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Dino Haak

Professional Ski Expert

Best Kids' Ski Books & Kids Picture Books

Featured On:

  • SkiMag
The type of kids’ ski and snowboarding books I focus on in this review are those that will prepare kids for their first season on the slopes. The books I have chosen are not so much “learn how to ski” books (even though there may be a little bit of that in the books), their purpose is to get children excited about the sport, dispel some of their fears, and instill in them the idea that everything is OK. Most of these books tell a story about a main character, or “hero” who has his or her adventures (and sometimes funny misadventures) in the snow. Believe me; acquainting kids with the idea of maneuvering a pair of slippery boards before they come to their first ski lesson is priceless. I have seen the difference! Kids who have read (or looked at) some light-hearted books on skiing or who have watched videos about the sport are usually much less intimidated than kids who have never been exposed to the idea of sliding around on the snow. It is quite important to show them what there is to expect, especially for the three to eight year olds. Think about it, their first impression could be of a cold and scary world — adults and other children wearing puffy clothes, strange hats, and “dive masks,” carrying long sticks, and stomping around with two-by-fours on their feet!

There are books out there for a range of ages. The earliest age children start out on the slopes is three to three-and-a-half years old (although I did have a two-and-a-half year old student a couple of years ago). I would say the average starting age is between four and six years. There are some nice books for this younger age group with lots of pictures along with some text that can be read to them by their parents. There are other good books that target kids eight years and up. In these you’ll usually find fewer pictures, more text, and a more complex story line. For teenagers, you’ll find some fun adventure stories (often evolving around some sort of mystery to be solved by the main character).

In this review, I present books for kids of all different ages. The books reviewed are all easy going introductions to skiing that will ease the young child’s mind and hopefully instill enough enthusiasm so that the first day on the slopes as well as the first ski lesson can be perceived as a fun, adventurous, and non-scary event. Most of the books are easy-going simple introductions to the sport with lots of photographs or illustrations. A couple of the books reviewed here are beautiful stories of fiction that I believe will instill kids with the magic of the natural winter setting and tell a story of adventure and fun associated with skiing.

Help your kids learn how to ski with the best kids ski books that prepare them for their first season on the snow slopes. Not only will these kids books get kids up on the skis, they'll get them excited about their adventures.

Best Kids Ski Books by Dino Haak

The Best You Can Get

  • First Tracks

    Dino says: “First Tracks” is a nice book that teaches kids about the snow and the slopes and also shows how skiing can be a family adventure. The main character, Suzie goes on vacation to a ski resort with her whole family, her Mom, Dad and her brother Jay (“sometimes he’s mean to me, but I love him anyway”). The story tells about her adventures learning to ski, her experiences on the slopes and with the locals. Suzie’s experience reflects what kids go through when they first are introduced to skiing, their struggles when learning, their fears, and the fun they can have! The author uses playful and simple verses backed by cute drawings and a unique style. This is a very easy and entertaining read, and kids will identify with Suzie. The book makes it all OK, with the message that skiing is fun, and that, although some things may be scary in the beginning, in the end the experience will have been well worth it and something to look forward to doing again.

    • By Johnny Boyd, Jeff Teaford (2004)
    • Very sweet and easy to read verses with very positive messages about fun with the family
    • Really dials in on how kids feel in their first experiences on the snow
    • Fun and unique drawings
    • Hardcover with 32 pages
  • Do Teddy Bears Ski

