Believe it or not, it is difficult to find books about the Olympics that are age-appropriate for young children! Between visiting the library, ordering one on Amazon, and checking out Barnes & Noble…I was able to find a few to share with you!
G is for Gold Medal: An Olympics Alphabet by Brad Herzog
From Ancient Greece to Opening Ceremonies to Water Sports and everything in between, travel through the alphabet while learning about the Olympics! This alphabet book is great for all ages—the short, rhyming captions on each page can be read in less than 10-minutes total (which is great for young children). Every page also has a few paragraphs explaining each letter’s subject in more detail, which is perfect for older children and adults alike! Even if you don’t have children, this would be a great coffee table book to set out during the Olympics!
Tacky and the Winter Games by Helen Lester
If you love the original Tacky the Penguin, you will love this Tacky book all about the Winter Olympics! Tacky and his friends Goodly, Lovely, Angel, Neatly, and Perfect begin training to represent their team in the competition. As usual, Tacky has an odd way of doing things that could end up costing his team the gold medal. In the end, however, its Tacky’s enthusiasm that counts and helps his team succeed!
Wilma Unlimited by Kathleen Krull
This beautiful story of overcoming adversity is based on the life of Wilma Rudolph, who won 3 Gold Medals in the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome. Despite being born prematurely, having scarlet fever and polio, and wearing a brace on her leg for much of her childhood, Wilma grew up to be the world’s fastest woman. Not only is this a tale of perseverance against all odds, but also of equality and civil rights. A must-read this Olympic season!!!
Hour of the Olympics (Magic Tree House #16) by Mary Pope Osborne
If you are a fan of Magic Treehouse chapter books, you’ll enjoy this book. Jack and Annie travel to Ancient Greece where they find out various facts about the very first Olympics: Only men were allowed to compete, chariot races were one of the main events, and the events were dedicated to Zeus, the (false) god the Grecians worshipped at the time (I was particularly uncomfortable with this chapter as I don’t want to confuse my son on which gods are and are not real). Like all Magic Treehouse books, the chapters are short (although there are fewer illustrations in this compared with the others) and are great for read-alouds.
The Story of the Olympics by Minna Lacey
This quick read packs loads of information about the origin of the Ancient Olympics, the founder of the Modern Olympics, and lots of other info that should interest young children.
Way to Go, Alex! by Robin Pulver
Although not about the Ancient or Modern Olympics, this book is about a boy who competes in the Special Olympics. This book is written in first-person by the author about her life growing up with a special-needs sibling. It is a great way to open a conversation with children about ways to encourage individuals with special-needs and recognize the awesome things they are able to accomplish as well!
Here are some books that we haven’t read personally but have been recommended by readers:
How to Train with a T.Rex and Win 8 Gold Medals by Michael Phelps and Alan Abrahamson
Olympig by Victoria Jamieson
Figure Skating by Joseph Gustaitis
Do you have a favorite book about the Olympics? Share it in the comments!
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