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Boats, Ships And Underwater Vehicles: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about boats, ships and underwater vehicles?

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

Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. 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, and you can also use our table of contents to jump to particular topics you think your kid will enjoy.

When it comes to children’s stories about boats, ships and underwater vehicles, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Here Come the Helpers to popular sellers like Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea to some of our favorite hidden gems like Ocean Meets Sky.

We hope this list of kids books about boats, ships and underwater vehicles 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.

Top 10 Books About Boats, Ships And Underwater Vehicles

Ahoy, Li'l Buccaneers! book
#1
Ahoy, Li'l Buccaneers!
Written by Mark Iacolina
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

Buccaneers sail. Buccaneers steer. Buccaneers grumble, snarl, and sneer.

Hardy har har! Calling all Li’l Buccaneers to set sail on a fun adventure, filled with dancing, singing, sparring, and treasure hunting. Young swashbucklers and their pirate pals are guaranteed a mighty good time with this delightfully rip-roaring, rhyming board book.

Sheep on a Ship book
#2
Sheep on a Ship
Written by Nancy E Shaw & illustrated by Margot Apple
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

I love this series! The rhymes are clever and I appreciate the addition of some less common vocabulary (“Sheep collide!”), and of course the illustrations are dynamic and humorous! It’s such a quick, fun read-aloud, with tons of details to appreciate

board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Captain Small goes sailing, fishes from his boat, goes for an unexpected swim, and braves a storm on the way home.

The Circus Ship book
#3
The Circus Ship
Written & illustrated by Chris Van Dusen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

After courageously swimming to shore when the ship that they are traveling on sinks and the wretched captain does nothing to rescue them, circus animals find a way to become a valued part of a coastal community.

The Star Thief book
#4
The Star Thief
Written by Lindsey Becker
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The constellations come to life in this imaginative fantasy adventure debut. Honorine’s life as a maid at the Vidalia mansion is rather dull, dusting treasures from faraway places and daydreaming in front of maps of the world. But everything changes when she catches two brutish sailors ransacking Lord Vidalia’s study, and then follows a mysterious girl with wings out into the night…. Suddenly, Honorine is whisked into the middle of a battle between the crew of a spectacular steamship and a band of mythical constellations. The stars in the sky have come to life to defend themselves against those who want to harness their powers. Much to her surprise, Honorine is the crux of it all, the center of an epic clash between magic and science, the old ways and the new. But can this spirited young girl bring both sides of a larger-than-life fight together before they unleash an evil power even older than the stars?

Charlie's Boat book
#5
Charlie's Boat
Written & illustrated by Kit Chase
Thoughts from Mr. Staccato

I love these books by Kit Chase. The illustrations are beautiful and the stories are straightforward and simple. A cute story about friends being inclusive and helping each other out.

picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Best friends really are the best when they use their imaginations to help each other.

Charlie, Oliver, and Lulu love to play outside together. One fine day they all go fishing, but Charlie doesn’t have much fun—all he can catch are sticks. Next, they build little boats and have a race, but, once again, things don’t go very well. Charlie’s boat comes in last.

Things seem pretty gloomy until Oliver comes up with a plan. They build a special boat they can all play on, together!

Kit Chase offers a sweet ode to friendship in this tale of three best friends who can count on each other to always make play time fun.

Little Pig Saves the Ship book
#6
Little Pig Saves the Ship
Written & illustrated by David Hyde Costello
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

It’s hard to be the littlest, but when Little Pig’s siblings all go off to sailing camp and he feels like he’s missing out, his oldest brother and his grandpa do a great job of making sure Little Pig gets to be a little involved too. I appreciated the sweet and strong family relationships, the quality time they spend together and the realization Little Pig has that even though he’s little, he still has something to contribute. The illustrations are sweet as well!

picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Little Pig is back in Little Pig Saves the Ship! When the sea-faring pigs go a-sailing! Intrepid Little Pig — still the littlest pig in the family — is too little to go to summer camp with his older brothers and sisters. He is left behind with Grandpa and Poppy. Little Pig and Poppy make and sail a toy ship all week, but on Saturday a gusty wind takes the ship into the current, and Little Pig has to use his newfound knot-tying skills to save the day.

A sweetly told intergenerational story about how even the littlest can make a big difference.

