Goal! Winning books for baby football fans


My husband and I both love Australian Rules Football. We decided which team our kids would support in-utero (he got two Essendon fans and I got two Carlton fans, just to keep things even). Of course, the kids could have rebelled and picked their own team but thankfully that didn’t happen. Two fun new board books have just been published for baby footy fans – they won’t help you pick which team to support but they do give you all the necessary football lingo to help baby sort their goals from their points.

AFL: My First Words Book introduces kids to simple, ‘football-related’ words from getting to the match – ‘car, walk, train, tram’ to key features of the ground – ‘oval, stands, lines, lights’. The book gets down to business with a section on key positions – ‘defender, midfield, forward, ruckman’ and key plays – ‘mark, handball, kick, tackle’. Each word is accompanied by clear photographs and there’s a good mix of things that will be instantly recognisable, such as a football, to things that are a little different, like banners.

Team the book about first footy words with the AFL: My First Numbers Book. Count from one to fifteen with bright photographs of AFL-related items such as boots, whistles, premiership cups and Brownlow medals.

Mums might be tempted to hand these books off to dad for the bedtime story, but as a mother of three boys, I must say that I get a lot of joy (and benefit) from our shared interest in football. My sons might not be thrilled by the idea of me still going to the footy with them when they’re sixteen but hey, I know a good passage of play when I see it and if I’m buying lunch, well…

The books are $9.99 each, are suitable for babies aged one year and over. Find them online directly from Penguin Books Australia.


Katrina Whelen

Katrina studied planning and design, did the hard yards working in a big office building and then traded it all in for a relaxing (!) life at home with four children. She now fills her time with writing, completing a degree in genetics and taxiing her children around Melbourne to their various sporting commitments (not necessarily in that order).

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