Best Children's Books About Sports

72 Children's Books About Sports

Updated Jan. 18, 2019
I Can Play book
#1
I Can Play
Written and illustrated by Betsy Snyder
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

Readers make athletes splash, sprint, or score just by wiggling their fingers! Then, with two sets of hands, readers help the athletes unite as a team in the gatefold finale. Active and adorable characters model independence and teamwork, making this innovative board book perfect for interactive reading and playtime fun!

Sports Day book
#2
Sports Day
Written and illustrated by Jan Lewis
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Children enjoy a school sports day in this story that addresses such questions as: Which team am I in? Where do I go? Who's the winner? and many more. Includes tips for reading with young children.

I Got It! book
#3
I Got It!
Written and illustrated by David Wiesner
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

David Wiesner brings his trademark artistry and rich imagination to the iconic American game of baseball. The few seconds after the ball leaves the bat can be infinitely long. For this eager young outfielder, there's plenty of time to envision the increasingly fantastic and funny situations that might interfere with making the catch. Summoning determination and courage, he overcomes the imaginary obstacles and turns them into a springboard for success. I Got It! reveals the extraordinary within the ordinary, taking readers on an amazing journey in a few seconds on a baseball field.

The Capybara Conspiracy book
#4
The Capybara Conspiracy
Written and illustrated by Erica S Perl
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

Fans of Tim Federle and Louis Sachar will love this hilarious story of what happens when the non-jocks kidnap their sports-obsessed school's beloved mascot. Seventh-grade playwright Olive Henry is frustrated by her middle school's lack of appreciation for anything but sports. While the principal drones on and on during morning announcements about the sports teams' victories, all non-athletic club meetings are relegated to the school basement, never to be mentioned on the loudspeaker. So Olive and her best friend, Reynaldo, hatch a plan to kidnap the school's capybara mascot, planning to return it, heroically, just in time for the school's pep rally and claim a reward: permission for their drama club to practice in the auditorium. And, hopefully, some overdue respect for the school's non-athletes. But when an animal-rights student activist and an undercover athlete with murky motivations join in the conspiracy, their plans--along with Cappy the capybara--veer wildly out of Olive's control.

Russell Wrestles the Relatives book
#5
Russell Wrestles the Relatives
Written by Cindy Chambers Johnson and illustrated by Daniel Duncan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When the Relatives Came meets Wrestlemania in debut author Cindy Chambers Johnson’s rollicking picture book about a family reunion with a most colorful cast of characters—from Lorry and Tory (the Twin Tornadoes) to Cousin Cora “The Cleaner” to Uncle “el monstruo” Marcoy. Family reunions mean lots of hugging, handshaking, and hair tousling. And Russell’s relatives? Well, they are more...enthusiastic than most. BIGGER than most. BRAWNIER than most. They’re wrestlers! Skinny and scrawny Russell will have to meet, greet, and defeat this clan with some spectacular moves of his own!

Game Changers: The Story of Venus and Serena Williams book
#6
Game Changers: The Story of Venus and Serena Williams
Written by Lesa Cline-Ransome and illustrated by James E. Ransome
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Venus and Serena Williams. Two peas in a pod. Best friends. Sisters. Six days a week they awoke before the sun came up to practice their serves and returns, to learn to run faster and hit harder. They were unstoppable. At age fourteen, Venus played her first professional match. Three years later, it was Serena’s turn. It wasn’t easy. Some tennis fans cheered for these two fresh faces, while those who were unhappy to see two black girls competing in a nearly all-white sport booed and taunted them. But they didn’t let it stop them. With vibrant mixed media art, nonfiction superstars Lesa Cline-Ransome and Coretta Scott King Honor winner James E. Ransome share the inspirational story of two tennis legends who were fierce competitors on the courts, but close sisters above all.

Snow Place Like Home book
#7
Snow Place Like Home
Written by Ray O’Ryan and illustrated by Jason Kraft
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

There’s snow place like home in this seventeenth Galaxy Zack adventure! The Nelsons are ready for a galactic winter vacation on a great new planet! And Zack’s best friend, Drake, is coming too! From solar-snowboarding, hydro-freeze fishing, supreme snowball fights, and epic ice forts, the boys can’t wait to dive into the winter games. But at the resort, Zack realizes there are a bunch of hurdles he wasn’t prepared for. Will Zack find a way to beat out the winter blues before it’s time to snow home? With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Galaxy Zack chapter books are perfect for beginning readers.

Ellie Steps Up to the Plate book
#8
Ellie Steps Up to the Plate
Written by Callie Barkley and illustrated by Tracy Bishop
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

When Ellie joins a softball team, she quickly realizes that the sport is harder than it looks! Is she meant only for the stage, not the field? And what happens when Ellie goes in search of a stray ball in the nearby and finds an injured baby deer? Illustrations.

Ready, Set, Goal! book
#9
Ready, Set, Goal!
Written by Debbie Dadey and illustrated by Tatevik Avakyan
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Shelly Siren and Trident Academy's Shell Wars team travel to the city of Atlantis for the championship game in this sparkling new adventure. Illustrations. 5 1/8 x 7 5/8.

