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Soccer: Picture Books For Kids

Whether you're a Renaldo or Messi fan, you call it football or soccer, or you just like to kick the ball around once in a while, these are the books for you! Even if you don't like to play and prefer to just read about soccer, we get it.

Soccer is the most popular sport in the world, yet it can be rather hard to find quality children's books about the sport. We've gathered up our favorites! They span from straightforward soccer details to lessons on practice, teamwork, and unity.

Soccer Star book
#1
Soccer Star
Written by Mina Javaherbin and illustrated by Renato Alarcao
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

An inspiring story of a Brazilian boy who dreams of being a soccer star -- and the sister who steps in to help his team win a game. When Paulo Marcelo Feliciano becomes a soccer star, crowds will cheer his famous name! Then his mother won't have to work long hours, and he won't have to work all day on a fishing boat. For now, Paulo takes care of his little sister Maria (she teaches him reading, he teaches her soccer moves) and walks her to school, stopping to give his teammates cheese buns as they set out to shine people's shoes or perform for the tourist crowd. At day's end, it's time to plan the game, where Givo will bounce, Carlos will kick, and Jose will fly! But when Jose falls on his wrist, will the team finally break the rules and let a girl show her stuff? Set in a country whose resilient soccer stars are often shaped by poverty, this uplifting tale of transcending the expected scores a big win for all.

Froggy Plays Soccer book
#2
Froggy Plays Soccer
Written by Jonathan London and illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Thoughts from Mom of Boys

This is a cute book about a soccer team. They play together to win a city cup. It teaches about some rules of soccer in a fun way for children who may not know much or for those little soccer players that need a reminder that hands are not allowed. Froggy is a fun character to follow who learns quickly that he needs to pay attention and be a team player.

It’s the day of the big game, and Froggy is ready. His soccer team is playing the Wild Things for the City Cup. All Froggy has to do is remember the rule: “Head it! Boot it! Knee it! Shoot it! BUT DON’T USE YOUR HANDS!” But Froggy’s busy doing cartwheels and picking daisies. Uh oh, Froggy! Here comes the ball! Budding soccer players and Froggy’s many fans will welcome Froggy’s latest hilarious adventure.

Betty Bunny Wants a Goal book
#3
Betty Bunny Wants a Goal
Written by Michael Kaplan and illustrated by Stephane Jorisch
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Thoughts from The Goodfather

This is a fun story from the Betty Bunny series that is sure to please young soccer fans. While the specific sport is soccer, the story shares some fun messages about practice and supporting family members in their goals that apply across many sports and areas of life. It has some witty sibling interactions that add some humor to the story, too.

When a young rabbit quits soccer after a disappointing first game, her family encourages her to keep trying.

Winners Never Quit! book
#4
Winners Never Quit!
Written by Mia Hamm and illustrated by Carol Thompson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from The Goodfather

This is an inspiring short story from soccer star Mia Hamm. I think it's always inspiring to learn about how accomplished people learned to overcome opposition. This story, which seems to be autobiographical in nature and based on Mia's own experience, teaches important lessons about being a team member and choosing to enjoy the game no matter the outcome.

Free Mia Hamm photo inside! Mia loves playing soccer. That is, until she has trouble scoring a goal when her team is about to lose. Before she can lose, she quits. Fed up with her attitude, Mia's brothers and sisters will not let her play with them anymore. Will Mia learn that beinga team player is more important than winning or losing the game? This wonderful and motivating story from America's soccer champion shows kids that: Winners Never Quit!

Happy like soccer book
#5
Happy like soccer
Written by Maribeth Boelts and illustrated by Lauren Castillo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Nothing makes Sierra happy like soccer. Her shoes have flames as she spins the ball down the spread-out sea of grass. But nothing makes her sad like soccer, too, because the restaurant where her auntie works is busy on game days and she can’t take time off to watch Sierra play. On game days, her auntie helps Sierra get ready and tells her, “Play hard and have fun.” And Sierra does, but she can’t help wishing she had someone there to root for her by name, and not just by the number on her uniform. With honesty and rare subtlety, author Maribeth Boelts and illustrator Lauren Castillo portray an endearing character in a moving, uplifting story that touches on the divides children navigate every day- and remind us that everyone needs someone to cheer them on from the sidelines.

  1. Hope for Haiti - B is for Bookworm - This story talks about how some children use soccer as a method of finding joy amidst the grief and suffering that occurred after the terrible earthquake in Haiti. I appreciated that this book showed some of the heartache these people may have felt and also showed how a unifying, fun activity can help people in a time of sadness.

  2. The Berenstain Bears Play a Good Game - When a fight breaks out during Brother and Sister Bear's soccer game, Missus Ursula reminds everyone about fair play and sportsmanship.