The Red Boat book
#7
The Red Boat
Written & illustrated by Hannah Cumming
Thoughts from Readerly Mom

This would be a great book to read with a child who is moving to a new house or starting a new school. Its simple story and cute illustrations would help facilitate a discussion about how it’s okay to be nervous in a new situation, and it’s okay to rely on friends and things that are familiar, but it’s also wonderful to get to know new friends. I also love the idea that having an active imagination can be a great tool for dealing with things that make us nervous!

picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Posy is afraid of her new house and all the unknown that comes with it, but when she and her dog find a red boat in the garden, she imagines all kinds of adventures and gains confidence despite being the new kid.

Harry and the Jaggedy Daggers book
#8
Harry and the Jaggedy Daggers
Written & illustrated by Jan Fearnley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Harry and the Jaggedy Daggers The first charming instalment of the Bottlenose Bay series from award-winning author/illustrator Jan Fearnley. Harry the harbour mouse is heartbroken when his boat is dashed and smashed on the dangerous, mean old rocks - the terrible Jaggedy Daggers! But just as the sea brings mischief, it brings surprises too . . . A story about being brave. Even if you are very small and have only a teacup and a rusty teaspoon. Jan Fearnley is the best-selling author of Mr Wolf’s Pancakes and Arthur and the Meanies. Her beautifully crafted picture books are terrific for sharing and make for popular bedtime stories.

Three Bears in a Boat book
#9
Three Bears in a Boat
Written & illustrated by David Soman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From the co-creator of the New York Times bestselling Ladybug Girl series comes a high seas adventure inspired by the classic picture books Little Bear and Where the Wild Things Are.

Three bear siblings break their mother’s favorite blue seashell, and rather than tell her, they decide to set out in their sailboat to find her a new one. On their quest they encounter salty sailors, strange new islands, huge whales, and vast seas but no blue seashells. When a treacherous storm suddenly blows in, the three bears find themselves tossed about in their little boat, far from Mama. What will become of their search, and what will it take to bring them safely home?

This read aloud shares its best qualities with classic picture books: breath-taking illustrations, epic adventure, and a subtle message about taking responsibility for your actions.

Boats on the Bay book
#10
Boats on the Bay
Written by Jeanne Walker Harvey & illustrated by Grady McFerrin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Illustrations and easy to read text portray a variety of vessels, from houseboats to dredgers, through the course of a busy day on the bay.

Table of Contents
Scroll to books about Boats, Ships And Underwater Vehicles and...

Books About Boats, Ships And Underwater Vehicles and Boats

Ahoy, Li'l Buccaneers!
Written by Mark Iacolina
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

Buccaneers sail. Buccaneers steer. Buccaneers grumble, snarl, and sneer.

Hardy har har! Calling all Li’l Buccaneers to set sail on a fun adventure, filled with dancing, singing, sparring, and treasure hunting. Young swashbucklers and their pirate pals are guaranteed a mighty good time with this delightfully rip-roaring, rhyming board book.

Sheep on a Ship
Written by Nancy E Shaw & illustrated by Margot Apple
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

I love this series! The rhymes are clever and I appreciate the addition of some less common vocabulary (“Sheep collide!”), and of course the illustrations are dynamic and humorous! It’s such a quick, fun read-aloud, with tons of details to appreciate

board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Captain Small goes sailing, fishes from his boat, goes for an unexpected swim, and braves a storm on the way home.

The Circus Ship
Written & illustrated by Chris Van Dusen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

After courageously swimming to shore when the ship that they are traveling on sinks and the wretched captain does nothing to rescue them, circus animals find a way to become a valued part of a coastal community.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Star Thief - The constellations come to life in this imaginative fantasy adventure debut. Honorine’s life as a maid at the Vidalia mansion is rather dull, dusting treasures from faraway places and daydreaming in front of maps of the world. But everything changes when she catches two brutish sailors ransacking Lord Vidalia’s study, and then follows a mysterious girl with wings out into the night…. Suddenly, Honorine is whisked into the middle of a battle between the crew of a spectacular steamship and a band of mythical constellations. The stars in the sky have come to life to defend themselves against those who want to harness their powers. Much to her surprise, Honorine is the crux of it all, the center of an epic clash between magic and science, the old ways and the new. But can this spirited young girl bring both sides of a larger-than-life fight together before they unleash an evil power even older than the stars?

  2. Charlie's Boat - Mr. Staccato - I love these books by Kit Chase. The illustrations are beautiful and the stories are straightforward and simple. A cute story about friends being inclusive and helping each other out.