I Am Billie Jean King book
#10
I Am Billie Jean King
Written and illustrated by Brad Meltzer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Billie Jean King is one of the greatest tennis players of all time. Read about this amazing woman athlete in the seventeenth picture book in the New York Times bestselling series of biographies about heroes. This friendly, fun biography series focuses on the traits that made our heroes great--the traits that kids can aspire to in order to live heroically themselves. Each book tells the story of one of America's icons in a lively, conversational way that works well for the youngest nonfiction readers and that always includes the hero's childhood influences. At the back are an excellent timeline and photos. This volume features Billie Jean King, the world champion tennis player who fought successfully for women's rights.

Derek Jeter Presents Night at the Stadium book
#11
Derek Jeter Presents Night at the Stadium
Written by Phil Bildner and illustrated by Tom Booth
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A baseball stadium comes to life in this magical picture book brought to you by legendary sports icon and role model Derek Jeter. Derek Jeter presents, A Day at the Stadium! This story revolves around a magical field trip to Yankee Stadium. An enchanting combination ofNight at the Museum and Alice in Wonderland—with a little bit of Field of Dreams thrown in for good measure—this picture book captures the excitement, wonder, and magic of your first trip to the ballpark!

Bats at the Ballgame book
#12
Bats at the Ballgame
Written and illustrated by Brian Lies
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

On deck and ready for the spring lineup, New York Times bestselling author-illustrator Brian Lies's ode to "batty" baseball fans. Hurry up! Come one--come all! We're off to watch the bats play ball! You think humans are the only ones who enjoy America's national pastime? Grab your bat--the other kind--and your mitt, because it's a whole new ballgame when evening falls and bats come fluttering from the rafters to watch their all-stars compete. Get set to be transported to the right-side-up and upside-down world of bats at play, as imagined and illustrated by best-selling author-illustrator Brian Lies.

Tom Gates: Genius Ideas (Mostly) book
#13
Tom Gates: Genius Ideas (Mostly)
Written and 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!

The Funniest Man in Baseball book
#14
The Funniest Man in Baseball
Written by Audrey Vernick and illustrated by Jennifer Bower
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Max Patkin was pitching in the minor leagues when he was injured and had to leave his dreams behind. He joined the Navy and eventually was able to play again while in the military . . . and this time he got to pitch against superstar Joe DiMaggio. When Joe hit one of Max’s throws out of the park, Max threw down his glove, left the mound, and chased Joe around the bases, making faces and imitating his every move. The crowd loved it! And a baseball clown was born. This inspiring and comical biography carries an important message: Life doesn’t always turn out exactly as you hope . . . but moving in a new direction can sometimes bring happy surprises.

Take  Me  Out  to  the  Ball  Game book
#15
Take Me Out to the Ball Game
Written and illustrated by Jack Norworth
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Get out the peanuts and Cracker Jacks, and get ready for fun with America’s national sport!

The Creature of the Pines book
#16
The Creature of the Pines
Written by Adam Gidwitz and illustrated by Hatem Aly
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Elliot Eisner isn’t exactly thrilled with the first day at his new school. His class is going on a field trip to a creepy forest called the Pine Barrens. The trip is being led by Professor Fauna, the weirdest teacher Elliot has ever met. And the only kid who will talk to Elliot, Uchenna Devereaux, isn’t afraid of danger. She likes danger. Elliot and Uchenna are about to become part of a secret group of adventurers, The Unicorn Rescue Society, whose goal is to protect and defend the world’s mythical creatures. Together with Professor Fauna, Elliot and Uchenna must help rescue a Jersey Devil from a duo of conniving, greedy billionaires, the Schmoke Brothers.

Rudas: Niño's Horrendous Hermanitas book
#17
Rudas: Niño's Horrendous Hermanitas
Written and illustrated by Yuyi Morales
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Señoras y señores, niños y niñas, the time has come towel come the spectacular, two-of-a-kind . . . LASHERMANITAS! No opponent is too big a challenge for the cunning skills ofLas Hermanitas, Lucha Queens! Their Poopy Bomb Blowout will knock 'em down! Their Tag-Team Teething will gnaw opponents down to a pulp! Their Pampered PlunderDiversion will fell even the most determined competitor!But what happens when Niño comes after them with a move of his own? Watch the tables turn in this wild, exciting wrestling adventure from Caldecott Honor author YuyiMorales

Most Valuable Players book
#18
Most Valuable Players
Written by Phil Bildner and illustrated by Tim Probert
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

With their fifth grade graduation only weeks away, Rip, Red, and the rest of their classmates must decide if boycotting a test is worth forfeiting their graduation gala and the opportunity to play with Hoops Machine, a Harlem Globetrotters-like team.

Neymar: A Soccer Dream Come True book
#19
Neymar: A Soccer Dream Come True
Written by Mina Javaherbin and illustrated by Paul Hoppe
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

Just in time for the 2018 World Cup; a non-fiction picture book about the best soccer player in the world—Neymar.

