Poetry in Sports Books for Kids and the Kid Lit Blog Hop

Poetry in Sports Books for Kids and the Kid Lit Blog Hop

My son has a poet in residence for fourth grade. For three sessions, he’s learning to write poetry. There’s even homework assignments that he agonizes over. He’s had a poetry unit every year — in 2nd grade, he wrote a color poem based on Mary O’Neill, but this is the first year that the poetry seems to flow out of him. To encourage the poet inside him, I’m introducing books about sports that use poetry to tell the story.

Hoops by Robert Burleigh, illustrated by Stephen T. Johnson

The ball

like a piece

of the thin long reach

of your body.

Even kids who don’t play basketball will appreciate the feel of the basketball in your hand, the frozen-moment-in-time as the ball takes off in an arc towards the basket and the inexplicable thrill as it sinks through the hoop. Rober Burleigh captures the small thrilling moments of the game while Stephen T. Johnson’s beautiful pastel illustrations give us a front and center seat.

This is a poetry picture book that will grab and pull kids in, especially those who like sports! [picture book, ages 4 and up]

Crossover by Kwame Alexander

A crossover dribble is a basketball maneuver in which a player dribbling the ball switches the ball rapidly from one hand to the other, to make a change in direction.

If you haven’t read this year’s Newbery winner, you are in for a treat. A coming of age story of two twin brothers with some serious basketball skills, first love, and the bond of family. [novel in verse, ages 9 and up]

My son actually plays soccer so I’ll add this poetry picture book to draw him in to poetry.

Soccer Hour by Carol Nevius, illustrated by Bill Thomson

There’s also a crossover move in soccer also used to fake out your opponents.

We toss the ball up in the air

and juggle it to keep it there.

We try to bounce a steady beat

with heads and thights as well as feet.

With rhyming text, Soccer Hour captures the excitement and work required to win a scrimmage. Try this picture book for young soccer players, both boys and girls, and then ask them to write their own poem about their soccer team. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

For the soccer maestro at changing directions to fake out opponents, we love Lionel Messi.

To examine any book more closely at Amazon, please click on image of book.

Poetry in Sports Books for Kids and the Kid Lit Blog Hop

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Welcome to the 60th Kid Lit Blog Hop where we continue to develop a dynamic and engaged community of children’s books bloggers, authors, publishers, and publicists. So, you are always more than welcome to join us by popping in a post and hopping around to meet some of your fellow Kid Lit bloggers and authors!

This week, we are excited to be including a Goodreads Linky Party to be held in conjunction with the Kid Lit Blog Hop. These linky parties are designed to give you the opportunity to connect with and grow your network of fellow kid lit bloggers, authors, and parents through your various social media platforms.



Mother Daughter Book Reviews

Julie Grasso, Author/ Blogger

Cheryl Carpinello, Author / Blogger

Stacking Books


Pragmatic Mom

Reading Authors

The Logonauts

A Book Long Enough

Spark and Pook

Happy Hopping everyone and enjoy the Hop!


Kid Lit Blog Hop & Linky Party Rules *Please Read*

1. LINKY PARTY: Add the link to your Goodreads profile page in the Goodreads Linky Party list below. Be sure to visit at least the two links directly before yours as well as your hosts’ Goodreads pages. Be sure to friend or follow some folks with similar interests and like any reviews that catches your eye. If you do not have a Goodreads profile, you are welcome to link up a different social media profile (Pinterest, Facebook, etc.).

2. KID LIT BLOG HOP: Link up any Kid Lit related post in the Kid Lit Blog Hop. This can be a link to a children’s book review, a discussion about children’s literature/literacy, or a post on a recently-read children’s book or one that you love from your childhood.

* Don’t link directly to your blog, it must be a specific post.*

* For Authors, we prefer you to link to your blog if you have one. Please link unique posts each time ~ no repeats please. *

* Make sure you include an image relevant to the POST (e.g., book cover), not your blog button or photo of yourself.*

* Feel free to link more than one post.*

3. KID LIT BLOG HOP: Please visit AT LEAST the TWO LINKS from the Kid Lit Blog Hop directly ahead of your own and leave them some love in the form of a comment. We are trying to build a community of bloggers, readers, parents, authors, and others who are as passionate about children’s literature as we are so please CONNECT and follow any or all of the blogs that interest you!

4. If you like, grab the button above and put it somewhere on your blog, preferably the post you’re linking up. If you’d prefer, you can just add a text link back to this Hop so that others can find it and check out all these great book links!

5. It would really help us get the word out about the Kid Lit Blog Hop if you would be so kind as to tweet, share, and spread the word about the Hop!

Happy Hopping!



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By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. I’m not a big sports fan, but when I read Crossover (and yes, I had to look up what a crossover is), I knew this might be the kind of book that would interest kids but especially reluctant readers. I’ll have to check out the other two books. Thanks for sharing these on the Kid LIt Blog Hop
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  2. I loved The Crossover (even though I’m not much of a sports or basketball fan).

    I would recommend anything by Douglas Florian, and artist & poet. His poetry is funny & punny. He has a new baseball book called Poem Runs (haven’t read it yet), and I love this title: Poem Depot: Aisles of Smiles. His books are fun to read aloud, and the art is zany & whimsical.

    I haven’t read these, but know that Lee Bennett Hopkins has some sports-oriented anthologies:

    Extra Innings, Sports, Sports, Sports & Opening Days.

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