boy playing football

25 Exciting Children's Books about Football


Calling all dinosaur-loving football fans! This book cleverly delivers an action-packed, nail-biting football game between two unconventional teams of dinosaurs. Bold illustrations bring this competitive game to life against some players your little athlete will hopefully never encounter on the field.

Best Kids' Football Books for the Win

Football is an American pastime that even the smallest kids can enjoy. Tiny tots play with plush footballs and advance to soft Nerf footballs by the time they are in preschool. Flag football teams can be found for kids as young as 3 years old. Reading picture books about football is another great way to teach kids all about this exciting game. Stories introducing little ones to team sports like basketball, soccer, and hockey, prepare them for the day when they are ready to play the game. Some titles focus on the rules of the game, introducing terminology, plays, scorekeeping and other technical aspects. Others use the game to teach kids important life lessons about being on a team and learning how to win or lose with composure, dignity and humility. Kids who love athletics will love to read about baseball next!

For sports-loving families, think about giving a collection of toddler football books as a baby shower or first birthday gift. These adorable stories cover the basic elements of the sport and many of them have touch-and-feel or lift-the-flap features to work on their eye-hand coordination. Eye-grabbing illustrations and photos of footballs, gear, players, and bleachers provide plenty of visual stimulation, too. Make sure to expand a baby's collection with the best sports books toddlers for more action-packed adventure about sports. 


My First Football Book

A realistic baby board book with bold pictures of real objects  Every single page features a photo t and a one or two-word explanation. Terms like quarterback, touchdown, and tackle are introduced. The cover adds extra tactile appeal a textured feature little hands will enjoy exploring.


let's play football 

A charming, little lift-the-flap book that teaches toddlers all the words they need to know about the sport. Their little eyes will feast upon the fun cast of animal players and fans who will the stands. Pretty soon your child will be reciting words like tackle, field goal and end zone next time you are watching a game.



little football

This little book is a big winner! Simple concepts, bold pictures and cute rhyming riddles fill the pages of this board book that is sure to be a hit with your toddler.


goodnight football

Lull your little football player to sleep with images of his favorite game. Gentle rhymes depict the essence of the game and will fill your child's head with plenty of sweet football dreams. Plenty of easy-to-understand football terms will teach your toddler all about the sport from the beginning of the game until the very end.

football abc

Part of the Sports Illustrated Rookie Kids series, toddlers will learns all the ins and outs of football while practicing their ABCs. Each letter of the alphabet is represented by a football term. Action-packed illustrations fill the pages of this sturdy football board book.



football colors


The scene of a football game is a colorful place! Toddlers will love identifying colors on painted faces, team jerseys, football fields, and everywhere else around the stadium. Realistic pictures are accompanied by simple terminology that will appeal to preschool readers.


kids playing football

Teach Kids Football Through Stories

This sport is so much more than a game. It's a competition on the field that unifies generations of people who likely never even played themselves. Families and friends gather together to watch and enjoy each other's company. Reading football picture books, both fiction and non-fiction, is another wonderful way for people to enjoy this pastime with their children. In fact, Tiki and Ronde Barber have written several kids' books loosely based on their own experiences growing up playing the game. And after reading these stories, be sure to add some soccer stories to your little baller's bookshelf. It's an excellent opportunity to expand a child's knowledge before getting ready to take the field.


miss nelson has a field day

The football team at Horace B. Smedley School is good at one thing- losing games. Their streak has gone on so long that the infamous Miss Swamp comes out of hiding to whip them into shape. She makes it her mission achieve just one win on the field before she again retreats into obscurity.


By My Brother's Side 

NFL stars Tiki and Ronde Barber paired up to pen this insightful book about the strength of their brotherhood on and off the field. Although fast runners, the twins were never the strongest or biggest athletes playing the game. Their mother instilled in them the importance of working hard and having each other's back. When one of the boys suffers a knee injury and fears his football career is over, the other boosts his spirits and they work together to return to full physical health.



austin plays fair

The lessons taught in this story apply off the field as well. Austin loves playing flag football although he and his teammates are discouraged by their long losing streak. One of the plays concocts a plan to win that doesn't exactly follow the rules. The plan works but Austin grapples with the ethical dilemma of cheating and how to stand up to his teammates.



follow chester

Chester Pierce's story is an important part of the civil rights movement.  In this historical fiction picture book, readers follow his journey as a talented football player and leader on and off the field. During the days when Jim Crow laws were in full force, he played for Harvard in a college game against University of Virginia. He battled discrimination strategically during the football game and in all the places of business that enforced segregation in the south.

josh loves football

Getting injured now and then is an inevitable part of the game, unfortunately. In this inspiring book, Josh learns how to continue working hard after getting hurt during practice. With the support of his coach and teammates, he recovers and regains his self-confidence. Packed with lots of valuable lessons and important terminology.


