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Sportsmanship: Books For Kids

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

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

Our list includes board books and picture 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. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.

When it comes to children’s stories about sportsmanship, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like The Berenstain Bears Play a Good Game to popular sellers like Number One Sam.

We hope this list of kids books about sportsmanship 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.

The Golden Acorn
Written & illustrated by Katy Hudson
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Whoosh! Squirrel takes off at full speed through the autumn leaves. But pump the brakes, because this year The Golden Nut Hunt race it is a team event. Squirrel reluctantly enlists her friends and is not impressed. Will Squirrel’s competitive spirit take over or will she learn how to be a team player? Best-selling author Katy Hudson (Too Many Carrots and A Loud Winter’s Nap) proves that winning isn’t everything in this energetic picture book about friendship, teamwork, and forgiveness — and that’s something to go nuts about!

Franklin Plays the Game
Written by Paulette Bourgeois & illustrated by Brenda Clark
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

Franklin and his friends love to play soccer, even if they never succeed in scoring a goal, but when they learn to work together, their playing improves.

The Golden Acorn
Written & illustrated by Katy Hudson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Whoosh! Squirrel takes off at full speed through the autumn leaves. But pump the brakes, because this year The Golden Nut Hunt race it is a team event. Squirrel reluctantly enlists her friends and is not impressed. Will Squirrel’s competitive spirit take over or will she learn how to be a team player? Best-selling author Katy Hudson (Too Many Carrots and A Loud Winter’s Nap) proves that winning isn’t everything in this energetic picture book about friendship, teamwork, and forgiveness — and that’s something to go nuts about!

The Berenstain Bears Play a Good Game
Written by Jan Berenstain & illustrated by Stan Berenstain
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When a fight breaks out during Brother and Sister Bear’s soccer game, Missus Ursula reminds everyone about fair play and sportsmanship.

You Can't Win Them All, Rainbow Fish
Written & illustrated by Marcus Pfister
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A brand new paperback title in the bestselling Rainbow Fish series! Everyone loses once in a while. But being a good sport when you lose isn’t always easy—not even for Rainbow Fish. A lighthearted look at accepting loss without losing your sparkle!

  • Austin Plays Fair: A Team Dungy Story about Football - Fair Play Is Always the Right Way Austin loves playing flag football for the Trentwood Tigers. There is only one problem. His team has lost six games in a row, and he doesn’t like losing. At his next game, Austin’s teammate has a plan to trick the other team. It works, but Austin knows his team cheated to win. Coach Tony and Coach Lauren remind Austin the most important thing about football isn’t winning—it’s playing fair. When his team takes the field for their next game, will Austin choose to cheat again, or will he stand up for what’s right? What would you do if you were in Austin’s shoes? *** Join the Team! The Team Dungy series of picture books for young readers, ages 6-9, teaches character-building lessons through the familiar world of sports.

  • Lucia Lacorte, Poor Sport - Lucia Lacorte’s gaming club meets on Fridays, but the truth is the other members are not having fun because, win or lose, Lucia is a very poor sport; a fact that is finally made clear to her when the others stop showing up, and her grandfather mimics her behavior when he wins—and loses.

  • Chip and Curly - Chip the potato chip is sure he has the annual Spud City Festival sack race in the bag—he’s been practicing all year. But when Curly the springy curly fry shows up, Chip knows he’s in trouble. This totally funny story is filled with clever potato puns—and subtle themes of sportsmanship and persistence.

  • Number One Sam - They’re off! Sam is the best race-car driver in history-he is number one at every race! But when his best friend, Maggie, shows that she has racing talent of her own, Sam doesn’t know how to handle coming in second place. Will he learn what it truly means to be a winner?

Day Dad Joined My Soccer Team, The
Written by Maureen Fergus & 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?

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