Looking for the perfect picture book for your child or little one who loves basketball? Here are a few books that every basketball-loving child will adore.
Also check out the full list for more sports-themed picture books: The Ultimate List of Sports Picture Books For Children
Great Basketball Picture Books for Children
Salt in His Shoes: Michael Jordan in Pursuit of a Dream by Deloris Jordan
Even the most prolific professional athletes weren’t always the shining stars on the court. Michael Jordan’s family encouraged him to practice, pray and focus on how he could improve despite being the smallest and youngest boys on the court. Our boys really like this story and couldn’t wait to go play basketball after we read it.
J is for Jumpshot: A Basketball Alphabet by Michael Ulmer
Each page includes a short poem highlighting the next letter in the alphabet. It’s written in pretty pose and with artistic illustrations, not a typical children’s rhyming rhythm, which is a nice shift from what we usually read and great for a wide range of ages. More books in this series.
LeBron James: The Children’s Book: The Boy Who Became King by Anthony Curcio
This books tells the story of LeBron James growing up with his mother and some of the struggles he faced as a young child. The book reminds readers that one can overcome significant challenges while still climbing the road to success.
Long Shot: Never Too Small to Dream Big by Chris Paul and Frank Morrison
Despite being shorter than most players much of his life, hard work and determination paid off for Chris Paul, who ultimately made it to the NBA as a big star. The fun story, that my boys love, reminds kids that we should focus on making the most of the gifts and talents we have, for good things will come to those who put in the effort.
Jump: From the Life of Michael Jordan by Floyd Cooper
This book, with vivid illustrations, offer another look at Michael Jordan’s not-so-obvious path to success. He was smaller and not as great a player as several others in his town. This story offers a nice tale of perseverance in the face of not having all the perfect circumstances reach your goals.
Dream Big: Michael Jordan and the Pursuit of Excellence by Deloris Jordan
Although not always the most amazing basketball player, Michael Jordan persevered and worked hard to be the best at his game. This lovely book tells Jordan’s story and his efforts to always work hard no matter the hurdles in front of you.
Stephen Curry: The Children’s Book: The Boy Who Never Gave Up by Anthony Curcio
He wasn’t always one of the best players in the world. In fact, he wasn’t even a highly recruited high school player heading into college. This story offers another opportunity to remind children that hard work can pay off and you shouldn’t always listen to the those around you who may not believe in your capabilities. Perseverance can be powerful.
Jump Ball! You Can Play Basketball by Nick Fauchald
This is a book written for younger children that teaches them in a fun and engaging way how the basics of playing basketball. It’s written in the form of a story of two teams playing a game against each other.
Dino-Basektball by Lisa Wheeler
This is a story of an intense basketball game between two teams of dinosaurs. The story is fast-paced and includes a lot of references to real dinosaur names. Our boys like the references to real sports terms and types of plays, and we think they are especially great for kids who love dinosaurs. More books in this series.
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If you find you love one of these books, we’d be thrilled to see you share the book or you reading the book on social media. Be sure to tag us @kidssportslab with #SmartsForSportyPants so we can see it and maybe even feature you!