At our town’s elementary school, the owner of the local dojo came to introduce all the first-grade students to the two-day karate, and this is a major attraction of the year. (It’s also an amazing marketing ploy.) Martial arts are not only exciting, they’re a great way for kids to learn focus and discipline and build physical strength. Martial arts books for kids give young readers the opportunity to connect and build background knowledge about this high-interest topic. Check out these great picks for kids from the little white belt to the awesome black belt!
(Just a warning, WeAreTeachers may collect a portion of sales from the links on this page. We only recommend items that our team likes!)
Martial arts picture book for kids
1. My First Karate Class by Alyssa Satin Capusili (PreK-1)
This informative book has a simple reading section for children to try to read on their own, as well as a section for reading with an adult, including a how-to section. It will also create a great advisory text for informative writing in K or 1.
Buy this: My first karate class on Amazon
2. Karate Kids by Holly Sterling (PreK-1)
Here’s the perfect martial arts book for those who take karate classes or are just starting out. Maya and her friends go to the dojo for their Saturday karate class. They all help each other succeed. It has got a nice theme for class discussions about courage, perseverance, and encouraging others to try new things.
Buy it: Karate Kids on Amazon
3. Let’s go to Taekwondo! A Story of Perseverance, Courage and Breaking Board by Comfort Kim (PreK-2)
Yomi tries to overcome her fear of getting her yellow belt in Taekwondo. Her grandmother tried to learn to use a computer. How they encourage each other makes for a great class discussion. We like how this author’s work adds an OwnVoices presentation of Korean-American culture to the classroom library.
Buy it: Let’s go taekwondo! A story about perseverance, courage and breaking boards on Amazon
4. A Morning with Grandpa by Sylvia Liu (PreK-2)
Here is a cool martial arts book for kids that is less about focus and use of good energy and ninja kicks. Mei Mei gets curious when she sees her grandfather practicing tai chi in the yard. The story of intergenerational is very sweet. The latter teaches children more about both tai chi and yoga.
Buy it: A morning with grandpa on Amazon
5. Rosen L. Karate Kid by Karsted (Preke-2)
In a fun play on words, the manual on how to do this is used to demonstrate the basic karate position and movement of kid kids. People’s kids will definitely want to stand up and try these as you read.
Buy this: Karate Kid on Amazon
6. Corey Rosen Schwartz’s Three Ninja Pigs (PreK-2)
This is one of our favorite broken fairy tales of all time. This is a fun choice if you want a martial arts book for kids about multiple games. When they decided they were good enough to oppress the wolves, the first pig took Aikido, the second Jujitsu, and the third karate. Be careful! See also Ninja Red Riding Hood and Hensel and Gretel: Ninja Chicks.
Buy it: Three Ninja Pigs on Amazon
7. The Karate Kid: Kim Smith’s (K-4) Classic Illustrated Storybook (Pop Classics)
“Wax on, wax off.” Introduce the children to the original movie plot in the form of a neat picture book. The images are much better than your average movie adaptation, and the plot will give the kids a chance to talk.
(If you’re a movie fan, you’ll probably laugh at the rest of the pop classic headlines, too.)
Buy it: Karate Kid: Classic Illustrated Storybook on Amazon
8. Karate Hour by Carol Nevias (PreK-3)
Live through a karate class, from beginner bows and stretches to intense skill exercises. It’s a rhythmic text, but it’s also great enough for older kids. Artistic close-up black-and-white images can give students new inspirations to illustrate their own personal narrative. There is more information on the history of Back Matter Karate.
Buy it: Karate Hour on Amazon
9. The Grandmaster Daughter Dan-Ah Kim (K-3)
Sunny is a young man in the title of OwnVoices so why do you have a black belt. She is the daughter of a grandmaster from Dojang, a mountain in Korea. If you are looking for a martial arts book to discuss the proper use of children’s skills (say, no, for vacation or hallway fighting), the illustrations in this book can help. The young students work together to protect each other from the imaginary creatures that wake up from the mountains.
Buy it: Grandmaster’s daughter on Amazon
10. The Rise (and Falls) of Jackie Chan by Kristen Mai Giang (Grades 1-4)
Martial arts was a key aspect of Jackie Chan’s training to become a Chinese opera performer and later an iconic movie stuntman. This is a unique addition to your picture book biography collection. Or use it as a mentoring text for a biography unit.
Buy it: The Rise (and Falls) of Jackie Chan on Amazon
Martial arts chapter book for children
11. John Himmelman’s Bunjitsu Bani Series (PreK-1)
This simple illustrated chapter works for reading books aloud or independently. Isabelle is “Bunjitsu Bani”, the best martial artist in her school. He is the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate. These books work well for a character study.
Buy it: Bunjitsu Bani on Amazon
12. Ninjas and Samurai (Magic Tree House Fact Tracker) by Mary Pope Osborne and Natalie Pope Boys (Grade 2-4)
Ninjas Night has always been one of the most popular magic tree house books in our classroom. This companion version teaches more about samurai and their training, including jujitsu. It also dives into the history of real ninjas, which will fascinate ninja-obsessed kids.
Buy it: Ninjas and Samurai on Amazon (Magic Tree House Fact Tracker)
13. Who was Bruce Lee? By Jim Giglioti and Hu HQ (2-5)
Bruce Lee introduced kung fu and martial arts to millions of TV viewers when he performed Green beetle In the late 1960’s. Give this readable biography to introduce kids to a real life superhero.
Buy it: Who was Bruce Lee? At Amazon
14. & 15. Ninja Kid: From Nerd to Ninja! And Ninja Kid 2: Flying Ninja! By Anh Do (Grade 2-4)
Nelson must be cold – until he wakes up as a ninja on his 10th birthday. These are fast, fun, over-the-top readings for kids who love ninja and martial arts action.
Buy it: Ninja Kid: From Nerd to Ninja! At Amazon
Buy it: Ninja Kid 2: Flying Ninja! At Amazon
16. Five Ancestors Series by Jeff Stone
If you’re looking for a chapter-book-length martial arts book for kids, this action-packed series about 12-year-old Fu and his “temple brother” is a great choice. The five characters must be combined with their past এবং and animalistic influences যখন when they are forced to leave the temple where they grew up and trained in kung fu.
Buy it: Five Ancestors series on Amazon
Which martial arts book for kids do you like to share in your classroom? Let us know in the comments!
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