 My First Book of Football

Sports Illustrated has a fantastic series of introductory books told from the viewpoint of a rookie player. In this edition, readers will learn everything they need to know about playing the football. Realistic visual representations along with terminology are sprinkled throughout this comprehensive guide.



football with dad

Grab this Little Golden Books football instruction manual to teach your child all the important rules of the game. In this story, a little boy and his father enjoy watching a game together, and then they head outdoors to play a game of their own.  A solid introductory picture book about football.



 Don't Throw It to Mo!

A Theodor Seuss Geisel Award-winning book that emphasizes the importance of being a good team player. Mo loves playing the game and refuses to let his small stature get in the way of success on the field. Opposing teammates mock him until his own coach and fellow players hatch a plan that uses Mo's size as a winning advantage. 


 kylie jean Football Queen

Kylie Jean is the star of an easy chapter book series for little girls. She has waited her entire life to join the cheerleading squad- the Dancing Dazzlers-  so she can support her brother on the field. All the fun football elements are captured, from tailgate parties to Friday Night Lights, in this fast-paced beginner reader book.


Kick the Football, Charlie Brown! 

The Peanuts deliver their signature charming humor in a children's football book about never giving up. What Charlie Brown lacks in athletic ability he makes up for in sheer determination. Despite Lucy's efforts to derail his aspirations, Charlie, with the help of the gang, chases his dream. Will he succeed? Young readers will be cheering him on right until the very last page.


the berenstain bears play football

New readers will enjoy this I Can Read book about the Grizzly Bowl. The cubs have heard, watched, and learned all about football. But now these energetic cubs want to actually play the game. As can be expected, there is no shortage of action in this football game featuring the beloved Berenstain Bears.





Football Novels for Tweens

The best novels about football expertly interweave the excitement of the game with social, ethical and other more sophisticated themes to stimulate independent readers. These books are fascinating reads for kids who love sports. They are equally enjoyable, as well, for anyone who is interested in stories full of action and drama. Good middle grade football books are multi-layered stories about sportsmanship that carry readers away from the field and into the everyday lives of the characters.


the losers at the center of the galaxy

Both parts humorous and tragic, this middle grade novel follows the lives of two children coping with the disappearance of their father, former quarterback of the worst team in history. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and its devastating effects on a football player and his family is examined in this timely chapter book.  

touchdown kid

Cory has an opportunity to leave behind the negative influences surrounding him in his poor town. A football coach who runs a top tier program at an elite private school recognizes Cory's talent and recruits him to join the team. Life has not been without its challenges as the son of a poor, single mom. This may just be his ticket to a new life. But Cory learns, the hard way, that pastures are not always greener and he is met with a new set of challenges trying to fit in with the rich kids.



million dollar throw

Nate has the weight of the world on his 13 year old shoulders. His father lost his job and his mother is working double shifts to put food on the table and hang on to their house. On the field, Nate can forget about his family's troubles. But when he has an opportunity to throw a ball through target at the Patriot's game on Thanksgiving- for a whopping one million dollar prize- Nate isn't so sure he has what it takes.

the underdogs

Will is a boy who is wise beyond his years. Growing up in a poor town, he realizes that football lifts everyone up and makes them forget about their worries at least for a little while. He's a boy who, while not the biggest, has quick feet and unparalleled passion for the game. So when word gets out that the upcoming season may be canceled due to lack of funding, he knows he must take action not only for himself but for all of his friends and neighbors.



left out


Tim Green is a prolific author of sports books for the coming-of-age crowd. In this football novel, a 7th grade boy is determined to overcome his challenges by showing what he can do on the field. His deafness and funny way of talking have set him of for teasing and ridicule for most of his life. When he moves to a new town, his hopes for a fresh start on and off the field are dashed, again, by bullies. Hard work, determination, and a special friendship are themes that are interwoven throughout.



game changer

An engrossing, compelling chapter book for mature readers that deals with a life-threatening sports injury. A thirteen year old player is in a coma after an accident on the field during a training camp. However, after more information comes to light, questions arise as to whether the injury was a result of deliberate actions. Fast-paced football chapter book that begs for discussion around the safety of the game.

fantasy league

You don't have to be a star player to rise to the top of the game. In this feel-good football novel for tweens, Charlie knows a lot more about football than the kids who play for his high school team. Never more than a bench warmer, Charlie rises to fame and stardom with the success of his  podcast and special friendship he develops with an aging pro-team owner. 

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