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Talent Shows: Books For Kids

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

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

Our list includes picture books and chapter books. 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 talent shows, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Chicken Dance to popular sellers like Tom Gates: Genius Ideas (Mostly).

We hope this list of kids books about talent shows 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.

Chicken Dance
Written by Tammi Sauer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

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.

Andy & Sandy and the Big Talent Show
Written by Tomie dePaola & illustrated by Jim Lewis and Tomie dePaola
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

Pippa's Island 3: Kira Dreaming
Written by Belinda Murrell
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11

Kira Cove Public School is hosting a talent quest. Cici, Meg, and Charlie couldn’t be more ex- cited to perform, but Pippa gets butter ies at the thought of singing on stage. After a disastrous audition, can Pippa nd a way to smash her stage fright before the VIP concert?

Fast Break
Written by Derek Jeter and Paul Mantell
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

In the sixth book in the New York Times bestselling middle grade series inspired by the life of iconic New York Yankee Derek Jeter, young Derek bites off more than he can chew when he decides to enter the school talent show and try out for the basketball team.

Between promising Vijay that he’ll compete in the school talent show and promising Dave that he’ll try out for the basketball team, Derek Jeter has a lot he’s trying to juggle. A commitment is a commitment, and Derek is determined to work hard and try his best, but he worries he might be in over his head and fears he’s going to let his friends or himself down. How can Derek do it all?

Inspired by Derek Jeter’s childhood, Fast Break is the sixth book in Jeter Publishing’s New York Times bestselling middle grade baseball series that focuses on key life lessons from Derek Jeter’s Turn 2 Foundation.

The Scrambled States of America Talent Show
Written & illustrated by Laurie Keller
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

Those wacky scrambled states are at it again. This time they’ve come together for a spectacular show featuring their many goofball talents. But just when the director, Indiana, is about to call SHOWTIME!, Georgia gets a bad case of stage fright and can’t perform in her juggling act. Will the show go on, or will it be curtains for Georgia and the Jolly Jugglers? This title has Common Core connections.

  • Tom Gates: Genius Ideas (Mostly) - 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 Major Eights 2: Scarlet's Big Break - In book 2 of the Major Eights series, Scarlet goes solo and risks alienating her bandmates. After their Battle of the Bands competition, the girls are famous! Everyone knows who they are now—even strangers recognize them! But the attention starts to go to Scarlet’s head, and she decides to sign up for the school’s talent show as a solo artist. But what about the Major Eights? Should she really leave the band and her friends behind? With each book told from a different girl’s perspective, this series is all about girl power, diversity, and marching to the beat of your own drum!

  • Talent Show Tricks - Detective brothers Frank and Joe must figure out who is sabotaging their school talent show in the fourth book in an all-new, interactive Hardy Boys chapter book mystery series. Frank and Joe Hardy are excited to compete in the annual Bayport Elementary Talent Show. Frank is going to work behind the scenes, and Joe wants to show off his sweet juggling skills. But during the first rehearsal, strange things start to happen—their friend’s trumpet is filled with bubbles, someone’s backing track is switched to croaking frogs, and a strategically placed batch of hair dye gives one of their classmates a bad hair day to remember. Can Frank and Joe figure out how to stop the pranks before the curtain falls early on the show?

  • Jasmine Toguchi, Drummer Girl - It’s talent show time at school, and eight-year-old Jasmine Toguchi is excited to show her stuff. But as she thinks about her strengths—tree-climbing, mochi making, collage—none of them feel quite right to perform on-stage. Jasmine’s friends already have a talent: Tommy yo-yo’s, Daisy dances, and Linnie plays piano. Plus, Maggie Milsap (aka Miss Perfect) is saying she’ll have the best talent. When Jasmine’s mom introduces her to the taiko, a traditional Japanese drum, Jasmine finally finds an activity that feels just right. But will she be good enough at taiko in time to beat Maggie Milsap? Join Jasmine as she discovers her talent—and the difference between being the best and trying your best.

Funny Kid #2: Stand Up
Written by Matt Stanton
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Big Nate meets Timmy Failure in Funny Kid #2: Stand Up, the second book in an uproarious new middle grade series by Matt Stanton, Australia’s bestselling children’s book author.

Max may not be the strongest, or the smartest, or the handsomest kid in his class—but he may well be the funniest! Except when Max’s classroom joke lands flat, he suddenly becomes the Un-Funny Kid!

The only way to make everyone forget Max’s comedy catastrophe is for him to win the town talent quest with his very own stand-up comedy routine. Max is ready to bring comedy gold to his audition, but thanks to a heckling clown, Max can’t even remember his first joke!

With the help of his best friend Hugo and their feathered pet, Duck, Max thinks he has everything he needs to come up the greatest stand-up comedy routine of all time—but will it be enough? Max will need all the advice he can get to prove that he is the kid who can make everyone laugh!

Matt Stanton brings his veteran children’s book chops to this hilarious series, perfect for early middle grade readers looking for side-splitting laughs!

Fabio The World's Greatest Flamingo Detective: The Case of the Missing Hippo
Written by Laura James & illustrated by Emily Fox
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

This hilarious, brightly illustrated chapter book starring Fabio the flamingo detective and his sidekick Gilbert the giraffe is perfect for fans of CatStronauts and The Bad Guys. In a small town on the banks of Lake Laloozee lives the world’s greatest flamingo detective. His name is Fabio. He’s not tall or strong, but slight and pink. And he’s very, very clever. When Fabio and his giraffe associate Gilbert drop in to the Hotel Royale for a relaxing glass of lemonade (pink, naturally), Fabio is persuaded to judge the hotel’s talent contest. But when the most promising contestant—Julia the jazz-singing hippopotamus—goes missing, Fabio must put his thinking cap back on and solve the mystery! Don’t miss these other books from Laura James! The Pug series Captain Pug Cowboy Pug Safari Pug

Penny & Jelly: The School Show
Written by Maria Gianferrari & illustrated by Thyra Heder
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

This young and funny picture book introduces the soon-to-be star of her school talent show: Penny. Despite her desire to knock everyone’s socks off, Penny’s having a tough time deciding on what talent she might have. With a little help from her dog, Jelly, Penny tries out various talents—from dancing to unicycling, fashion designing to snake charming—with disastrous results. That is, until she realizes that she and Jelly have a talent to share that’s unlike any other. Readers of Pinkalicious and Ladybug Girl will swoon over the talent of Penny & Jelly.

Frankie Sparks and the Talent Show Trick
Written by Megan Frazer Blakemore & illustrated by Nadja Sarell
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Frankie Sparks uses her inventing skills to help her friend overcome stage fright in this second chapter book in the STEM inspired Frankie Sparks, Third-Grade Inventor series. It’s time for the annual school talent show, and Frankie is excited to audition with her magic act! She wants to be just like her idol, Adelaide Herrmann, Queen of Magic. But on the day of the audition, Frankie’s best friend and Magician’s Assistant, Maya, gets a big, scary case of stage fright! How can Maya be Frankie’s helper on stage if she can’t bring herself to speak in front of their audience? It’s up to Frankie Sparks to invent just the perfect thing to help her best friend cope with the spotlight!

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