21 Flippin' Fun Gymnastics Books for Kids

she's got this

She's Got This

The most talented gymnasts make their sport look effortless. That's what Zoe believes when she watches professionals gymnasts competing on TV. She signs up for a gymnastics class and learns the hard way that high-flying flips on the balance beam are incredibly difficult. Written by Laurie Hernandez, Olympic Gold Medal gymnast, this is a story about never giving up.



 Best Children's Gymnastics Books Teach Life Lessons

Unless you are a gymnast, it is hard to appreciate the amount of hard work and perseverance that is required to master each and every flip and twist.  These athletes make tremendous sacrifices by spending hours and hours at the gym all for the sake of acquiring and perfecting a new skill. Similar to the painstaking commitment of  ballerinas who make performances look effortless, gymnasts also make their skills appear much easier to master.  Kids' books about gymnastics reflect a wide range of experiences, lessons, and stories that need to be told. They are often written by current or former gymnasts who can offer an inside look at where it all begins. Check out some favorite books about this incredible sport.   


 nadia the girl who couldn't sit still

Nadia: The Girl Who Couldn't Sit Still

Every single budding gymnast needs to know the story of Nadia Comaneci. This incredibly inspiring story is about a girl who broke records at the 1976 Olympic Games by earning seven perfect scores. Whimsical, appealing illustrations capture fluid gymnastics movements. But the story itself is a moving testimony about a girl whose hard work, perseverance, and phenomenal talent took her from a small town anonymity to international recognition.



 the story of simone biles

The Story of Simone Biles

Everyone knows the name Simone Biles. We've all watched her incredible leaps, impossible skills, and magnetic personality on television. Her list of accolades is long and unparalleled- 5 Olympic medals and 25 World Champion medals at the time of this blog post- and she will go down in history as one of the best gymnasts in the world. In this biography for beginner readers, we get an inside look at all of the sacrifices, hard work, and hours at the gym she  logged. An inspirational read for all kids.



  kylie jean gymnastics queen

Kylie Jean, Gymnastics Queen

Kylie Jean is the star in a series of early reader chapter books. This time, she decides to join a gymnastics class. Kylie Jean works very hard at all of the practices so that she's ready to show off her skills at the big event. This sassy girl had her heart set on being the #1 gymnast on her team, but she learns that the friendship she forms are more important than winning.



 boxcar children the gymnastics mystery 

Boxcar Children: The Gymnastics Mystery

The Alden kids have a new mystery to solve, this time involving a Russian gymnast who has come to stay with them. Katya is favored to win a big competition taking place in the town of Greenfield. It seems like someone, perhaps a jealous competitor, is trying to interfere with Katya's training in an effort to prevent her from winning. It's up to the Alden siblings to get to the bottom of it before Katya's hard work at the gym is jeopardized. 



 grace gold and glory my leap of faith gabrielle douglas

Grace, Gold & Glory: My Leap of Faith

A highly readable autobiography by the one and only Gabby Douglas written for the 13+ age group. But we think younger gymnasts would love to snuggle on your lap and listen to you read this compelling story of a girl who rose through the gymnastics ranks. There is so much to celebrate in the story of incredible faith, perseverance, and strength. 



 balance beam boss

Balance Beam Boss

Lots of gymnasts will relate to Sofia's experience at the gym. She's the top dog at her gym until a fall on the beam sets her back. Sofia is happy to return after her rehabilitation is complete, but things just aren't the same. While her physical injuries have been healed, Sofia now must work on her mental conditioning. Any gymnast who has experienced a fall will related to Sofia's overwhelming fear and anxiety, and will cheer her on as she finds the courage to compete again.



 gymnastics comeback

Gymnastics Comeback

Gymnasts will relate to the story of Suzy, a hardworking, talented gymnast who is under a tremendous amount of pressure. She is one of the best gymnast's on the team and her teammates need her to defeat a tough rival in an upcoming meet. An unfortunate injury may get in the way of her competing. To make matters worse, her mother is encouraging her to quit gymnastics and focus on the piano. Kids will relate to Suzy's dilemma as she tries to focus on what is most important to her. 



  the kip

The Kip

Learning a new skill is hard and frustrating, especially when your teammates seem to master it without difficulty. Such is the case with Marissa who can't seem to get her kip no matter how hard she works at it. If she doesn't get this skill, she will not move up to the next gymnastics level with her friends. Every competitive gymnast will relate to the stress of trying to acquire new skills and the consequences if they fail.



 i can be a gymnast

I Can Be a Gymnast

A Step Into Reading Book perfect for little girls who love gymnastics. Barbie is competing at a championship meet! Simple sentences are paired with illustrations that provide clues. A short, colorful gymnastics book with a good message about hard work and competition.



 jake at gymnastics

Jake at Gymnastics

An adorable gymnastics book for toddlers featuring Jake and all his friends. These tiny tots have joined their very first gymnastics class where they learn all the basics. This is the perfect book for a preschooler who is a little nervous about his or her first gymnastics experience. Stretching, somersaults, tumbling and all kinds of fun is happening in this cute book.



  tina tumbles

Tina Tumbles

Something tells us that if you are reading this right now, you know a little girl or boy just like the one on the cover! Tina dreams of becoming a gymnast after watching a competition on TV. How hard can it be? The athletes make it look soooo easy! But when Tina tries some basic skills, like cartwheels, she finds that gymnastics is harder than it looks. So she joins a class and has to dig deep to find the confidence she needs to try her new skills. A great little story about working hard and not giving up.