  3. Sean Wants to Be Messi - Sean, a whimsical 2nd grader, wants to be the great Leo Messi, and he’s working hard for his cause. He battles fears, bullies, nagging parents, and tiresome teachers in pursuit of his dream to become the best soccer player in the world. A children’s book about soccer, math, and practice. Not necessarily in this order. Beautiful illustrations by Elettra Cudignotto.

  4. My First Book of Soccer - The fourth book in the fan-favorite Rookie Book series, Sports Illustrated Kids explains the most popular sport in the world to its youngest fans. The ref blows the whistle, the striker approaches for kickoff, feet fly—a soccer match is underway! With a fun mix of Sports Illustrated action photography, simple text, a full glossary of terms, and awesome graphics, My First Book of Soccerintroduces readers to the world’s favorite game. Kids (and probably a few adults, too) will learn how the clock counts “up” and never stops, what an offside means, what’s up with those yellow cards, and how kicks become a gooooaaaallll! Illustrated "rookie" characters appears on every page, guiding the reader moment by moment, and helping to make My First Book of Soccer an ideal shared reading experience between parents and their little rookies before, during, and after the game.

Maisy Plays Soccer book
#10
Maisy Plays Soccer
Written and illustrated by Lucy Cousins
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Wow, look at the crowd! Maisy and friends play a rousing game of soccer in a read-aloud sure to have aspiring little players cheering. Maisy and her friends can’t wait to play soccer! Maisy puts on her uniform, laces up her sneakers, and heads to the field. Charlie, Tallulah, and Dotty are on the blue team, while Maisy, Cyril, and Eddie are on the red. Let’s play! Soon enough the game heats up, with plenty of action, excitement, and suspense. Who will be the first team to make a goal? Whatever the score, it’s all in good fun, and everyone is still the best of friends at the end!

The Soccer Fence book
#11
The Soccer Fence
Written by Phil Bildner and illustrated by Jesse Joshua Watson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

As a boy, Hector loved playing soccer in his small Johannesburg township. He dreamed of playing on a real pitch with the boys from another part of the city, but apartheid made that impossible. Then, in 1990, Nelson Mandela was released from prison, and apartheid began to crumble. The march toward freedom in South Africa was a slow one, but when the beloved Bafana Bafana national soccer team won the African Cup of Nations, Hector realized that dreams once impossible could now come true.

Spot Plays Soccer book
#12
Spot Plays Soccer
Written and illustrated by Eric Hill
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Join Spot as he plays the world's most popular sport! Everyone's favorite puppy is all ready for a game of soccer with his friends. Spot is captain of the red team, and Helen is captain of the blue team. But at the end, who will win the game? Avid watchers of the World Cup and faithful fans of Spot will enjoy this spirited sports tale.

Pinkalicious: Soccer Star book
#13
Pinkalicious: Soccer Star
Written and illustrated by Victoria Kann
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

After preparing well for a first soccer match, Pinkalicious is angered by a rival team's jokes about the Pinksters' pink soccer ball which they kick off the field, forcing Pinkalicious to chase after it, but as luck would have it, Pinklalicious' unicorn, Goldilicious, is waiting and sweeps up her up on an imaginative journey that offers just the encouragement Pinkalicious needs to return to the game. Simultaneous.

Big Kicks book
#14
Big Kicks
Written and illustrated by Bob Kolar
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When the Mighty Giants soccer team needs a last-minute substitute player, they ask a very large bear named Biggie, but they soon learn that being big and being good at soccer are not the same thing.

  1. Goodnight Soccer - 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.

  2. G Is for Golazo - S is for soccer. F is for football, and fútbol, and fußball... No matter what you call it, everyone loves the beautiful game! The creators of B is for Baller return with a vibrant, stylish parade of soccer legends. Featuring dozens of international superstars like Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Pelé, Diego Maradona, Marta, Mia Hamm, and Abby Wambach, G is for Golazo is the ultimate ABC book for budding soccer fans.

  3. The Field - A soccer story—for boy and girls alike—just in time for the World Cup! “Vini! Come! The field calls!” cries a girl as she and her younger brother rouse their community—family, friends, and the local fruit vendor—for a pickup soccer (futbol) game. Boys and girls, young and old, players and spectators come running—bearing balls, shoes, goals, and a love of the sport. “Friends versus friends” teams are formed, the field is cleared of cows, and the game begins! But will a tropical rainstorm threaten their plans? The world’s most popular and inclusive sport has found its spirited, poetic, and authentic voice in Baptiste Paul’s debut picture book—highlighting the joys of the game along with its universal themes: teamwork, leadership, diversity, and acceptance. Creole words (as spoken in St. Lucia, the author’s birthplace island in the Caribbean) add spice to the story and are a strong reminder of the sport’s world fame. Bright and brilliant illustrations by debut children’s book illustrator Jacqueline Alcántara—winner of the We Need Diverse Books Illustration Mentorship Award—capture the grit and glory of the game and the beauty of the island setting where this particular field was inspired. Soccer fan or not, the call of The Field is irresistible.