  3. Little Pig Saves the Ship - The Book Snob Mom - It’s hard to be the littlest, but when Little Pig’s siblings all go off to sailing camp and he feels like he’s missing out, his oldest brother and his grandpa do a great job of making sure Little Pig gets to be a little involved too. I appreciated the sweet and strong family relationships, the quality time they spend together and the realization Little Pig has that even though he’s little, he still has something to contribute. The illustrations are sweet as well!

  4. The Red Boat - Readerly Mom - This would be a great book to read with a child who is moving to a new house or starting a new school. Its simple story and cute illustrations would help facilitate a discussion about how it’s okay to be nervous in a new situation, and it’s okay to rely on friends and things that are familiar, but it’s also wonderful to get to know new friends. I also love the idea that having an active imagination can be a great tool for dealing with things that make us nervous!

Books About Boats, Ships And Underwater Vehicles and Friendship

Off & Away
Written & illustrated by Cale Atkinson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

How would you get mail if you lived in the middle of the sea? It’s Jo’s dad’s job to deliver it, taking bottles wherever they need to go. He always comes home with exciting stories to tell-but Jo is far too afraid to go out on the ocean herself. Until Dad gets a bad sea cold, that is. With no one but Jo to deliver the bottles, she must find her courage and set sail alone. As she embarks on her mission, her fears just might be replaced with new friendships . . . and grand stories of her own. With beautiful, atmospheric art and endearing new characters by author-illustrator Cale Atkinson, this picturebook is a treasure.

Bear Came Along
Written by Richard T. Morris & illustrated by LeUyen Pham
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-6

A cheerful and action-packed adventure about the importance of friendship and community from a successful author and illustrator duo!

Once there was a river flowing through a forest. The river didn’t know it was capable of adventures until a big bear came along. But adventures aren’t any fun by yourself, and so enters Froggy, Turtles, Beaver, Racoons, and Duck. These very different animals take off downstream, but they didn’t know they needed one another until thankfully, the river came along.

This hilarious picture book and heartfelt message celebrates the joy and fun that’s in store when you embark together on a ride of a lifetime.

Toy Boat
Written by Randall de Seve & illustrated by Loren Long and Randall de Seve
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

A toy boat gets separated from its owner and has an adventure on the high seas.

Honorable Mentions
  1. South - When a lonely fisherman finds an injured bird on his boat, he nurtures it back to health and—since the bird can no longer migrate with its family—charts a course to head south for the winter. Together, the two form a special friendship and enjoy life at sea until both the healing process and the journey must come to an end. In the tradition of the classic Amos & Boris, South is a story about making new friends and the bittersweet process of saying good-bye to the ones we love. It beautifully depicts the power of new beginnings and the freedom in coming home.

  2. The Antlered Ship - An inquisitive fox named Marco and a bored flock of pigeons join the crew of deer Captain Sylvia, setting sail in her antlered ship in search of a wonderful island and finding friendship on the way.

  3. Edison - Award-winning illustrator Torben Kuhlmann’s stunning new book transports readers to new depths where imagination lights the way! A long time ago, one mouse learned to fly, another landed on the moon…what will happen in the next Mouse adventure? From the creator of Lindbergh—The Tale of a Flying Mouse and Armstrong, comes Edison—The Mystery of the Missing Mouse Treasure. When two unlikely friends build a vessel capable of taking them to the bottom of the ocean find a missing treasure—the truth turns out to be far more amazing.

  4. Little Tug - Little Tug may not be very tall or very fast, but when the big ships in the harbor need help, they know they can count on him to be there with a push, a pull, and a ride to safety. But what happens when Little Tug gets tired? This simple, endearing book with a charming retro feel and an emotional punch is the first book for Roaring Brook Press by the acclaimed author of Polar Bear Night (New York Times Best Illustrated book) and Where’s Walrus?

Want to see books about friendship?

Books About Boats, Ships And Underwater Vehicles and Marine Life

The Fisherman & the Whale
Written & illustrated by Jessica Lanan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Jessica Lanan’s dreamy and dramatic watercolor paintings bring to life a wordless story about wonder in the natural world. A fisherman takes his son for a trip out on the water. When they encounter a whale entangled at sea, they realize a connection that transcends the animal kingdom.