 gemma the gymnastics fairy

Gemma the Gymnastics Fairy

The gymnastics in the book may be a far cry from the real thing, but this fairy chapter book is a fun read nonetheless! All the fairies are getting ready for the Fairy Olympics, but there is one big problem. Jack Frost and his goblins have taken to stealing their magic objects. Gemma the Gymnastics Fairy is especially upset that her magic hoop has gone missing. A magical fantasy book with imaginative gymnastics skills that sure look like fun.



maddie hoffman gymnastics superstar 

Maddie Hoffman, Gymnastics Superstar

Try outs for the competitive gymnastics team are right around the corner and Maddie is having some doubts. She has been practicing her skills but she wonders if she has what it takes to make the team. Pressure is mounting as Maddie has to deal with injuries and some bullying issues at the gym. A beginner chapter book for anyone who has ever tried out for a competitive team.



 mary lou retton america's sweetheart

Mary Lou Retton: America's Sweetheart

Lots of great illustrations and fascinating information about the life of a gymnast who stole hearts at the 1984 Olympic games. With a pixie haircut, a tiny physique, and a larger-than-life personality, Mary Lou Retton will go down in history as one of the best gymnasts of all time. Her story will be enjoyed by little gymnastics enthusiasts.



 flying high simone biles

Flying High

A picture book biography of the one and only Simone Biles. The story takes the reader back to Simone's childhood, when she demonstrated infinite amounts of energy and incredible athleticism at a very young age. Rhyming text is paired with with illustrations that capture her strength, flexibility and grace. As an added bonus, the last few pages contain really interesting reference material about her life and achievements. 



 first day at gymnastics

First Day at Gymnastics

Check out this beginner reader book full of real-life pictures all about gymnastics. Simple sentences on each page are perfect for kiddos who are figuring out how to read by themselves. Basic gymnastics terminology, skills, and movements are covered in this little book.




 the greatest gymnast of all

The Greatest Gymnast of All

Preschoolers who love gymnastics will especially enjoy this book about an energetic little girl at the gym. This is actually a learning concept book about opposites explained through all of the activities that take place at the gym. 



gymnastics jitters

Gymnastics Jitters

The Raiders gymnastics team has been working hard at practice to prepare for an upcoming meet against the Superiors. Unfortunately, their rival team doesn't play by the rules which creates an unfair advantage. This early chapter book about gymnastics teaches a valuable lesson about sportsmanship.





A critically acclaimed coming-of-age novel about a seventh grade girl whose gymnastics career is put on hold. Mia breaks her arm as a result of terrible fall from the balance beam. In the meantime, she moves from her hometown to Vermont to be near her grandmother. There she navigates day camp and making new friends. When she discovers that someone is out to destroy her grandmother's cricket farm, Mia finds the courage to solve this mystery. And maybe this is just the experience she needs to confront her own fears.

the gymnastics book

The Gymnastics Book

This is one of the most comprehensive gymnastics guides for budding young gymnasts. Close to 150 pages are packed full of advice all about gymnastics from experts in the field. Children will pour over the beautiful photographs of gymnasts in perfect poses. They will also learn all about what to look for when choosing a coach, how to fuel their bodies with nourishing foods, important tips for managing stress during competition, and lots of important exercises for warm up and warm down. Overall, this is a solid book full of important gymnastics information.


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balance beam


Inspirational Children's Gymnastics Stories

Most of the books are written by gymnasts who have achieved high levels of success. Values they learned through the sport of gymnastics are real and lasting, and deserve to be shared with your children. Just like learning how to ride a bike, gymnasts fall, pick themselves back up, and try again until they land a new skill. The list of words to describe a gymnast's experience is long (and not exhaustive, by any means)  but here are some powerful terms that come to mind. Self-reliance. Perseverance. Failure. Pain. Rehabilitation. Practice. Practice. Practice. Courage. Strength. Exactitude. Finesse. Emotional Maturity. Fear. Fearless. Reading children's gymnastics stories to your little ones will teach them lots of important lessons that can be applied to school, work, sports, and everything else that is worthwhile in life. What gymnasts learn on the mats about perseverance, sportsmanship, and competition help shape kids into productive, self-sufficient, hard-working adults. Experiencing both success and defeat as young children will help kids grow into mature individuals who can handle whatever obstacles come their way later in life. Here are some additional books that will open a conversation about the importance of never giving up. 


Fun Facts for Kids About Gymnastics 

The sport has evolved tremendously from its first evidence of the sport traced back to early Greek civilization. Originally, young men were undergoing physical and mental train for warfare naked- or gymnos- which was intended to build a sort of toughness. They raced, lifted weights, and performed floor routines, which were all activities intended to train them for combat. In 1811, Friedrich Ludwig Jahn was credited with leading the gymnastics movement. He was credited with inventing the rings, the  parallel bars, the pommel horse, and the vault. Since that time, gymnastics has continued to evolve, especially as athletes pushed the limits in terms of complexity and endurance required to mastering skills of increasing difficulty. Kids who want to learn more will be interested in all of this fun trivia about gymnastics.

  • Gymnastics was originally a male-only sport. It wasn't until the 1920s that women were permitted to compete.
  • The balance beam and the uneven bars are women-only events in the Olympics. Men-only events include the rings, the pommel horse, the parallel bars, and the high bar.
  • The very first African American gymnast to win the all-around even at the Olympics was Gabby Douglas.
  • Simone Biles has more skills named after her than any other gymnast.
  • In 1984, Mary Lou Retton won the very first all-around gold medal for the American team.
  • Gymnastics was first introduced as an Olympic sport in 1896.
  • Gymnasts are on the petite side. The average height of a female gymnast is 5' 1' tall. 




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