Books about the Olympics

The 2022 Winter Olympics are slated for February 4-20. With all of the skiing, skating, and sledding, it’s sure to be an exciting time! As you watch a few of the events alongside your children, why not learn about the history of the Winter Olympics, too? These books trace Olympic history all the way back to ancient Greece. Many of them also talk about current traditions, athletes, and sports. Of course, we’ve added a few fictional Olympic tales so you can have a good laugh, too!

Olympics! BG Hennessy

Give preschoolers a lively introduction to the Olympics with this simple book. Cartoon illustrations and simple text make this one a quick, easy read. Kids will see the opening ceremonies, medal presentations, the Olympic village, and much more!

Snowy Sports: Ready, Set, Play! Per-Henrik Gurth

Get dressed for winter sports in this cute book. Each animal plays a different winter sport and each wears a specific piece of clothing to keep warm. By the end of the book, there’s a complete outfit for winter! Sports like hockey, skiing, ice skating, and snowboarding are included. The book provides an easy introduction to several of the sports that are played at the Olympics. It’s a great choice for toddlers and early preschoolers.

The Frog Olympics Brian Moses

Frogs from across the globe come together to celebrate the Frog Olympics! They have their own Olympic torch and special events like fly catching and tadpole swimming. The rhyming text is fun and engaging. The illustrations are adorable—frogs with big eyes and varying shades of green are pictured on every page. This one is sure to get preschoolers excited about the upcoming (human) Olympics!

What Are the Winter Olympics? Gail Herman

From the well-known WhoHQ series, this book gives numerous facts and details about the Winter Olympics. It’s conveniently divided into chapters that each focus on a period of Winter Olympic history. There’s the Miracle on Ice, the Tonya Harding-Nancy Kerrigan scandal, and much more. Confident elementary-aged readers will appreciate the amount of information in this chapter book. Early elementary kids will enjoy it chapter-by-chapter as a read-aloud book.

Tacky and the Winter Games Helen Lester

Tacky the penguin is back! In this story, he and his fellow penguins represent Team Nice Icy Land in the Winter Games. Kids will find themselves cheering for this unique team as they prepare for speed skating, ski jumping, and a few other unusual events. Of course, Tacky’s unique character adds quite a bit of humor to the book, too! This is a lighthearted read for preschoolers and kindergarteners.

Yes, I Can! The Story of the Jamaican Bobsled Team Devon Harris

Parents will remember the inspirational story of the 1988 Jamaican bobsled team and now, this book will help you share the story with your children. Written by one of the team’s members, this book recalls the incredible determination of the four men who were chasing their Olympic dreams. It’s a remarkable story that touches on just one set of athletes, but it can be broadly applied to all of the Olympic athletes who work hard to reach their goals. Read it with your preschool and elementary-aged children.

G Is for Gold Medal: An Olympics Alphabet Brad Herzog

This beautifully illustrated book offers a wealth of information about the Olympics, both the Summer and Winter Games. Children will learn about specific athletes, like Jim Thorpe, and explore specific events, like figure skating and skiing.

The Magic Treehouse: Hour of the Olympics Mary Pope Osborne

Join Jack and Annie as they set out on another Magic Treehouse adventure. This time they’re headed back in history to ancient Greece. They will witness the very first Olympic games and run into some trouble while they’re there. It’s a fantastic story that offers quite a bit of factual history, too. It makes a great read-aloud for children 5 and up.

Learning to Ski with Mr. Magee Chris Van Dusen

Mr. Magee and his little dog, Dee, are headed out to try skiing for the first time. But, a run-in with a moose makes things a bit tricky! It’s a silly story that will have preschoolers laughing out loud. The playful rhyming text and crisp illustrations make this story one-of-a-kind.

What Are the Paralympic Games? Gail Herman

Take an in-depth look at the Paralympic Games and the athletes’ achievements in this chapter book. The author uses engaging text to describe both the differences and the similarities between the Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games. The illustrations provide a look at athletes with a variety of disabilities. The chapters are brief and easy-to-read, making this a great introductory book for kids.

Eloise Skates! Kay Thompson

On a boring winter day, Grandma comes to take Eloise and her dog, Weenie, ice skating. Eloise takes in the sights and sounds as she dodges other skaters on the rink. With Eloise’s twists and twirls, this book is a basic introduction to figure skating. It’s a level-one book, making it perfect for beginning readers.

Max and Marla Alexandra Boiger

Here’s an unlikely pair of best friends: Max, the young boy, and Marla, the owl. Together, they are aspiring Olympians! Follow them as they prepare and practice for the sledding event. There are a few mishaps and lots of challenges, but the two never give up! In the end, they enjoy snow angels and hot chocolate. The illustrations, presented in a beautiful shade of blue, have a cozy winter feel. It’s a great bedtime book for preschoolers.

A Is for Axel: An Ice Skating Alphabet Kurt Browning

Learn the ins and outs of ice skating from Canadian figure skater Kurt Browning. He takes readers through skating techniques, equipment, and more. Each page features the alphabet-related text and also provides a sidebar with additional information. Preschoolers will enjoy the A-to-Z focus while older children will dive into the details of each page.

If Winning Isn’t Everything, Why Do I Hate to Lose? Bryan Smith

Not everyone can be a gold-medal athlete, but everyone can be a good sport. This story comes with a great lesson for kids: win or lose, showing good sportsmanship is a must. The main character, Kelsey, has a lot to learn at first. She’s a little selfish, overly competitive, and not afraid to cheat. As the story progresses, she learns to change her ways. This is a great resource for teaching elementary children about how to keep a positive attitude when winning and when losing.

Elympics X.J. Kennedy

This collection of poems follows a cast of elephant athletes as they compete at the El-ympics. There are poems for figure skating, skiing, bobsled, and more. The illustrations of these pachyderms competing in sporting events is sure to get a belly laugh out of every reader! Preschoolers and early elementary students will appreciate this one.

The Story of the Olympics Minna Lacey

This easy-to–read chapter book provides a thorough overview of the history of the Olympics. With eight chapters, kids will learn about the ancient and modern Olympic Games. It also goes into detail about the inclusion of women in the Games and includes the stories of a few Olympic heroes. The information is detailed without being dull, and the illustrations are sure to grab the attention of young people. Confident readers in 2nd to 4th grade can take on this one independently, but it’s an interesting read-aloud for younger children, too.

Snowman Paul and the Winter Olympics Yossi Lapid

Snowman Paul is a very clever snowman. He’s so clever that he’s devised a way to win Olympic gold! Paul competes in speed skating, ski jumping, and curling. But is he playing fair? Not really. The rhyming text leads kids along in this spirited story about honesty and sportsmanship. Beautiful watercolor illustrations bring Snowman Paul and his good friend to life in the minds of children. It’s a great read for preschoolers.

Henry Hockeysticks: A Day on the Pond Brian Johnson

Henry and his sister, Hailey, are ready for a day full of hockey fun! They wake up, eat breakfast, and head outside to the frozen pond. It’s a simple story that provides an introduction to the sport of ice hockey. Colorful illustrations will hold preschoolers’ attention all the way through the book.

The Winter Olympics Nick Hunter

Before the 2022 Olympics begin, pick up this book and learn about the Winter Olympics right alongside your child. It features 13 brief chapters that cover all kinds of information related to the Games. You will read about the Olympic ceremonies, sports, athletes, and controversies. Plus, there’s a glossary and a “find out more” section at the end of the book. Read it aloud to your elementary-aged kids.

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