Yellow Kayak
Written by Nina Laden & illustrated by Melissa Castrillón
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A child and his beloved best friend go on a grand sea adventure in this magical picture book by the author and artist who created If I Had a Little Dream.

You just never know what a new day will hold if you are brave enough to find out. On one quiet afternoon, a boy and his special friend’s unexpected adventure bring joy and excitement and sights never imagined. And the best part of any adventure is returning home with stories to tell and you best friend at your side.

Pop-Up Ocean
Written & illustrated by Ingela P. Arrhenius
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

The illustrator of the oversize hit Animals offers a pair of eye-catching miniature pop-up books sure to make waves and transport imaginations. Dive into a cool underwater who’s who and what’s what of the sea in this palm-size pop-up treasure. Discover ocean dwellers like the crab, octopus, and sea horse as they make a splash in vivid hues of coral and ultramarine and swim through spreads featuring familiar aquatic items — from a fishing boat to a lighthouse to a submarine.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Bunny Overboard - The critically acclaimed interactive picture book series continues! In this delightfully interactive read aloud companion to Bunny Slopes and Hungry Bunny, eager children will get to blow to put wind in Bunny’s sails, rock the book to make waves, knock on the window of a sunken ship, and literally appear in a mirror embedded inside the book! New York Times bestselling author Claudia Rueda’s latest raucous adventure is as wild as the high seas, as surprising as sunken treasure—and as satisfying as a lemonade on a hot summer day. This nautical experience of a book will make a splash with readers, on and off land! - The interactive, hands-on features of Bunny Overboard will spark creativity and laughs!
    - Perfect preschool book for lovers of bunnies, rabbits, and other furry floppy friends
    - Easter time, springtime gift for children
    Fans of The Wall in the Middle of the Book, Press Here, The Little Rabbit, and Here Comes Easter Cat will love Bunny Overboard. An interactive book for young readers to share with their families. - Easter books
    - Rabbit books for preschoolers
    - Books for kids age 3-5

  2. Turtle Tug to the Rescue - Turtle Tug is on the lookout! This chugging, tugging turtle powers through gusty winds and treacherous tides, combing the seas to protect his friends from a dangerous storm. From panicking puffins to entangled sperm whales, Turtle Tug is out to rescue all his sea-dwelling friends. He’s a turtle tugboat on a mission to make the world a safer place.

  3. Young Captain Nemo - Armed with his wits, his friends, and his Nemotech submarine, a twelve-year-old descendant of Jules Verne’s famous antihero is determined to help make the ocean a safer place one adventure at a time in Jason Henderson’s Young Captain Nemo, first in a new middle-grade series. Gabriel Nemo is not your typical 12-year-old. A descendant of the famous Captain Nemo, he spent the first years of his life living in obscurity, isolated in his parents’ peaceful underwater research lab. But with his older sister off following in their ancestor’s footsteps, sinking whalers and running away from vengeful navies, Gabriel decides it’s time to forge his own path, and use his Nemotech legacy for good. Armed only with his wits, his friends, and his Nemotech submarine, Gabriel embarks on a series of daring rescues and exciting undersea battles. But when Gabriel’s sister suddenly appears with proof of previously undiscovered sea creatures—giant beasts inhabiting wrecked war planes and ships—Gabriel and his new friends must face their biggest and most dangerous mission ever!

  4. Moby Dick (10 Minute Classics) - Come along on an unforgettable journey across the ocean in this seaworthy retelling of the classic tale about a whaling ship, its formidable captain, and his relentless search for the great white whale of legend. This adapted and condensed fully illustrated version of the tale by Herman Melville will introduce young readers to the beloved characters from the original and give them a taste of the adventure-filled classic. About the 10 Minute Classics series: The 10 Minute Classics series is a great introduction to classic literature, designed to spark a love for great stories and an openness to the classics as reading skills progress. These short, fully illustrated dust-jacketed picture books introduce key characters, storylines, and settings to engage young readers. A broad range of titles is now available, including: Moby Dick, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Little Women , and more.

Books About Boats, Ships And Underwater Vehicles and History

The Giraffe That Walked to Paris
Written by Nancy Milton & illustrated by Roger Roth
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Retells the true story of how the first giraffe ever to come to Europe was sent by the Pasha of Egypt to the King of France in 1826, and the giraffe walked from the disembarkation point of Marseilles to Paris to see the King.