    Dino says: This is a wonderful book that will not only provide kids with lots of information about skiing, it is also written to create enthusiasm in the child while at the same time introduces not only the sport, but also the amazing natural surroundings that come with it. One of the fun aspects of the book is that Rick Sanger and Carol Russell use animals as the book’s main characters. There are giraffe, raccoon, tigers, mice, cats, crabs, fish, teddy bears, and more. The author mixes easy and fun rhymes with very nicely done drawings to accompany them. There is always a lesson, a message in each verse. I actually really enjoyed reading the book myself! It’s fun. This is by far one of the best books out there for the four to eight year old aspiring little skier, and I have recommended it to quite a few of my student’s parents. By reading the book children will actually start becoming familiarized with a lot of the new things they will learn in their first lessons, such as how to do the “pizza”, or that they will need to wear sunglasses while out in the snow. This book really can trigger enthusiasm and it is just as instructional as it is fun. At the back of the book there are tips and advice for parents on how to keep their kids enjoying the sport, their ski lessons, and how they can be safer on the slopes. y favorite verse in the book is still “When bunnies fall down, they laugh right out loud. If they bounce up by themselves, it makes them feel proud.” It is so important to not only take away the fear from falling down, but actually encourage children to get up by their own (for their own skill improvement as well as for the sake of the instructor). My highest recommendations!

    • By Rick Sanger and Carol Russell (1998)
    • Beautiful drawings and fun verses teaching kids the basics of skiing, safety, and equipment
    • This book will definitely trigger enthusiasm
    • Includes a section with tips for parents
    • Fun to read (even for adults)!
  • Let’s Try Skiing

    Dino says: This a wonderful little book where the adventure takes place on the ski slopes. The main character, Simon, a little boy goes on his first ski trip with his family. We see Simon’s adventures in the ski school where he progresses to ski the slopes, hits the jumps, and even takes part in a Slalom race. This book is really wonderful for the four to eight year old that is ready to go to ski school the coming winter. It is a very positive book that really can take away the fear of “school”, the instructor, and the mountain itself. Each page has a few sentences of text backed by nice and detailed illustrations.

    • By Susa Hammerle Friederike Großekettler (2007)
    • Great introduction to the slopes
    • Encouraging
    • Very nice illustrations
    • Hardcover with 32 pages
  • I Can Ski

    Dino says: This is a really, really simple book with pictures that are accompanied by one-sentence phrases. For example, on one page, there is a picture of little boy proclaiming “My teacher says: Go down slow!” or “Down I go-slow, slow, slow.” The book teaches about skiing in general and at the same time it familiarizes kids with the basic safety instructions for skiing. Fun to look at and easy to remember! The book is part of the Rookie Readers Series that focuses on language development and reading skills for young kids. What a great combination! Your kid can learn how to read and at the same time get acquainted with the basics of skiing. All backed by nicely done illustrations on all 32 pages. This one I can highly recommend to all kids from about ages 3 to 8. Even if your child is too young to read, they can still look at the pictures and memorize the words and sentences you read to them.

    • By Melanie Davis Jones, Terry Boles (2004)
    • Easy, easy read: single sentences combined with fun pictures
    • Teach your child how to read while learning the ABCs of skiing
    • Nice illustrations
    • For ages 3 to 8
  • I Can Ski

    Dino says: The main character in this book, little skier named Leslie, leads us through a day of skiing. In short phrases and instructional sentences Leslie shows the young reader how to ski safely while delivering the message that skiing is fun and a very cool thing to do! Kids will learn about the basics of skiing and the equipment one uses (anything from skis, boots, goggles, gloves, and scarves), as well as information on the ski-lift and how to use it. There is a very nice amount of skiing specific vocabulary that provides the young readers with terms and phrases they may soon be hearing during their first lesson in the snow.

    • By Edana Eckart (2003)
    • Very easy read
    • Simple text mixed in with fun photographs
    • Covers quite a bit of the basics of skiing
    • Introduces the equipment as well

You will be happy with any of these

  • Downhill Skiing

    Dino says: This book is very easy to read. On its 24 pages, you’ll find twelve double pages that are half text, half photograph. The colorful photographs are accompanied by one to two sentence paragraphs describing and illustrating essentially most of the things a child will encounter when going up to the slopes for the very first time. Kids will see and read about a ski area, the lift, and the equipment. They’ll also see pictures of other kids having fun in the snow. Ideal for the young boy or girl who can already read a little bit and thus won’t struggle getting through the short paragraphs, this is also a nice book to show to your three to five year old before they experience their first lesson. Reading these positive and fun paragraphs to your child and having them look at those beautiful and reassuring photographs will definitely make them look forward to their experience in the snow.

