I love the Olympics. The world comes together to watch people fulfill their lifelong goals and cheer them on. The pride in representing your country, the beautiful routines and tricks being performed and the incredible range of emotions on display all make it a wonderful thing to share with your kids. With the 2018 Winter Olympics coming up, I figured this would be the perfect time to gather a list of books on winter sports that we will see in the coming weeks. Introduce your kids to all of the winter fun and maybe inspire them to chase their dreams as well!
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Max and Marla was written and illustrated by Alexander Boiger. This sweet story follows a little boy named Max and his best friend Marla the owl as they try to become Olympians. They gather their gear and head outside to sled together down the hill. They share the Olympic spirit as they refuse to give up and continue practicing, turning their failures into successes. The sweet illustrations and charming text are full of important lessons about perseverance and friendship.
Snowman Paul at the Winter Olympics was written by Yossi Lapid and illustrated by Joanna Pasek. Join the adorable Snowman Paul as he decides to chase Olympic gold. When he starts winning at every event, his friend Dan notices that he is getting some help and encourages him to come clean. The story is told in rhyming text and teaches an important lesson about honesty and integrity. The illustrations are beautiful and showcase a variety of winter sporting events.
G is for Gold Medal was written by Brad Herzog and illustrated by Doug Bowles. This alphabet book tells the story of the Olympics through the alphabet. Each letter stands for a concept related to the Olympics and has a small bit of rhyming text, realistic oil painted illustrations and tons of important information loaded into the sidebars. This would make a great introduction to the Olympic Games for the whole family.
Tacky and the Winter Games was written by Helen Lester and illustrated by Lynn Munsinger. Join Tacky the Penguin and his penguin friends as they train for and participate in the Winter Games. The story and illustrations introduce readers to some of the training that athletes do to prepare for competition, as well as some of the sporting events that occur during the Olympic winter games. Kids will love watching Tacky bring his own unique spirit to each event.
Dream Big, Little Pig! was written by Kristi Yamaguchi and illustrated by Tim Bowers. Kristi Yamaguchi is an Olympic gold medalist for figure skating, and she decided to share her love of figure skating through books meant to inspire young kids.
This story introduces readers to Poppy, a little pig with big dreams. Her family encourages her with lots of positive affirmations as she tries a variety of activities, but she eventually finds success in figure skating. The message of not giving up on your dreams is an important one, and the adorable illustrations are delightful.
Little Red Gliding Hood was written by Tara Lazar and illustrated by Troy Cummings. This fractured fairy tale follows Little Red Riding Hood as she goes on a mission to win new ice skates to replace her worn out pair. She finds the perfect skating partner in an unlikely place. Kids will enjoy spotting lots of their favorite fairy tale characters throughout the story and in the adorable illustrations.
A is for Axel: An Ice Skating Alphabet was written by World Champion figure skater Kurt Browning and illustrated by Melanie Rose. This informational alphabet book pairs each letter of the alphabet with a concept of the figure skating world. Each page includes a small bit of rhyming text paired with beautiful oil paintings. The sidebars on each page take a deeper dive into the concept illustrated on the page, making this a great book for a wide variety of ages.
Dino-Hockey was written by Lisa Wheeler and illustrated by Barry Gott. This fun prehistoric spin on the game of hockey follows a face-off between carnivores and herbivores. The rhyming text flows nicely and the illustrations show a variety of dinosaur species all dressed up in hockey gear. Kids will get a kick out of this genre mashup!
Z is for Zamboni: A Hockey Alphabet was written by Matt Napier and illustrated by Melanie Rose. This alphabet book is another entry into the sports library written in the same style as A is for Axel. Each letter of the alphabet is paired with a concept from the world of hockey, which is illustrated in colorful oil paintings and rhyming stanzas. The sidebars on the pages are stuffed full of additional facts and information that older fans of the sport can also enjoy.
The Magic Hockey Stick was written by Peter Maloney and illustrated by Felicia Zekauskas. This book is based on a true story about a hockey stick from Wayne Gretsky won by the author and illustrator at a charity auction. When the parents in the story win the stick and give it to their daughter, she becomes the star of her team. But at the same time, Gretsky starts going into a slump. This charming story of the power of giving is told in rhyming text and accompanied by colorful cartoon illustrations.
Bunny Slopes was written and illustrated by Claudia Rueda. This interactive book follows in the path of books like Don’t Push the Button or Press Here. As the book moves along, the bunny in the story asks the reader to manipulate the book to change what is happening on the pages. Kids will have fun making it snow and helping the bunny ski down the mountain. The text and illustrations are simple and adorable, making this a fun book to read over and over.
Squirrels on Skis was written by J. Hamilton Ray and illustrated by Pascal Lemaître. This funny story follows a group of skiing squirrels who take over a town with their skiing antics. The townspeople try to come up with a solution to rid their home of these squirrels. The text is made up of rhyming stanzas, and the colorful cartoon illustrations show the squirrels participating in all kinds of crazy tricks.
Learning to Ski with Mr. Magee was written and illustrated by Chris Van Dusen. Join Mr. Magee and his little dog Dee as they head outside to ski. While taking a practice run, they almost collide with a moose and end up in a precarious situation. The brightly colored illustrations and funny resolution are sure to delight young readers.
More Winter Sports
Lucy Tries Luge was written by Lisa Bowes and illustrated by James Hearne. Join Lucy, as she faces her fears and tries out her new luge sled. She dresses in the appropriate gear and races down the track with her parents cheering her on in the stands. The text follows a nice rhyming pattern and introduces kids to the sport of luge. The book also includes facts about luge for kids to learn more.
Lucy Tries Short Track was also written by Lisa Bowes and illustrated by James Hearne. In this book from the Lucy Tries Sports series, the reader is introduced to the sport of speed skating. Lucy and her friends dress in their speed skating gear and race around the track together.
The story is told in rhyming text and the large and colorful illustrations are realistic in their portrayal of the sport. The book also includes a list of facts about speed skating.
Do you watch any of the Olympic Games as a family? Do you have any books on winter sports that are favorites in your home? Share in the comments below!