  4. Goal! My soccer book - GOOOOAAAALLL! Score one for David Diehl, in his newest colorful and conceptual sports book for toddlers. Diehl celebrates the world’s most popular game, putting a bright spotlight on a single soccer-related word on every page. Striking graphic designs in dazzling hues convey all the excitement of a “goalkeeper” making a “save”; the referee issuing a “yellow card” to a misbehaving player; the suspense of a “free kick”; or the home team finally getting a beautifully completed “goal.” All of Diehl’s illustrations are intensely, brilliantly active, and kids will love it—because it’s never too soon to get ready for this electrifying game.

Hey, Coach! book
#19
Hey, Coach!
Written by Linda Ashman and illustrated by Kim Smith
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

"Hey, Coach! Guess what? I m on your team." GOAL! This sprightly rhyming picture book captures all the fun and energy of very young children having a blast on the soccer field. Over the course of their first season, the players progress from unsure newcomers to enthusiastic good sports who love the game and even score! The humor and the real-kid voices will have readers rooting for this spirited and determined team."

Pele, King of Soccer/Pele, El rey del futbol: Bilingual Spanish-English book
#20
Pele, King of Soccer/Pele, El rey del futbol: Bilingual Spanish-English
Written by Monica Brown and illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

After preparing well for a first soccer match, Pinkalicious is angered by a rival team's jokes about the Pinksters' pink soccer ball which they kick off the field, forcing Pinkalicious to chase after it, but as luck would have it, Pinklalicious' unicorn, Goldilicious, is waiting and sweeps up her up on an imaginative journey that offers just the encouragement Pinkalicious needs to return to the game. Simultaneous.

Soccer Score book
#21
Soccer Score
Written by C. C. Joven and illustrated by Ed Shems
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

Mia runs fast. Mia kicks hard. But does Mia score a soccer goal? Goal or not, everyone is a winner when they read a book from the Starting Line Reader series.

Dino-Soccer book
#22
Dino-Soccer
Written by Lisa Wheeler and illustrated by Barry Gott
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Plant-eating dinosaurs face meat-eating dinosaurs in a soccer match.

Goal! book
#23
Goal!
Written by Mina Javaherbin and illustrated by A. G. Ford, Mina Javaherbin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-9

In a dangerous alley in a township in South Africa, the strength and unity which a group of young friends feel while playing soccer keep them safe when a gang of bullies arrives to cause trouble.

  1. Soccer Hour - A young boy finds hope when he is given an old soccer ball to play with in the wake of Haiti's devastating earthquake.

  2. Soccer Expert - Max knows a lot about soccer. After all, he's been playing it for almost three weeks! So he's pretty much an expert. Here Max shares his one-of-a-kind helpful tips including how to warm up (stretch, twirl, somersault), who's who on the field (the ref is the guy in yellow with the whistle-you should not bring your own whistle), and what to do with your hands since you can't touch the ball (wave at fans, hide them in your shirt, play itsy-bitsy spider).But could Max possibly be forgetting something very important? Full of humor, energy, and warmth, Max Explains Everything- Soccer Expert is the perfect read aloud for novice players as well as for fellow "kid experts" on the game.

  3. The Jellybeans and the Big Camp Kickoff - Read this sweet New York Times bestselling series from the author of If You Give a Pig a Pancake, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, If You Give a Mouse a Brownie, and other beloved books. The Jellybeans are off to summer camp to enjoy ghost stories around the campfire, roasting marshmallows, and swimming in the lake. Each girl finds her own favorite activity: Emily goes to the dance studio, Bitsy does arts and crafts, and Anna reads about nature. But Nicole can't find anything that's just right for her. So she decides to start a soccer team and teach her friends her favorite game. Will the Jellybeans be able to win the big match against a neighboring camp? Once again, the girls use their different strengths and talents to work together and have the best summer ever. This third book in the successful New York Times bestselling series shows that, whether readers are girly girls, bookworms, artists, or tomboys, there is a Jellybean for everyone.

  4. Pedro's Big Goal - Pedro would love to be the goalie in the team's first game, but another boy is bigger--so all his friends come over to help him practice before the tryout.

Day Dad Joined My Soccer Team, The book
#28
Day Dad Joined My Soccer Team, The
Written by Maureen Fergus and illustrated by Mike Lowery
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-8

A soccer dad misunderstands when he hears that his son's team needs his help. Instead of taking care of halftime snacks, the dad grabs a jersey and runs onto the field to play! And what an embarrassment he is: he hogs the ball, complains about his teammates and throws a hairy fit when the referee doesn't call a play his way! Can the boy find a way to teach his dad how to be a good sport before he drives the whole team crazy?

    Did you enjoy our children's book recommendations? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!