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“It’s not whether you win or lose…

…It’s how you played the game.” – Grantland Rice

With the a certain sport’s championship game coming up this Sunday, we’ve been thinking a lot about winning and losing. Here are some picture books that can help your child explore the nature of competition and what it means to have good sportsmanship.


Winners Never Quit!
by Mia Hamm

Ages: 5-7
Mia loves playing soccer. She’s a master at scoring goals and lives to hear her teammates cheer for her. But one day, none of her shots seem to go in the goal and Mia decides that she’d rather quit than lose. The next time she goes to play soccer, she discovers that her team has started without her because they don’t want quitters on their team. Mia has to decide if her love for soccer will overcome her fear of losing.


Emily’s Art
by Peter Catalanotto

Ages: 5-7
Emily loves to paint, so she is very excited when Ms. Fair announces that there will be an art contest at school. Emily paints a picture of her dog, Thor, and is sure the judge will love it as much as she does. However, the judge hates dogs and awards the prize to Emily’s friend Kelly instead. Emily is so upset that she feels sick, but discovers that Kelly felt even worse. Emily realizes that even though she didn’t win, she’s still a great painter and a good friend.


Gunner, Football Hero
by James E. Ransome

Ages: 5-7
Gunner is a little short and a little round to be a quarterback, but man has he got an arm. His team, the Malden Tigers, are playing in the championship Mighty Bowl against the Woodland Bobcats when both the first and second-string quarterbacks have to leave the game. There’s no one left but Gunner and after a few hiccups, it seems like they’re on their way to victory. But the Bobcats catches them off-guard and Woodland takes the trophy home. Even though his team lost, they still rally behind Gunner for stepping up and playing well when no one else believed he could.


Aloha Dolores
by Barbara Samuels

Ages: 4-7
Dolores is certain that her cat Duncan is going to win the Meow Munchies luxury cruise to Hawaii contest. She’s so sure that she tells everyone that she’s going to Hawaii, she’ll only wear her Hawaiian shirt and grass skirt, and even has a going away party. But when she finds out that Fifi, a Siamese from Southpaw, Indiana wins the prize instead, her sister Faye cheers her up with their own homemade Hawaiian vacation.


Who’s on First?
by Abbott and Costello

Ages: 5+
This comedy classic is revived in picture book format. No, it’s not about winning and losing, but it is about baseball and will have you and your little ones in stitches by the end!


After reading all of these books about sportsmanship, we’re just hoping for a great series!


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