Awhile back, I was pacing a race (remember those? You’d get together and run with other people at the same time! What a concept!) and got talking to one of my runners who was the mom of two kids.
She was just getting back into running and had gotten several running-themed books to read to her kids at night. The two she (and her kids) specifically enjoyed were Marathon Mouse and Pellie Runs A Marathon (side note: this was the same conversation that eventually got us talking about Mike Mulligan).
This got me thinking about other kid’s books about running, marathons, and track and field.
Kid’s Books About Running
Preston and his mouse family live under a bridge in New York City and dreams of running the New York City Marathon, even though his family doesn’t always support his marathon running dreams.
Pellie smiles her way through marathon training.
Hank the sloth and his moth friend Dee train for the Great Rainforest Race.
Who knew there was a whole subgenre of running sloth books?
Sam challenges his rainforest friends to race, learning about comparison and embracing what makes you unique along the way.
Madi tries out several sports until she discovers running is totally for her.
The world needs more real-life heros.
Wilma Unlimited is the true story of Olympian Wilma Rudolph, who overcame polio and a paralyzed leg to win several Olympic medals.
No kid’s book list would be complete without the Berenstain Bears (or is it Berenstein? Darn that Mandela Effect!)
I don’t know how interested kids would be in this story, but the true story of the 1904 Olympic Marathon in St. Louis is totally bonkers. Dust, nap breaks, and consuming strychnine (instead of water) is just the start of it.
Real World Math uses running to teach kids about math concepts like circumference and time.
Forget the kids – I think I need this book.
How much sooner will I cross the finish line if I’m running 10 seconds faster a mile than my friend in a 5k? How many laps of a 400-meter track is a 1500m workout?
Non-Running Bonus Book
The Little Engine That Could was one of my favorite books as a kid.
It wasn’t until I recently stumbled upon this book again that I realized it taught me everything I needed to know about training for a marathon.