While many learned to read with the help of sports cards, books help us dig deeper. It doesn't have to be the lengthy biographies that are so big they hurt your back every time you pick them up. Plenty of great books are out there that dig into the history of baseball, basketball and other sports that aren't very long at all. They have plenty of pictures too -- beautiful pictures.
When it comes to historical sports picture books, it's not surprising that many revolve around top stars. Babe Ruth, Michael Jordan and Muhammad Ali are among those that have more than one picture book written about them.
A common theme running throughout them is how the focal characters, some of which aren't household names, overcome some sort of adversity. In some instances, it's through basic hard work and practice. In others, it's overcoming outside forces like war and circumstance.
Sounds kind of heavy for kids reading? That's part of the beauty of picture books. Good ones aren't necessarily just for the little ones. Great artwork and good storytelling aren't age specific.
Below are nearly three dozen sports pictures books that not only look at the past but they do so with beauty. Just like the writing is different in each, not all are done with the same style of art. Some aim for a realist look while others are much more abstract.
You can click on the links to learn more about each book on Amazon. Most also have previews available so that you can see and read a few pages.