Here Comes the Garbage Barge!
Written by Jonah Winter & illustrated by Red Nose Studio
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When a little town on Long Island is inundated with garbage, its citizens become more environmentally aware, while a garbage barge travels the North American coast in search of a dumping location.

The Escape of Robert Smalls
Written by Jehan Jones-Radgowski & illustrated by Poppy Kang
picture book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

The mist in Charleston Inner Harbor was heavy, but not heavy enough to disguise the stolen Confederate steamship, the Planter, from Confederate soldiers. In the early hours of May 13, 1862, in the midst of the deadly U.S. Civil War, an enslaved man named Robert Smalls was about to carry out a perilous plan of escape. Standing at the helm of the ship, Smalls impersonated the captain as he and his crew passed heavily armed Confederate forts to enter Union territory, where escaped slaves were given shelter. The suspenseful escape of the determined crew is celebrated with beautiful artwork and insightful prose, detailing the true account of an unsung American hero.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Crossing on Time - David Macaulay, creator of the international bestseller The Way Things Work, brings his signature curiosity and detailing to the story of the steamship in this meticulously researched and stunningly illustrated book. Prior to the 1800s, ships crossing the Atlantic Ocean relied on the wind in their sails to make their journeys. But invention of steam power ushered in a new era of transportation that would change ocean travel forever: the steamship. Award-winning author-illustrator David Macaulay guides readers through the fascinating history that culminated in the building of the most advanced—and last—of these steamships: the SS United States. This book artfully explores the design and construction of the ship and the life of its designer and engineer, William Francis Gibbs. Framed around the author’s own experience steaming across the Atlantic on the very same SS United States, Crossing on Time is a tour de force of the art of explanation and a touching and surprising childhood story.

  2. The Boy Who Fell Off the Mayflower, or John Howland's Good Fortune - In the first book he has both written and illustrated, master artist P.J. Lynch brings a Mayflower voyager’s story to vivid life. At a young age, John Howland learned what it meant to take advantage of an opportunity. Leaving the docks of London on the Mayflower as an indentured servant to Pilgrim John Carver, John Howland little knew that he was embarking on the adventure of a lifetime. By his great good fortune, John survived falling overboard on the crossing of the Atlantic Ocean, and he earned his keep ashore by helping to scout a safe harbor and landing site for his bedraggled and ill shipmates. Would his luck continue to hold amid the dangers and adversity of the Pilgrims’ lives in New England? John Howland’s tale is masterfully told in his own voice, bringing an immediacy and young perspective to the oft-told Pilgrims’ story. P.J. Lynch captures this pivotal moment in American history in precise and exquisite detail, from the light on the froth of a breaking wave to the questioning voice of a teen in a new world.

  3. The Sinking of the Vasa - Newbery Medalist Freedman explores the mystery of the sinking of the great Swedish warship, the “Vasa, “ on her maiden voyage in 1628, and her resurrection from the seas centuries later. Full color.

  4. If You Were a Kid Aboard the Titanic - In 1912, the Titanic set off from England on its first voyage. Many people thought the ship was unsinkable, but they were soon proven wrong. Travel through time with William and Alice as they set sail aboard the Titanic in this exciting blend of fiction and nonfiction. You will see that life today is a lot different than it was in the past!

Want to see books about history?

Books About Boats, Ships And Underwater Vehicles and Rescues And Rescuing

Here Come the Helpers
Written by Leslie Kimmelman & illustrated by Barbara Bakos and Leslie Kimmelman
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Look for the Helpers is a shaped board book that highlights the emergency vehicles that help make our world a better place.

It’s a big, beautiful world, filled with awesome adventures.

But sometimes emergencies happen. When they do, look for the helpers! Helpers are all around you.

Fire trucks, ambulances, police cars, and more crowd the pages of this shaped board book that teaches children to look for helpers wherever they go. With a search-and-find twist, each scene highlights different types of emergency vehicles in action. Look for the Helpers is an adventurous book that introduces little ones to the caring helpers who make the world safer.

Little Toot
Written & illustrated by Hardie Gramatky
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Little Toot is a tugboat who does not want to tug. Instead, he wants to make figure eights in the harbor and bother all the other tugboats. But when he ends up all alone on the open water as a storm is rolling in, it’s up to him to save a stuck ocean liner. This classic story is sure to delight a whole new generation of readers!

