10 Fun Gymnastics Books For Kids Just Starting Out
We sat down with some of the trainers from Infinity Gymnastics & Dance in Oakleigh and found the best kids books on gymnastics.
1. I Will Try
“This charming tale of perseverance will have any beginning reader proclaiming, ‘I did it.’” – Booklist
GRADE LEVEL: Preschool – 1st | 32 Pages
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THIS GYMNASTICS BOOK: I WILL TRY is a confidence builder for new readers! It tells a sweet story of friendship and perseverance without demanding more than a sentence of reading on each page. Word choice and length are appropriate for even the earliest of readers.
“When Katie sees gymnasts on TV, she thinks the girls are so cool! So she jumps at the chance to take a gymnastics class. But it turns out that somersaults and cartwheels aren’t as easy as they look. Will Katie ever learn to land on her feet?”
GRADE LEVEL: 1st – 3rd | 24 Pages
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THIS GYMNASTICS BOOK: Katie Woo: Cartwheel Katie, is a beginning “chapter book” for new readers. Each of the three chapters contain around 30 sentences with bright colored illustrations. This book is a fantastic read for a gymnastics team or children’s book club, with discussion questions, writing prompts, and craft projects provided at the end of the story.
“George, Allie, and Bill want to go to gymnastics every day—but they only have access to the gym once a week. Where will they find a gym they can use all the time? Why not in their own backyard?”
GRADE LEVEL: 1st-3rd | 24 Pages
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THIS GYMNASTICS BOOK: Curious George: Gymnastics Fun is a no-brainer if your child already loves Curious George. The story-line speaks to children who can’t get enough gymnastics! The book also includes an Energy Ball recipe and Gym-tag-tics game.
“Lily practices gymnastics every day. She even has a new leotard. Now she needs to land the star jump on the balance beam. Hopefully Lily’s new leotard will bring her luck.”
GRADE LEVEL: Kinder-2nd | 26 Pages
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THIS GYMNASTICS BOOK: Lily’s Lucky Leotard is a great choice for children who enjoy graphic-novel-type reading. This book is my least favorite of the five gymnastics books, but I included it as it is a book my daughter enjoys. The pros: the book includes discussion questions and writing prompts.
“From heights to handsprings, Maya is scared of everything. Find out how she becomes brave before the big meet, and learn fun facts about gymnastics, t00!”
GRADE LEVEL: 1st – 3rd | 32 Pages
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THIS GYMNASTICS BOOK: Maya’s Story: Becoming Brave is a great “next-step” for beginning readers, with an age appropriate storyline.
“The Go! Go! Sports Girl books provide a departure from the diva storyline. . . . and show girls that it is necessary to work hard towards a goal, be it celebrating an athletic achievement, overcoming a personal fear, or seeing past a teammate’s weaknesses to help her find her strengths.” —Carrie Goldman, author, Bullied: What Every Parent, Teacher, and Kid Needs to Know About Ending the Cycle of Fear
“I love the message the Go! Go! Sports Girls dolls and books promote, and glad my active daughter has something like this to identify with and to inspire her.” —Dara Torres, 5-time Olympic swimmer
Bring this book to life with the Maya Gymnastics Doll and Book Combo.
6. Jake at Gymnastics | Rachel Isadora
“Caldecott Honor winner Rachel Isadora’s irresistible illustrations of enthusiastic toddlers will have budding gymnasts jumping for joy.”
AGE RANGE: 2-5 years old
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THIS GYMNASTICS BOOK: There are several reasons Jake at Gymnastics has captured my family’s heart. First, the illustrations are fantastic. My five-year old continually comments on the “cuteness” of the tots.
Second, the simplicity of the story line portrays the everyday magic of preschool gymnastics. My three-year old joins “Jake’s Class”, by mimicking the characters’ actions in our living room. My husband, a coach, will read it to our girlies time and time again.
7. Nadia: The Girl Who Couldn’t Sit Still | Karlin Gray
“Expert illustrations that capture the energy and fluidity of Nadia’s exuberant gymnastic routines and referential back matter round out this inspirational story of determination and overcoming adversity. A perfect 10.”
AGE RANGE: 6-9 years old
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THIS BOOK: The Girl Who Couldn’t Sit Still is MAGICAL! The world is in need of more non-fiction picture books, and Karlin Gray has served the Gymnastics community well by providing our young acrobats with a poetic account of one of gymnastics’ greats!
My youngest exclaimed, “Mom, I can’t sit still either!”.
My oldest was outraged with, what seemed like an unfair score awarded at the Olympics, followed by great excitement as the story progressed.
My husband applauded the details, the afterward, and the few points of interest even he, a lifelong gymnastics fan, didn’t know.
8. The Greatest Gymnast of All | Stuart J. Murphy
“Zoe zips and zooms around the gym. She’s on and off the mats, over and under the bar! She’s the greatest–in gymnastics and at demonstrating opposites.”
AGE RANGE: 3-7 years old
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THIS GYMNASTICS BOOK: The Greatest Gymnast of All is a Mathstart book (books that do more than tell stories; they teach math), offering an introduction to opposites for young readers.
My younger daughter hunts for words that rhyme and loves picking out opposites. The sentence structure and word choice are basic enough for my beginning reader to conquer and we are all fans of Bynthia Jabar’s illustrations!
NOTE: The only oddity about this book is that Zoe competes on three artistic events – floor, beam, and bars, and one rhythmic apparatus – hoop. It didn’t detract from the book and my girlies have yet to notice.
9. Kika the Upside-Down Girl | Jessica Tudos
“Join Kika, a girl who loves living upside down in a right side up world, on her unique journey to a fliptastic place. ”
AGE RANGE: 4-8 years old
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THIS GYMNASTICS BOOK: Jessica Tudos, a Canadian Olympian, depicts the unique emotions of a girl born with the heart of a gymnast, in search of a place that understands her upside-down habits.
My daughters love singing along with Kika’s repeated song, “Kids like me, love to be free, upside-down, filled with glee.” They also appreciate fun words found in Kika the Upside-Down Girl, such as “Swingazing”, “Somersaulticious” and “Handstanding”.
10. Tina Tumbles | Danielle Soucy Mills
“After watching gymnasts flip across the T.V. screen, Tina wants to do nothing but gymnastics at all hours of the day. But Tina learns that even a cartwheel is not as easy as it looks. She just can’t land on her feet. Now it’s time for her first gymnastics lesson. Will Tina gain the confidence she needs to complete the skill without falling?”
AGE RANGE: 4-8 years old
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THIS GYMNASTICS BOOK: I love that Tina Tumbles is written by a gymnastics coach! I also love the rhyming and pace of the book. But, perhaps my favorite thing, is the lessons it offers in confidence, focus, and perseverance.
NOTE: Looking for a fun present? Try Snowflake Designs coordinating Tina Tumbles leotard, doll leotard, and gymnastics book!