    • By Cynthia Klingel (2003)
    • Only one or two sentences per page, easy read
    • Beautiful photographs
    • Introduces the essentials of the slope
    • Portrays skiing to be a fun, exciting thing to do
  • Skiing In Action

    Dino says: This is a very good resource book for kids ages seven to eleven who are ready to get serious about the sport. “Skiing in Action” really is a good reference book that will teach kids everything they (initially) need to know about the slopes. There is all-important information about safety, about the gear they’ll use, and about the chair-lift. There is even a chapter on how to warm up properly before hitting the slopes. They’ll also find information about the most important drills (e.g. side-stepping and doing the “pizza”), an introduction to essential beginner’s techniques, and instruction for upper level skills such as parallel and mogul skiing and racing. The book will be of great benefit to your youngster as a prep book before their first lesson and a guide to look up techniques or skiing terminology when they’ve already learned to make their first turns.

    • By John Crossingham and Bobbie Kalman (2005)
    • Lots of photographs
    • Very detailed reference book covering safety, gear, and technique
    • Well-written, easy read
    • Hardcover with 32 pages
  • Let’s Downhill Ski

    Dino says: Carol K. Lindeen’s book is a great introduction to skiing for our four to eight year olds. The book features fairly large pages with great color photographs, and very simple and short sentences are used to describe the pictures shown. This is a very easy read, but most of the essentials really are covered. Skis, poles, and boots (and more) are introduced and special care is taken to instill safety rules, all presented in a fun, easy-going way. The layout is nice, simple, with the text being on the left, and the photos on the right. On the last pages, you’ll find a glossary covering the important skiing terms with which one should be familiar. The book gets high marks for layout, informative content and easy-going approach.

    • By Carol K. Lindeen (2006)
    • Large pages, big colorful photos
    • Easy-going and informative, will make your child want to go skiing
    • Simple, yet effective layout, and it covers safety rules of skiing
    • Ideal for ages 4 to 8
  • Ollie’s Ski Trip

    Dino says: The hero in this book is a little boy named Olli who gets a pair of skis on his sixth birthday, and anxiously awaits the winter to come. When it finally does, he goes out to try out his new skis and starts his big adventure. In this beautiful fantasy story, Olli meets all sorts of interesting characters such as Jack Frost who works hard to keep things cold (so there can be skiing) and Mrs. Thaw whose goal is to warm up the world around them to melt all the snow. At some point in the story, Olli makes his way to King Winter’s ice castle where he meets the people who make boots, skis, mittens, and warm socks, all the things needed for a day in the snow. And of course, the book has a happy ending. The story takes place in Scandinavia where Olli is actually using cross-country skis, but I still highly recommend this book to all three to six year old beginning little downhill skiers. The story is magical, the pictures are wonderful, and everything is good in the world, everything is safe. Very, very nice.

    • By Elsa Maartman Beskow (1982)
    • Very nice illustrations
    • For kids 4 to 8 years of age
    • Message: Can’t wait, when winter comes the adventure begins!
    • Hardcover with 30 pages
  • Nancy Drew Notebooks 16

    Dino says: The Nancy Drew Notebooks Series is definitely aimed at young girls. The main character, the eight-year-old Nancy, goes on a three-day ski trip with her family and friends. There is always a mystery to be solved, and this time the stage is the ski area at Snowshoe Mountain. Nancy and her two friends Bess and George are starting ski lessons together, but suddenly George realizes that she lost her lucky necklace. The girls cannot continue skiing because the necklace was George’s lucky charm, and Nancy needs to find out who took it. The book is thrilling and suspenseful with its mysteries and villains, but most importantly it emphasizes how skiing and ski lessons can be an exciting adventure! I definitely recommend it for our little girl skiers ages seven to eight. The book is also a nice read for the already accomplished skier, as he or she will be able to relate to the characters for a fun read.

    • By Carolyn Keene (1997)
    • Fun and exciting mystery book
    • Takes place in a ski area
    • 80 pages
    • Emphasizes how exciting ski lessons and skiing can be

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