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Books to nurture the next generation of sport super-fans

Bringing sports-inspired characters to life in young minds

Are you a sports fan and the parent of young children?

Books to nurture a love of sport in children  

Imagine the impact of reading stories to your children about your favourite sports mascot, or the team that you support. Junior Sports Books are the brainchild of two sport-mad dads who also love reading to their young children. We’ve seen how reading to our children from a young age has helped to nurture cognitive development and feed their growing brains. So, we want to use fun stories and illustrations to bring sports-inspired characters to life for your children – like your team mascot, or your favourite football character.

Stories are our primary tools of learning and teaching, the repositories of our lore and legends.” – Edward Miller 

Who are our key characters?

Most major sports teams have mascots. And all major sports teams have a story, a history that connects them to the community and their supporters. Our stories will be centred around the sports heroes and sports mascots who represent a sports club’s culture and brand. Our delightful children’s books aim at making these characters become much-loved icons of sport for children.

What’s the benefit for sports clubs?

Offer a series of stories that feature your own club mascot to your supporters. What a great opportunity to develop an alternate revenue stream for your retail division. At the same time, get brand exposure, actively promote early childhood development, expand the reach of your mascot, and cement your club’s history with the next generation of fans.  

close up of baby boy and father with book at home
I am Gunnersaurus

This is an Officially Licensed Product of the Arsenal Football Club, that takes your child on a fun, friendly and colourful journey with legendary mascot, Gunnersaurus, and shares your passion for the Gunners! ‘I am Gunnersaurus’ introduces key moments in the club’s history through the eyes of our loveable green dinosaur. A must have for all Arsenal Fans.

‘I am Gunnersaurus’ is available on Buy now and

About Junior Sports Books

Founded by two dads who love to read to their kids. Two dads who love sports, all sports. Junior Sports Books was created with two things in mind: the early development of our children through reading, and instilling their love of sport from a young age.

Our stories appeal to children aged 2 to 5 years and feature sports team mascots or characters from particular teams or sports like football, golf, rugby, tennis, or cricket. These stories familiarise young children with the rules of the game and some of the sport’s unique features, through well-illustrated and colourful books that are fun to read, easy to follow, and informative.

We are publishing a range of books in our collection focusing on popular teams from around the world. Our books expose young children to specific sports teams from an early age. Through storytelling during their formative years, our books can groom the next generation of fans for the clubs their parents love to support.

Why read sports stories to your kids?

Benefits of reading a Junior Sports Book to your child

Help brain development

Did you know? 90% of brain development happens before the age of 5. When you read to your child, you stimulate the complex network of circuits and signals in the brain, sparking the growth of their cognitive pathways. 

Develop concentration skills

Children who enjoy story time from infancy will eventually learn to pay attention for the duration of the story, especially after the toddler years. With this comes the ability to concentrate, better memory retention and self discipline – all essential skills for when they enter school. 

Discover the rules of the game

Red card? Penalty? What’s allowed and how is the game played or scoredWhen the concepts of game are woven into an engrossing story, your toddler will absorb theas readily as he learns all other life lessons about the world around him.  

Get a head start on language skills

Reading to young children literally fires the neurons needed to build language and literacy skills. Research has shown that when children listen to stories, there is greater activity in the sections of the brain that process words and form meaning.

Learn the language of sport

Add the terminology of your favourite sport to your child’s growing vocabulary. Just as quickly as your child learns to recognise all the dinosaurs on the planet, he or she will be able to identify a scrum half and a striker correctly every time.

Instil the love of sport

Reading about sport naturally progresses to having fun playing the sport and enjoying watching the sport with mum or dad. It becomes something to do together long after the children have outgrown story time, and the love of a lifetime is born.

Meet the sport-mad dads behind the books

Damian has been in media and marketing his entire professional life. He completed post-graduate studies in Marketing Management at UNISA Business School in South Africa before taking up a position in sales for a publishing house in Johannesburg. He then went on to become a journalist for custom publications, writing about motoring, gaming, food, travel and business. And after more than a decade in the industry, he moved out of media and into marketing. In his current role as a group marketing manager for a large sports retail business (did we mention he’s a sports fanatic?) Damian regularly writes scripts for television commercials, blog posts and newsletters. Being a dad who reads to his children every night, Damian knows the value of a great plot, good sentence structure and captivating illustrations. Through Junior Sports Books, Damian has combined his love of sport and his children’s love of reading to publish books for kids that cultivate a love of sport in the next generation. 

Damian Murphy

Co-Founder and Wordsmith

Kate is an arts graduate from Wits University in South Africa. She has a master’s degree in Fine Arts and a keen interest in the methodology of arts education. Kate is a lecturer and programme coordinator at the Wits School of Arts. When she isn’t at work, she is also a mom, an artist, and an avid bookworm. She takes on drawing commissions and has developed a whimsical style for children’s book illustrations. Her toddler son loves having a mom who reads to him and lets him have fun with painting. Kate attests that a bedtime storytelling routine is the most powerful childrearing tool for any parent of young children. It calms children down, enhances their sense of security and cements bonds between parent and child. She has also experienced for herself how reading to your children stimulates their curiosity, fast-tracks language development, builds their neural networks and helps to grow smarter kids.

Kate Lewis Bernberg

Illustrator and Art Director

Ryan is a Chartered Accountant, a graduate of the University of Johannesburg, and the financial manager of a manufacturing firm in Johannesburg, South Africa. He has a special interest in long term business strategy and substantial experience in financial compliance and company board reporting. He is also a dad and a sports fan. He is an avid golfer and loves attending live cricket or rugby matches and watching a wide range of televised sports matches. Ryan also loves spending time with his son and reading books to him. Inspired by how story time has contributed to his son’s cognitive development from the age of only a few months, he quickly realised that a book which captures his son’s imagination whilst also instilling a love of sport would strengthen their bond. He also recognised a business opportunity for both himself and for sports clubs around the world – and so Junior Sports Books was launched.  

Ryan Bernberg

Co-Founder and Business Brains

Grow your next generation of supporters! 

Would you like to chat to us about a children’s book for your sports club?

Call Me

+27 82888 1137

+27 84 371 8496