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15 Best Children’s Books About Sportsmanship

Are you looking for inspiration to improve your kids’ sportsmanship? Then, books about sportsmanship can be a perfect choice for you! Sportsmanship is not only about winning. It’s also about respecting your opponents, following the rules, and accepting the outcome of the game. As the old saying goes: being humble in victory and gracious in defeat. It’s a quality that we want to cultivate in every athlete. But, where can you find the best books on sportsmanship? Look no further!

If you’re a member of the Picture Book Brain Trust Community, you already have access to EVERY lesson plan and activity for these books! Just click on the Lesson Plans button in the menu!

Children’s Books About Sportsmanship

The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors

Are you looking for inspiration to improve your kids' sportsmanship? Then, books about sportsmanship can be a perfect choice for you! Sportsmanship is not only about winning. It's also about respecting your opponents, following the rules, and accepting the outcome of the game.As the old saying goes: being humble in victory and gracious in defeat. It's a quality that we want to cultivate in every athlete. But, where can you find the best books on sportsmanship? Look no further!

The Hula-Hoopin’ Queen by Thelma Lynne Godin

Kameeka yearns to continue her hula hooping competition with her rival, Jamara, rather than help prepare for Miz Adeline’s birthday party, and “the itch” almost ruins the party before the girls learn who the real winner is.

Salt In His Shoes by Deloris Jordan

Michael Jordan. The mere mention of the name conjures up visions of basketball played at its absolute best. But as a child, Michael almost gave up on his hoop dreams, all because he feared he’d never grow tall enough to play the game that would one day make him famous. That’s when his mother and father stepped in and shared the invaluable lesson of what really goes into the making of a champion—patience, determination, and hard work. Another great book for social emotional learning to talk to students about perseverance and grit.

The Golden Acorn

Whoosh! Squirrel takes off at full speed through the autumn leaves. But slam on the brakes, because this year The Golden Nut Hunt race is a team event. Squirrel reluctantly enlists her friends and is not impressed. Will Squirrel’s competitive spirit take over or will she learn how to be a team player? Best-selling author Katy Hudson (Too Many Carrots and A Loud Winter’s Nap) proves that winning isn’t everything in this energetic picture book about friendship, teamwork and forgiveness – and that those are things to go nuts about!

Pig the Winner

The world’s greediest pug won’t play fair, and he’ll do just about anything to win!


Will Pig ever learn? He’s an absolute cheat and quite the sore loser as well. But when Pig challenges his foot-long playmate, Trevor, to a kibble eating contest, he accidentally stuffs more than just food in his mouth. Lucky for Pig, Trevor knows what to do and saves the day!Young readers will love Blabey’s irresistibly quirky illustrations that are paired with a relatable lesson about learning to play nice. For dog and pet lovers everywhere.

Bat’s Big Game

The Animals and Birds are getting ready for the big game. Bat wants to WIN. The Animals look strong and fast, so Bat picks that side. But when the Animals fall behind, Bat switches to the Bird team–doesn’t a bat have wings? Maybe the Birds will win!

Cheetah Can’t Lose

It’s race day, and once and for all, it’s time to determine the better feline: little cats or big cheetah.

Cheetah might be bigger, taller, stronger, faster . . . but the little cats have some tricks up their sleeves, so don’t count them out!

With his signature wit and bold, graphic art, Bob Shea brings us an irresistible story about the difference between brains and brawn.

Pete the Cat: Play Ball

Pete the Cat is ready to play baseball! Pete’s team, the Rocks, is playing the Rolls. But when the game doesn’t go Pete’s way, what will Pete do?

Lucia Lacorte, Poor Sport

Lucia Lacorte loves games. But few friends enjoy playing games with her. When she loses, she cries and yells. And when she wins, its even worse: She dances around and rubs it in. You see, Lucia Lacorte is a very poor sport. Can anyone get through to Lucia and show her that being a good sport is the fun in fun and games?

Number One Sam

They’re off! Sam is the best race-car driver in history — he is number one at every race! But when his best friend, Maggie, shows that she has racing talent of her own, Sam doesn’t know how to handle coming in second place. Will he learn what it truly means to be a winner? With his signature light touch, Greg Pizzoli’s upbeat story about being a good sport is perfect for read-aloud.

Don’t Throw It to Mo

Mo is the youngest kid on the Robins, his football team. His classmates don’t mind, but the kids on their rival team tease him for being a “butterfingers” who’s too tiny to catch the ball. But Mo’s coach has a plan to turn Mo’s little size into a big win for the Robins!

You Can’t Win Them All, Rainbow Fish

Everyone loses once in a while. But being a good sport when you lose isn’t always easy—not even for Rainbow Fish. A lighthearted look at accepting loss without losing your sparkle!

Leila the Perfect Witch

Jackie Wins Them All

Jackie Wins Them All?is an unforgettable coming-of-age picture book for children. It tells the story of a gifted sixth grader, Jackie J. Spade, who has a knack for winning everything she’s tried her hand at. Science fairs, spelling bees, swimming, and skating, and just about anything you can imagine!

But Jackie is about to take on her biggest challenge, the big city track meet! Will she win the trophy or will she win something even better?

I Really Want to Win

Our heroine and her sidekick pup have their eyes on the prize and are ready to find something to WIN. They compete in a spelling bee, a dancing contest, hide-and-seek, and more in search of a shiny medal. But what will happen if they… don’t walk away the winner? Playfully tackling themes of competition, good sportsmanship, and being a fair loser (and winner!), I Really Want to Win joyfully reminds readers that, sometimes, winning isn’t everything. With rollicking rhyming text from Simon Philip, bold, expressive illustrations from Lucia Gaggiotti, and a spunky heroine in the middle of it all, this follow-up to I Really Want the Cake is sure to be a winner!

Best Children’s Books About Sportsmanship

What are some of your favorite children’s books about sportsmanship? Are there any must read children’s books about sportsmanship that I left out? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll add it!

If you’re a member of the Picture Book Brain Trust Community, you already have access to EVERY lesson plan and activity for these books! Just click on the Lesson Plans button in the menu!

Are you looking for inspiration to improve your kids' sportsmanship? Then, books about sportsmanship can be a perfect choice for you! Sportsmanship is not only about winning. It's also about respecting your opponents, following the rules, and accepting the outcome of the game.As the old saying goes: being humble in victory and gracious in defeat. It's a quality that we want to cultivate in every athlete. But, where can you find the best books on sportsmanship? Look no further!
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Hey there! I’m Josh from Picture Book Brain here to share only the best literature for you to use with your students. If you are looking for a specific book, use the search bar below to check my archives. Glad you’re here, and glad to help you!

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