Thursday, March 31, 2022

The Best Video Game Books for Kids

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The best video game books for kids to learn about video game history, different video game consoles, Mario, Zelda, Sonic...you name it!

Growing up, I loved video games. And I still do. The same goes for my husband. So it's not surprising that our boys would grow up loving video games as well.

But, for my youngest, his love for video games goes beyond just playing video games. He's extremely passionate about video game consoles and their history. He knows so many facts about all the different consoles and their games and often quizzes us to see what we know.

One thing he loves to do is read books about video games. He just can't get enough of them. In particular, he enjoys ones that show photos of different consoles or discuss retro games. But he also loves manga books that feature his favorite characters like Link, Kirby, and Sonic.

I know my boys aren't the only ones who are passionate about video games. I've had chats with quite a few parents on Instagram whose hyperlexic and autistic kids also have an intense interest in all things Nintendo, Mario, and video game related.

So if you're looking for awesome video game books for kids to feed their interest, then you're in the right spot. Here are my boys' favorites!

The best video game books for kids

Our Favorite Video Game Books for Kids

Both of my boys love reading through different video game related encyclopedias and learning about video game history, as you will see below. So, without further ado, here are our top picks for books for kids who like video games:

The Game Console book

1. The Game Console 2.0: A Photographic History from Atari to Xbox by Evan Amos

We actually have the original version of this book, but apparently book 2.0 has even more consoles and variants. Regardless, my youngest son adores this book. So much in fact that the cover is falling off! It's one epic book that he's read cover to cover many many times.

In this book, you'll find photos of a wide variety of different video game consoles (even ones you've likely never heard of!), as well as some photos of the insides of them. I highly recommend this book if your kids are obsessed with video game consoles or video game history. It's excellent.

Super Mario Bros. Encyclopedia

2. Super Mario Bros. Encyclopedia: The Official Guide

This book is awesome. It's so well loved around here that the words on the cover have rubbed off. My oldest used to spend hours reading this particular book. It covers the different Mario games over the years and is perfect for any kid who wants to dig into the history of Super Mario and his pals. Highly recommend!

Retro Tech book

3. The Nostalgia Nerd's Retro Tech: Computer, Consoles, and Games by Peter Leigh

This book might be my youngest son's absolute favorite. He's read through it way more times than I can count. This book shows photos for a wide variety of consoles, but his favorite thing about it is there is a page dedicated to the must see, must play, and must avoid games for each console. He loves reading those summaries!

This book is also a much more manageable size to lug around on road trips than some of the other awesome books on this list. I's more comparable in size to a hardcover novel than a textbook.

The Legend of Zelda Encyclopedia

4. The Legend of Zelda Encyclopedia

If your child is a huge Zelda fan, then this book is a must-own. It's gorgeous and incredibly detailed. There are two other books in this series (Hyrule Historia and Art & Artifacts) that are worth checking out as well. The encyclopedia though is my kids' favorite of the bunch.

Sonic the Hedgehog Encyclo-speed-ia

5. Sonic the Hedgehog Encyclo-speed-ia by Ian Flynn

Let's continue the encyclopedia theme here with a Sonic themed one...My youngest son has loved Sonic for, well, forever practically so once we heard about this book, we preordered it and then patiently waited and waited for it to be released. He hasn't stopped reading it since. To say he loves this book would be an understatement. Highly recommend if you have a huge Sonic fan at your house as well. 

SNES Omnibus Volume 1

6. The SNES Omnibus Vol. 1 (A-M) by Brett Weiss

This book describes hundreds of different SNES games in detail. It also includes pictures of the case, the cartridge, and gameplay for each of these games. It's a fantastic book about one of the best consoles ever. Seriously, the SNES is the best console ever (at least in my view!).

This SNES guide book is huge and weighs a ton. It's literally a massive textbook of SNES games. I highly recommend getting it as well as Volume 2.

SNES Omnibus Volume 2

7. The SNES Omnibus Vol. 2 (N-Z) by Brett Weiss

Volume 2 continues on where Volume 1 left off and covers two of my absolute favorite video games ever: Super Mario Kart and Super Mario World. They're the best games ever, in my opinion.

Anyway, I definitely recommend getting this amazing video game book. By the way, if SNES isn't your child's thing, there are NES ones as well: NES Omnibus Volume 1 and NES Omnibus Volume 2.

