a boy find his footing on his first day at a new school.

It is David’s first day at his brand-new school. He doesn’t know anyone. At recess, he stands alone and watches the other children enjoying their activities on the playground, from practicing soccer moves and climbing monkey bars to playing hopscotch and daydreaming in the grass. Bundled deep inside David’s pocket is a string of rubber bands, knotted and ready for a game of elastic skip. But will anyone want to try that game? he wonders. Will anyone want to play with him?

With simple, lyrical free verse, Alan Woo echoes the singsong of schoolyard games to draw readers into the deeper levels of this lovely and poignant picture book story. Exploring the themes of friendship, diversity, belonging and inclusion, the book also celebrates David’s self-acceptance and comfort with his own unique identity. With roots in ancient China, David’s jump-rope game — called elastic skip in the story, but known by many different names — is a symbol for multicultural connections, linking David and his new schoolmates through the sharing of his background. Katty Maurey’s colorful screen print-style illustrations evoke the seemingly endless space, energy, brightness and noise of recess. And through changing perspective, readers see David’s evolution from a small figure lost in the crowd to a larger, central one at the story’s close. This book would make an excellent choice for social studies discussions on community or cultures. It also could launch discussions on courage or individuality.

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$14.46
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Llama Llama Zippity-zoom
Written & illustrated by Anna Dewdney
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

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.

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$6.99
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$5.94
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$6.99
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What Can You Do with a Toolbox?
Written by John Colaneri and Anthony Carrino & illustrated by Maple Lam
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From HGTV stars, cousins, and best friends John Colaneri and Anthony Carrino comes a fun-filled picture book that introduces young readers to the tools in a toolbox and how to use them. A hammer. Nails. A screwdriver. How do we use them? Using simple language, cousins Anthony and John introduce kids to tools and their uses. As their construction project grows, so does the number of kids helping. At the end, they reveal exactly what you can do with a toolbox: We can build a playground!

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$17.99
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$11.99
Used $3.81
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Tangled
Written by Anne Miranda & illustrated by Eric Comstock
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From award-winning author Anne Miranda comes a rollicking rhyming story about an unruly gang of sixteen geometric shapes who get tangled in the neighborhood jungle gym until their friend comes to their rescue and order is restored. Perfect for fans of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom! One day a little circle, just as happy as could be, got caught inside a jungle gym, and couldn’t wiggle free. When the neighborhood shapes go climbing on the park jungle gym the last thing they expect is a tangle. First the circle, next the triangle and then the square. One by one soon all sixteen shapes are trapped. They push and pull and tumble and cry for help. Who will save them? One special shape can set the others free. Can you guess which one it is? This charming story makes learning the names of sixteen shapes as easy as a day in the park.

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$10.74
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Swing
Written & illustrated by Michael Hall
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

As four very different letters arrive at the playground, each makes the next feel unwelcome, but once they begin to swing together, they have a wonderful time.

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$17.99
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  • Higher! Higher! - The sky’s no limit in a witty picture book about a child on a swing and the wonders of the imagination. (Ages 2-5) One child. One swing. An obliging dad. The inevitable plea to go “Higher! Higher!” Add Leslie Patricelli’s wildly expressive illustrations, and an everyday pastime reaches new heights of humor and whimsy. How high can it go? Higher than a giraffe? Taller than a mountain? Is Earth the final frontier? The creator of a popular series of board books rises to the occasion with an ingenious picture book of very few words that expresses the giddy glee of being pushed in a swing.

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