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Aquariums: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about aquariums?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to aquariums. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about aquariums.

Our list includes picture books and chapter books. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.

When it comes to children’s stories about aquariums, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Stink and the Shark Sleepover to popular sellers like Inky’s Amazing Escape.

We hope this list of kids books about aquariums can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.

Inky's Amazing Escape
Written by Sy Montgomery & illustrated by Amy Schimler-Safford
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Learn all about Inky the Octopus, an international sensation known for escaping from the New Zealand aquarium in April 2016, in this adorable picture book from National Book Award nominee and octopus lover Sy Montgomery. Inky had been at the New Zealand aquarium since 2014 after being taken in by a fisherman who found him at sea. Inky had been getting used to his new environment, but the staff quickly figured out that he had to be kept amused or he would get bored. Then one night in 2016 Inky, about the size of a basketball, decided he’d had enough. He slithered eight feet across the floor and down a drainpipe more than 160 feet long to his home in the sea. Acclaimed author Sy Montogmery reminds readers that Inky didn’t escape—but instead, like the curious animal he is, wanted to explore the rest of the vast ocean he called his home.

Henny, Penny, Lenny, Denny, and Mike
Written & illustrated by Cynthia Rylant
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-18

From beloved author Cynthia Rylant and illustrator Mike Austin comes a colorful and quirky picture book about five fish who find unexpected friendship when some new additions to their tank shake things up!

Henny, Penny, Lenny, Denny and Mike are five fish friends who love everything about life in the fish tank—except for clean-the-tank day and the snail that lives with them, who they mostly ignore. But one day, when they get an enchanting new fairy-tale castle, disaster strikes! And it turns out there’s only one slippery, slimy non-fish fellow who can help…

Aquarium
Written & illustrated by Cynthia Alonso
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A girl ventures to the water’s edge, dreaming of a new friend. And, just like that, a beguiling red fish leaps into her life. But is friendship a sea these two can navigate together? From debut Argentinian author-illustrator Cynthia Alonso comes a wordless picture book about the timeless beauty of nature, the transcendent power of connection, and the importance of letting go.

Hello My Name Is . . .
Written by Marisa Polansky & illustrated by Joey Chou
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

A new creature is added to the deep-sea tank, but what will they call this flapjack octopus? Includes an author’s note on Adorabilis and its name.

Made by Maxine
Written by Ruth Spiro & illustrated by Holly Hatam
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When Maxine’s school puts on a pet parade, she creates a unique contraption to allow her very special pet fish, Milton, to participate.

  • Inky the Octopus - Out of this tank, I must be free.I must explore the open sea!Inky the octopus is bored with aquarium life and wants to escape to the ocean! But just how can an octopus in a tank get to the open seas? Find out in Inky the Octopus, the only tale of the mischievous octopus to be officially endorsed by the National Aquarium of New Zealand.

  • Stink and the Shark Sleepover - Shark-tastic! Stink gets to sleep with the fishes after his parents win an aquarium sleepover. But wait — what’s that lurking beyond the KEEP OUT sign? When Stink’s parents win tickets for the whole family to sleep over at the aquarium (along with Stink’s two best friends), it sounds like a science freak’s dream come true. Stink loves the sea-creature scavenger hunt (Bat ray! Brain coral!), the jellyfish light show, and the shiver of sand tiger sharks with razor-sharp teeth. And of course Stink is nuts about gross stuff, but after some spooky stories around the virtual campfire, can he manage to fall asleep thinking about the eating habits of the vampire squid? Especially Bloody Mary, the mutant, glowing Frankensquid that’s supposed to be on the prowl?

  • Captain Starfish - Alfie’s anxiety often keeps him from engaging in fun activities, but he learns a valuable lesson at the aquarium when a tiny clownfish swims up to him for a quick hello and then retreats, showing Alfie there is a happy medium between hiding away and being a star.

  • The Monster's Daughter: Book 2 of the Ministry of SUITs - Memo: For Ministry of Strange, Unusual, and Impossible Things Operatives Only Re: The Monster’s Daughter by Paul Gamble There is more trouble in Belfast: odd things are happening at the aquarium, giant crabs are staging jail breaks, and formerly harmless bath bombs are destroying bathrooms left and right. Fortunately, our brave new recruits—Jack, a curious boy skilled at logical thinking, and Trudy, the most dangerous girl in school—are on the case. Armed with the best Ministry training (as long as you don’t panic everything will be fine) and full access to Ministry supplies (those that weren’t ruined in the recent flood), we are confident that they can discover and foil this villainous plot. Please give them all possible assistance. Oh, and be sure not to share their location, as Jack is still on the run from the Tooth Fairy.

Spy Penguins
Written & illustrated by Sam Hay
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Two young adventure-loving and gadget-obsessed penguins dream of joining the FBI (Frosty Bureau of Investigation) in Sam Hay’s hilarious new illustrated chapter book series, Spy Penguins. Adventure-loving penguin Jackson dreams of being a secret agent like his Uncle Bryn, who works for the Frosty Bureau of Investigation. Jackson and his gadget-inventing best friend Quigley might officially be too young to join the FBI, but they aren’t going to let that stop them! They just need to come up with the right plan to prove that they are worthy. But when one of Q’s inventions goes dangerously wrong, Jackson suddenly finds himself dropped right in the middle off an FBI stakeout. There’s fishy business afoot at the city’s aquarium; rare fish are vanishing and not even the FBI can work out what’s going on. It’s up to Jackson and Quigley to solve the crime!

Inky's Great Escape
Written by Casey Lyall & illustrated by Sebastià Serra
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10

Inky, worn out from his exciting life in the ocean, has retired to the aquarium. There he quietly regales his tank mate Blotchy with tales of his past adventures. Then Blotchy dares Inky to make one more daring escape. Will Inky succeed?

Prince and Pirate
Written by Charlotte Gunnufson & illustrated by Mike Lowery
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

When two little fish with big personalities have to share the same tank, there are rough seas ahead!

Prince and Pirate are proud masters of their very own fishbowls, and life goes along swimmingly—until they’re scooped up and plopped into shared waters.

Prince is horrified to find this cheeky cod trespassing in his kingdom.

Pirate is sure this scurvy sea slug has come to plunder his treasure.

Thus, a battle of regal sneers, seaworthy stink-eyes, and off-the-hook insults begins.
Prince and Pirate’s hilarious duel for territory will elicit gales of giggles, hearty guffaws, and heartfelt smiles. Just when it seems their struggle might end in a silly stalemate, a little surprise convinces them to find a way to get along—swimmingly.

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