Kirby Art & Style Collection

8. Kirby: Art & Style Collection

If your kid loves Kirby (like my youngest does!), then they'll love this book that features sketches and art of Kirby over the years. It's literally just pages and pages of drawings and art, no text, so it's a beautiful book to flip through.

Playing with Power book

9. Playing with Power: Nintendo NES Classics by Garitt Rocha & Nick von Esmarch

The packaging of this book is so cool as it looks like a NES cartridge. The book features details of many popular NES games. Apparently there is a a SNES version as well called Playing with Super Power: Nintendo Super NES Classics. I might have to pick that one up at some point too...

Non-fiction books for kids who like video games

Video Game Related Manga Books, Comic Collections, & Fiction Books

Not only do my kids enjoy learning about video game history and reading about different consoles, but they love to see hilarious adventures featuring their favorite characters. Here are some of their favorite manga books and comic collections.

Also, just a reminder, manga is read differently from traditional books.  So if you're new to manga and order any of the suggestions below, then please note that the books aren't bound backwards. That's how they're supposed to be read.

The Legend of Zelda manga book

1. The Legend of Zelda: Legendary Edition series

You can boy the whole series, which comes in a cool treasure chest, or each book individually. They are fantastic! My youngest has read them sooo many times. FYI, there are non-legendary editions of these books as well (my understanding is the content is identical, just packaged differently). My son just prefers the Legendary Edition version more.

Sonic the Hedgehog comic collection

2. Sonic the Hedgehog: The IDW Collection Volume 1 by Ian Flynn

While writing this list, I discovered Volume 2 just released last week. So of course I promptly added it to my cart...Can you guess what my son will be getting for his birthday?! Anyway, this collection features 12 issues of the Sonic the Hedgehog comics. Obviously my son adores it if I had to quickly order Volume 2 for him.

Kirby Manga Mania book

3. Kirby Manga Mania Series by Hirokazu Hikawa

Both of my boys find these manga books absolutely hilarious. The drawings are super entertaining. 

However, depending on the age of your kids, some of the content in these books might not be appropriate for your little one. So I do recommend reading through it first yourself to make sure it's a good fit. But my boys love them!

There are currently four books available. We just discovered that Volume 4 just came out (found it at our library last week) so guess what else I added to my cart?! 

Super Mario Adventures book

3. Super Mario Adventures by Kentario Takekuma, illustrated by Charlie Nozawa

This book is a collection of comics that were originally ran in Nintendo Power magazines in 1992-1993. So it's a fun blast from the past!

Super Mario Manga Mania Book

4. Super Mario Manga Mania by Yukio Sawada

Similar to the Kirby manga series, you might want to read through this book first to make sure it's a good fit for your child. There is lots of toilet humor, which my kids find hilarious. So they do enjoy this book, but probably not as much as some of the others on this list.

Splatoon manga book

5. Splatoon Manga Series by Sankichi Hinodeya

These books are based on the popular Nintendo game called, yep you guessed it, Splatoon. So while my kids haven't really played Splatoon before, they do love reading these manga books. 

Some of the early volumes are hard to find (likely due to supply chain issues). I've had volume 2 ordered for almost a year and still nothing available to fill my order...Oh well, it is what it is.

Animal Crossing manga book

6. Animal Crossing: New Horizons Deserted Island Diary by Kokonasu Rumba

Like a lot of people when the pandemic started, we spent hours playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons together as a family. It was a blast! So it's not surprising that my kids have found the Animal Crossing manga entertaining as well. So if your kids enjoyed playing this game, then they'll likely love the manga series as well.

And it looks like Volume 2 just released as well. Guess that's another one to add to the cart...🤣

7. Press Start! series by Thomas Flintham

This hilarious book series features Super Rabbit Boy who is a video game character living in a video game world. My youngest loved these books when he was younger! Highly recommend checking out this series as it's fun and colorful.

Manga books about video games for kids

Honorable Mentions...for those who can read French

I know not everyone browsing this list will read French so I didn't include the following suggestions in the recommendations above. My kids, however, have taken a number of years of French Immersion so they are able to enjoy reading some manga in French as well. 

One series that they've enjoyed is Yo! C'est Moi, Wario!, a manga series that follows Wario's adventures. There are a few volumes available at the moment.

There is also a Super Mario Manga Adventures series available in French, but we haven't checked out this particular series yet ourselves.

Regardless of whether or not they can't read French, there were plenty of other awesome video game books for kids listed above that are sure to be a hit.

Other Video Game Related Resources Your Kids Will Love

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The best video game books for kids

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