16 Valuable Kids' Books About Winning and Losing

cheetah can't lose 

Cheetah Can't Lose
Cheetah has grown accustomed to winning every race. His physical prowess makes him a formidable opponent on the race track. Some much small runners realize they must be creative in order to beat the wicked fast Cheetah. A valuable story for little ones who will learn there is more than one way to win a competition.



kids sportsmanship


Children's Books About Sportsmanship

 There is a lot of preparation that goes in to getting kids ready to play sports. Hundreds of dollars are invested in equipment and uniforms. Hours of practice require families to juggle schedules, adjust mealtimes, and give up precious weekend time to cheer on their children at the fields. Even the most rational parents can get quickly swept away with the thrill of watching little ones score a goal in soccer, hit a home run, or get a touchdown playing football. Unbridled enthusiasm for a child's success on the field can take hold, with a focus on coming in first place and bringing home a baseball trophy. Undoubtedly, some of the best memories are made watching kids excel in athletics by beating their opponents. The drive they learn on the field will serve young people later in life when their ambitions shift toward other pursuits. Even more importantly, good sportsmanship values are what really mold young athletes into adults with integrity. Children's books about winning and losing are great resources for little ones who are just getting started playing sports. The stories share valuable lessons about how to conduct themselves whether they take home the trophy or hang their heads in defeat.


the big cheese

The Big Cheese

A big bragger learns a valuable lesson when a new guy in town comes out on top. The Big Cheese is accustomed to winning all the time, and he is loud and proud about his accomplishments. An unprecedented and surprising loss is at first a big disappointment, but the dose of humility is ultimately the greatest gift of all. 



Winners Don’t Whine and Whiners Don’t Win 

Winners Don't Whine and Whiners Don't Win!

Wendell is not happy unless things go his way. To say he is a poor loser is an understatement. Whenever he loses, Wendell responds by crying, complaining, and acting downright atrocious. One particular day when a series of events do not work out in Wendell's favor, he takes his whining to a whole new level. Fed up, his mother teaches him that losing can actually be good sometimes and make him a better person.




Sometimes You Win Sometimes You Learn 

Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn for Kids!

An upbeat story for kids about having the right attitude and work ethic to win at whatever they pursue. A brother and sister lean on their grandfather for advice after a disappointing loss. Told in rhyme, the guidance they receive focuses on learning from their defeat and channeling their energy into getting better for the next match.



tractor mac you're a winner 

Tractor Mac, You're a Winner

A solid lesson is told in this story just right for preschoolers who have a hard time losing. Tractor Mac has his heart set on winning a contest at the county fair. But when a bigger, stronger competitor shows up, his hopes are deflated. Fortunately, he has the opportunity to shine when he helps fix a broken carousel. Kids will learn to that there are lots of ways to come out on top. 



i'll root for you 

I'll Root for You

A book of poems that will resonate with all kids who have ever felt like they just can't compete. Funny pictures of animals pursuing various athletic feats, no matter how unfit they are for the activity. Uplifting words encourage every single person to go after their dreams and never let the fear of failure stand in the way. The prevalent message throughout each of the poems is that everyone is a winner for finding the courage just to try.




 win or lose i love you!

Win or Lose, I Love You!

A whimsical story takes readers into the forest where Lulu and Max have organized a contest. All of their forest friends are competing to be the leader of the pack. What is supposed to be a fun day of exciting contests quickly deteriorates. The winners brag, the losers sulk, and the day is almost ruined. When it comes time for the ultimate winner to be declared, Lulu and Max come up with the perfect choice. This story will open up a conversation about how values are more important than performance. 



 elmer and the race

Elmer and the Race

A group of elephant friends wants to find out who is the fastest runner. Elmer, the patchwork leader, oversees the competition. What he observes is an interesting race where a variety of personalities shine, for better or worse. More importantly, it's a race of self-discovery, pride, and remorse. At the very end, Elmer determines that every single elephant is a winner for different reasons.



 Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns About Sportsmanship

Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns About Sportsmanship

 Howard's emotional immaturity surfaces whenever he loses. Like lots of young athletes, he has a hard time controlling his outbursts whenever he misses a basket or his team comes up short. The author delivers a good message about how winning is not everything, and that how you behave towards other players is more important than the outcome of the game.




 daniel the golden retriever

Daniel the Golden Retriever

Daniel is used to winning the first place ribbon at every dog show he attends. After all the grooming, his golden fur shines. And the Golden has mastered all of the skills to show off his agility and ability to follow directions. When the outcome is much different than usual in one particular competition, Daniel feels disappointed and is not very supportive of the pup who took home the prize. Eventually he learns to redefine winning, especially when the underdog comes out on top.



winners never quit 

Winners Never Quit

Soccer star Mia Hamm knows the thrill of victory as well as the agony of defeat. Drawing upon her experiences as a young soccer player, she delivers an important message to little ones who are experiencing the highs and lows on the field. A girl is excited to play, but her mood quickly deteriorates when the game ends in a loss. She learns an important lesson about not quitting and develops a new understanding.of what it means to be a winner.



 you can't win them all rainbow fish

You Can't Win Them All, Rainbow Fish

Rainbow Fish engages in a game of hide and seek with the rest of his sea friends. He quickly learns that hiding is not his strength. In fact, even the newest, youngest member of the group is better at the game. Instead of being a good sport, the colorful fish swims off in a fit of frustration. After some honest conversations with the other players, Rainbow Fish learns how his behavior affects others and changes his attitude.


 Lucia Lacorte, Poor Sport

Lucia Lacorte Poor Sport

Lucia Lacorte is about the poorest sport around. She loves to play games, but other don't enjoy her company. When Lucia wins, she brags incessantly. And when she loses, Lucia sulks. A fun, rhyming story about being a good sport will resonate with kids who may benefit from the lesson Lucia learns. 



sally sore loser 

Sally Sore Loser, A Story About Winning and Losing

Sally is a competitor in every single situation, not just on the sports field. She has to be first in everything she does, whether it is finishing her dinner or finding a place in line. When Sally doesn't come out on top, her temperament turns ugly. Her reputation as a sore loser affects her friendships at school and makes life at home miserable. A good story for older children with lots of tips in the back to assist in a discussion. 



 Chip and Curly

Chip and Curly: The Great Potato Race

 A potato chip anticipates victory before the sack race even begins. He's been practicing his technique in preparation for the big day. Visions of cheerleaders and spectators, in a wide array of potato forms, chanting his name as he crosses the finish line fill his mind. When a curly fry, who clearly has a physical advantage shows up, the poor chip is afraid his chance of winning has gone down the drain. Readers will love the action-packed race that plays across the pages. With a little perseverance and determination, maybe the little chip will win after all!


The Berenstain Bears Play a Good Game 

The Berenstain Bears Play a Good Game

The importance of playing a fair game is the prevailing theme of this Berenstain Bears book. Brother, Sister, and the other cubs join a soccer team. Both sides are eager to take the field and show off their skills. Like in most competitions, some questionable events occur that require intervention by the referee. While all the cubs want to win, they learn a valuable lesson about the importance of playing fairly.


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Kids' Books About Being a Good Sport

One of the most difficult, although most important, lesson kids learn through sports and competitions is how to behave when things don't go their way. Poor sportsmanship is witnessed all the time, especially during games involving young, inexperienced players. Little kids may throw a bat when they strike out, or refuse to shake hands of their opponents when they lose a game. Sulking on the sidelines when a coach pulls them from the field is also common. Unnecessary roughness during a basketball or football game is a sign that a child may need some corrective action. Good coaches address the concept of sportsmanship throughout the entire season, and implement consequences for players who exhibit poor behavior. Kids who are still developing emotionally may have a hard time and they will slip up when faced with disappointment. This is why it is a good idea to read children books about winning and losing when they are in a calm state, long after the game has ended.


Read More Books About Competition

Dynamic Soccer Stories

Kids Chess Guides With Winning Strategies 

Gymnastics Picture Books

Best Baby Sports Books

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