Rookie of the Year book
#20
Rookie of the Year
Written by Phil Bildner and illustrated by Tim Probert
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

"Rip and Red find that fifth grade continues to challenge them in brand-new ways and discover that sometimes radical change is nothing to be afraid of"--

The Eleventh Trade book
#21
The Eleventh Trade
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

From debut author Alyssa Hollingsworth comes a story about living with fear, being a friend, and finding a new place to call home. They say you can't get something for nothing, but nothing is all Sami has. When his grandfather’s most-prized possession—a traditional Afghan instrument called a rebab—is stolen, Sami resolves to get it back. He finds it at a music store, but it costs $700, and Sami doesn’t have even one penny. What he does have is a keychain that has caught the eye of his classmate. If he trades the keychain for something more valuable, could he keep trading until he has $700? Sami is about to find out. The Eleventh Trade is both a classic middle school story and a story about being a refugee. Like Katherine Applegate, author of Wishtree, Alyssa Hollingsworth tackles a big issue with a light touch.

The Bat Can Bat: A Book of True Homonyms book
#22
The Bat Can Bat: A Book of True Homonyms
Written and illustrated by Gene Barretta
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Playing a variety of sports, an assortment of animals introduces words that sound and are spelled the same but have different meanings, such as "bat," a flying mammal, and "bat," an implement for hitting a baseball.

Tournament of Champions book
#23
Tournament of Champions
Written by Phil Bildner and illustrated by Tim Probert
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The third book in a fun, illustrated middle-grade series about friendship, school, and basketball. It's spring of their fifth-grade year and Rip and Red have a thrilling opportunity to participate in a weekend basketball tournament with a few other members of Clifton United. While the tournament is only a short bus ride away, both boys will travel outside their comfort zones. Ultra-competitive Rip must play on a team with kids he doesn't like. But he faces an even bigger hurdle when someone from his past returns, someone he hasn't seen in years, someone who just may derail the entire weekend. As for Red, because of his autism spectrum disorder, he's never traveled anywhere without his mother. Will he muster the courage to take the trip? Fortunately for both boys, also on the team is an unlikely addition, a source of inspiration who helps everyone discover the true meaning of the word champion. Tournament of Champions by Phil Bildner, with illustrations by Tim Probert, is a fun, fast-paced, and diverse middle grade novel perfect for reluctant readers and sports fans. Read all of the Rip and Red series: A Whole New Ballgame Rookie of the Year Tournament of Champions Most Valuable Players Praise for Rookie of the Year: “This fast, fun read featuring characters who love books as much as basketball will appeal to sports fans and nonathletes alike.” —School Library Journal “A diverse cast of characters highlights this good-natured, high-spirited slice of life.” —Kirkus Reviews Praise for A Whole New Ballgame: “The book depicts the evolution of a group of fifth graders who learn a lot, grow a lot, and help one another . . . The charming and diverse characters [are] pure fun with a lot of heart.” —School Library Journal “If the students are inspiring, so is [their teacher] Mr. Acevedo, who risks his job to do such radical things as reading aloud and encouraging free reading. (He's supposed to be preparing the kids to take tests!) Probert's cartoonish illustrations lend energy and personality to the likable cast of characters.” —Kirkus Reviews “This warm slice-of-life novel from Bildner engages and entertains . . . Probert's energetic illustrations match the positive exuberance of the story.” —Publishers Weekly “With its energetic and authentic story and artwork, this is a fresh, fun book about school, sports, and friendship.” —Children's Book Council

Prince Not-So Charming: The Dork Knight book
#24
Prince Not-So Charming: The Dork Knight
Written by Roy L Hinuss
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

The third chapter book in the Prince Not-So Charming series features Prince Carlos figuring out how to be charming even when locked in mortal combat. Prince Carlos Charles Charming has a secret: He’d much rather tell jokes than be a prince. But when you’re the heir to Faraway Kingdom, you don’t always get what you want. Which is why Carlos has to learn how to joust. Carlos is surprisingly great at jousting, from spearing haystacks to smashing watermelons. But when a tournament rolls around, suddenly Carlos realizes he has to actually point his lance at other people—and they’ll point theirs back! Perfect for middle school readers and filled with adorable illustrations, Prince Not-So Charming: The Dork Knight shows it’s hard to live up to the fairy tale—and that the best way to win a contest can be embracing your own dorkiness. An Imprint Book

Clothesline Clues to Sports People Play book
#25
Clothesline Clues to Sports People Play
Written by Deborah Hembrook, Kathryn Heling and illustrated by Andy Robert Davies
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Get in the game and use clues on the clotheslines to identify a slew of sports. Catchy rhymes and visual cues introduce young readers to sports in this companion to Clothesline Clues to Jobs People Do. The clues in each lively verse can be spotted hanging from the clotheslines. What athlete wears those items? Turn the page to discover the sport at hand—and the athlete in full gear! From baseball and soccer, to fencing and archery, there’s something for everyone—including a surprise ending. A perfect choice for reading aloud and encouraging kids to join in the guessing and reveal. Andy Robert Davies’s quirky illustrations build a separate story from the text. Close attention to the details will help young readers build their own storytelling skills and help them make visual connections.

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