10 Inspiring Sports Books for Preschoolers

| Last Updated: November 6, 2022

Sports themed books are always a hit for preschoolers because they learn to read and talk about their favorite activity – playing.

This selection of 10 inspiring sports books for preschoolers is a great resource for teachers as they explore a range of themes kids can relate to, whether kids play sports or are just fans.

Rhymes | Vocabulary | Word Recognition

1. Pass the Ball, Mo!

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David Adler, a Level 2 Geisel Award recipient, is now in Step into Reading!

In this third episode of Mo Jackson’s sports journey, he takes on basketball. His height, though, presents a problem because he can’t launch the ball as high as he would want. He practiced passing and resolved to get better as he patiently waited on the bench.

In this little book, Mo encourages young readers to work hard for their goals, despite any obstacles. It also gives you the chance to be that coach who motivates little sportsmen and sportswomen to persevere, work on their weaknesses, and give their best shot in life.

This book is great for preschoolers and they can take on reading this book as their reading skills progress. You can help kids learn new words by reading to them first. The book is also rich with rhyming words paired with pictures, so it is a great help for kids in decoding the story.

 Check out Mo’s story in Pass the Ball, Mo.

Word Recognition | Language | Emotional Intelligence

2. She’s Got This

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Written by the Olympic gymnast herself, Laurie Hernandez, this endearing book tells the tale of Zoe, a little child who aspires to be a gymnast.

When Zoe watches a gymnast on television, she sees gymnastics as flying.

However, she quickly learns that pursuing her aspirations is more difficult and frightening than she anticipated after she trips over the balance beam on her first day at gymnastics class.

She’s Got This is yet another way to encourage kids to follow their ambitions. Add this book to your classroom library in hopes of motivating your students to diligently work hard toward their dreams.

This heartwarming story would make a good conversation on how we all have to start somewhere and still manage to attain our goals despite experiencing setbacks along the way. What a great way to shape children’s mindsets, give them the confidence to succeed, and teach them that mistakes help us learn!

Check out Zoe’s inspiring story today.

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Bounce and roll along with this rhyme-filled picture book about all kinds of balls, including those relating to sports, activities, body parts, and food.

Written by Joshua David Stein, this book combines education and entertainment seamlessly. Stein excels at using his trademark humor and playful wordplay as he compares different kinds of balls. Moreso, the book invites young readers to identify various sports and games, as well as the balls each one utilizes, while simultaneously bowling in a ton of round objects.

From gumballs and meatballs to chew, to eyeballs to view, and beach balls and bowling balls that roll, this book has one ultimate goal – encourage every young reader to kick, throw, and catch ‘em all.

Children’s language will improve as they practice the rhymes, and it’s a fun way to keep in mind the various functions and characteristics of these balls.

Enjoy hopping and bouncing with the kids. Head on over and check out The Ball Book.

Alphabets | Vocabulary | Rhymes

4. Z Is for Zamboni: A Hockey Alphabet

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Z is for Zamboni by Matt Napier is an alphabet book that would appeal to hockey fans of every age. It has beautiful, colorful, and detailed illustrations.

Each letter of the alphabet is illustrated with a hockey-related word and has a short rhyming description of the picture. Given their more mature style, the illustrations might not be to young readers’ tastes, but they are suitable for the book’s contents and will give kids a clear picture of the sport.

Each page also includes a couple of paragraphs of facts, perfect for sparking discussion about famous people, historical events, and locations. For young children who are just beginning in both the realms of reading and hockey, this is incredibly helpful.

Alphabet books like this one encourage literacy development. Teachers can make the most of books like this as it serves as a tool both for enjoyment and knowledge acquisition. Additionally, it aids young children in becoming independent readers and writers.

Get the maximum benefit of this cute book by checking it out today.

Social | Sportsmanship | Language

5. Winners Never Quit!

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With this new release from bestselling author Mia Hamm, your sport-loving young readers should have better luck this time.

Winners Never Quit! tells a story of a little girl named Mia who loves to play soccer, score a goal, and the best part that comes with it – the cheers from everyone. But no goal means no cheering, so she would rather quit than lose. Mia will soon have to choose between her passion for soccer and her detest of defeat.

Reading this story would be an excellent way to help youngsters cope with the emotional aspects of sports, such as handling defeat without becoming upset or giving up and being a good teammate. A fantastic option for young athletes in your class!

The inspiring tale is skillfully delivered with adorable pictures. Pictures of Mia Hamm from her early soccer games to her world-class victories are included in the back matter.

