Books about the Olympics

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

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

How to Train with a T.Rex and Win 8 Gold Medals by Michael Phelps and Alan Abrahamson


Olympig by Victoria Jamieson

Figure Skating

Figure Skating by Joseph Gustaitis

Do you have a favorite book about the Olympics? Share it in the comments!

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  1. A few others we’ll use:
    How to Train With a T-Rex and Win 8 Gold Medals – This one is by Michael Phelps, last Olympics’ swimming sensation. It’s specific for children.

    Touch the Sky: Alice Coachman, Olympic High Jumper

    Ready, Steady, Go, Mr. Croc – Cute picture book

    Have fun! We’re doing an Olympics study with our 7 children in homeschool (ages 11 down to 5 mos)

  2. Thank you for these! We also have The Story of the Olympics and The Magic Tree House book. We’re excited about doing Summer Fun School, Olympics 2012!

    Just an FYI, any book by Usborne is no longer available on Amazon. You can get them through your local consultant or feel free to visit my site. I can’t home school without Usborne Books!

  3. Hey! I was just looking for books on winter Olympics and could not find hardly any books for it!!! My daughter is 3 and will be watching with us (at least TiVoed if not live) and I wanted her to read about it. I can’t believe there are not more books on it! I think I’m going to look for books on ice skating/figure skating or maybe some of the sports…. hopefully find some. Thank you for your help with the books above!!!

    Here are the books I found so far (links)…
    Okay so these might be for little kids BUT there are a TON in the series as seen in the books people bought…

  4. I’m with Mindy, I cannot find any books on the Winter Olympics. I teach Pre K and we are on the letter O and this would be great to introduce to them through the letter O.

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