Whether your little athlete is two or 12, there's a place for literature in the formation of their sports career. Need to help your child grasp the rules of the game? Read it in a book. Interested in learning about the athletes who made the sport famous? There's a book about that. Does sportsmanship need some reinforcement? Pick up a book. What are the best children's books for little athletes?
"My Baseball Book" by Gail Gibbons
Gail Gibbons has made a career writing non-fiction children's books with graphics and text that appeal to and are appropriate for children in early elementary school. "My Baseball Book" is just one of these books, focused on explaining the basics of the sport to the youngest players. The series includes a variety of sports, so you can find the one that appeals to your child, or select a new book for each sports season. Is your child trying to select their first sport? Pick up several at the library, read them all, and let your child decide which sport interests them the most.
"The Everything Kids' Basketball Book" by Greg Jacobs
If your upper-elementary or early-middle school student is interested in playing, or learning, about a new sport, "The Everything Kids' Basketball Book" is the perfect choice. Like Gibbons' books, you can select the sport you're interested in. These books are more in depth, offering more information about famous players, plays, tips, and logistics of the game. They'll appeal to your 10 year old basketball star, as well as the sports fanatic who loves to watch the game from the sidelines.
"The Berenstain Bears Go Out for the Team" by Stan & Jan Berenstain
Is your little athlete preparing for their first organized sport, complete with practices and games? "The Berenstain Bears Go Out for the Team" might be a good family read before the season kicks off. The focus is on doing your best, instead of winning and losing. In an age when many teams don't keep score until children are 8 or 9, it's a great message for young players.
"Winners Never Quit" by Mia Hamm
Mia Hamm's "Winners Never Quit" is perfect for little athletes, whether or not they're playing soccer. The message of the book is clear, and the successful career of the author can really help parents drive the message home. If you've ever been the parent of a child who wanted to quit mid-season (or wanted to only attend the games and not the practices), this book might be the perfect fit for your family.