Science | Mathematics | Language

6. Randy Riley’s Really Big Hit

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Can one kid ace sports and be a science geek all at once?

Baseball and science are two things Randy Riley likes. Randy is a genius on all things robots, the solar system, and forces. But with baseball? He can’t even manage to swing a bat.

Good thing he has the science part down, though, because a giant fireball is headed toward their town, and no one was prepared to stop it, except Randy.

Chris Van Dusen knocks this book out of the park with a humorous tribute to ingenuity. He designed an imaginary world as a pleasant approach to demonstrate to children that even while we may not be experts at everything, there is still something we can do for our family or community.

The illustrations are vivid and lively, and the rhymes are easy to read. Randy Riley’s Really Big Hit would be a hit with kids who enjoy science and cartoons.

Emotional Quotient | Culture | Outdoor Activity

7. Jabari Jumps

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Gaia Cornwall captures a touching moment between an encouraging father and a determined young boy, Jabari.

Although Jabari is determined to jump off the board that day, he is obviously frightened. He doesn’t want to admit it but his father notices the stalling tactics he employs and sees a chance to teach him a valuable lesson: “It’s okay to feel a little scared.” A splash of confidence is what this book will give youngsters.

Young readers will surely delight in the fun sound effects of Splash! and Whoosh! A perfect read-aloud, beautifully illustrated book, with just the right length.

Bring the kids along as you plunge into Cornwall’s vibrant origin with his use of minty hues and digitally collaged newspapers as the center of the story. Children will see how a perfect family behaves and supports one another, thanks to Jabari’s father and sister.

Share Jabari’s journey by heading over to Jabari Jumps.

Vocabulary | Social | Motor Skills

8. Football with Dad

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Football with Dad is another informative and nostalgic book like other Little Golden Books. This is a heartfelt ode to the lessons we learn from our fathers.

Sunday is always a game day for the little boy and his dad. They would watch the big football game on TV and then go outside to play it. In this simple introduction to the game, the goal is to play safely and have fun. Another lesson covered in this adorable little book is accepting that sometimes our team wins, and sometimes they lose.

As children attempt playing the game in teams with their classmates, their socialization skills will also improve.

Everyone loves football. And the first step in getting any child interested in football is by introducing to them the fundamental concepts and terminologies used in the game, and Football With Dad does just that! Its explanation of the game jargon is incredibly straightforward and simple to recall.

This is the perfect story to share with tiny footballers.

Outdoor Activity | Social | Step 1 Reading

9. Soccer Time!

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Rhythm, rhyme, picture clues, big type, and easy words are great features of this book. Practically one of the best books for your Step 1 Readers who can recite their alphabet and are eager to begin reading.

Easy-to-remember rhymes and rhythmic texts abound in this cute little book. Characters’ elaborate facial expressions provide a valuable signal for kids to understand the plot.

Tweet! Tap! Dribble! seasoned author and educator, Terry Pierce, uses alliteration and word families to scaffold reading while capturing the thrill young soccer players have as they play the ball.

Soccer Time! is designed to give the kids a successful reading experience while helping them comprehend the rules of the game.

The book also displays a great diversity of characters, making it ideal for inspiring boys and girls, alike, to immerse themselves in the sport. A definite win for your emergent readers.

Don’t pass up the chance to share a fantastic book.

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What better way to cap off our selection of preschool sports books than by discussing the legend that is Michael Jordan?

This endearing and motivational picture book, written by Michael Jordan’s mother and sister, is about faith and hope and how any family can support a child in realizing their aspirations. They showcase what Michael is willing to do to reach his goal.

Salt in His Shoes is recommended for 5 to 10-year-old readers as it contains lengthier sentences, printed in small types. So, this would be a perfect read-aloud material both for basketball fans and young dreamers, in general, who are eager to shoot for their dreams.

This book is full of useful information for teachers. It helps youngsters realize that even famous stars had to start somewhere; they also experienced a lot of frustrations, but their perseverance is the salt in their shoes that ultimately makes them true winners.

Grab this great read-aloud to find out what salt has to do with MJ’s greatness.


These books are excellent tools for teachers to help kids develop their reading skills. Talking to kids about sports and famous athletes is also a fantastic avenue to encourage an active lifestyle and teach kids valuable life lessons, whether that’s learning about themselves, accepting defeat or conquering challenges towards their goals.

Thanks for reading! We hope you find plenty of great sports books on our list for your preschoolers.

Hi, I'm Amanda! Welcome to Education Outside! Im passionate about educating young minds and helping parents/teachers by providing easy and effective teaching resources. Check out all of my teaching resources on my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

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