Little Dog Lost
Written & illustrated by Monica Carnesi
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

On a cold winter day, a curious dog wanders onto a frozen river. Suddenly, the ice starts breaking up, and soon the dog is adrift and traveling — the unwilling passenger on a fast-moving sheet of ice.

The dramatic rescue of this little lost dog, who traveled seventy-five miles in two days, is a true story that will warm reader’s hearts. Monica Carnesi’s poignant text and charming illustrations perfectly convey the excitement of this remarkable tale, and readers will root for this little dog every step of the way.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Mighty Tug - From early in the morning until time to say, “Good night,” Mighty Tug works in the busy harbor, guiding cargo ships, pulling barges, and helping with rescues.

  2. Blue Boat - With the tremendous success of RED TRUCK in board book format and anticipation around YELLOW COPTER in board to match, we’re thrilled to complete the primary-colored series about vehicles who save the day by bringing BLUE BOAT into board, too! When a family on a sailing outing gets stuck in a surprise storm, there is only one boat tough enough to handle the rocking waves and howling winds: Blue Boat! Now even the youngest readers can cheer on this “rough, tough tugboat.”

  3. Seven Bad Cats - Today I put on my boots and my coat And seven bad cats jumped into my boat. There was one bad cat Who ate from my traps And two bad cats On my oars taking naps Seven cats anywhere is probably too many. Seven BAD cats, all in one boat, is asking for trouble… When a band of bad cats stow away on a little girl’s boat, their antics cause the vessel to capsize. Can they come to their captain’s rescue and help get the boat safely to shore?

Books About Boats, Ships And Underwater Vehicles and Submarines

Papa's Mechanical Fish
Written by Candace Fleming & illustrated by Boris Kulikov
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In the summer of 1851, with encouragement and ideas provided by his family, an inventor builds a working submarine and takes his family for a ride. Includes notes about Lodner Phillips, the real inventor on whom the story is based.

The Grim Grotto
Written by Lemony Snicket & illustrated by Michael Kupperman and Brett Helquist
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Warning: Your day will become very dark—and possibly damp—if you read this book.

Plan to spend this spring in hiding. Lemony Snicket is back with the eleventh book in his New York Times bestselling A Series of Unfortunate Events.

Lemony Snicket’s saga about the charming, intelligent and grossly unlucky Baudelaire orphans continues to provoke suspicion and despair in readers the world over. In the eleventh and most alarming volume yet in the bestselling phenomenon A Series of Unfortunate Events, the intrepid siblings delve further into the dark mystery surrounding the death of their parents and the baffling VFD organisation.

Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea
Written by Robert Burleigh & illustrated by Raúl Colón
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Filled with gorgeous illustrations by acclaimed artist Raúl Colón, this illustrated biography shares the story of female scientist, Marie Tharp, a pioneering woman scientist and the first person to ever successfully map the ocean floor.

Marie Tharp was always fascinated by the ocean. Taught to think big by her father who was a mapmaker, Marie wanted to do something no one had ever done before: map the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. Was it even possible? Not sure if she would succeed, Marie decided to give it a try.

Throughout history, others had tried and failed to measure the depths of the oceans. Sailors lowered weighted ropes to take measurements. Even today, scientists are trying to measure the depth by using echo sounder machines to track how long it would take a sound wave sent from a ship to the sea floor to come back. But for Marie, it was like piecing together an immense jigsaw puzzle.

Despite past failures and challenges—sometimes Marie would be turned away from a ship because having a woman on board was “bad luck”—Marie was determined to succeed. And she did, becoming the first person to chart the ocean floor, helping us better understand the planet we call home.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Sunker's Deep - Action, adventure, and mystery surround the Sunkers, a band of children who live in a submarine, as they try to survive a war in Book Two of the Icebreaker Trilogy . Sharkey is a Sunker - he was born on a fortunate tide, and everyone in the giant submersible Rampart knows it. He’s a hero, a future admiral, beloved by the ancestors. The trouble is his life is based on a lie. He’s been a fake hero for years, but when tragedy strikes, he must become a real one. And he has no idea how to go about it.Meanwhile, on land, Petrel, Fin, and the crew of the Oyster are on a mission to defeat the Devouts and bring lost knowledge back into the world, a mission they have no idea how to carry out. This second installment of the Icebreaker trilogy features action, adventure, and a world that is perhaps not so different from our own.

  2. Dolphins at Daybreak - It’s sink or swim for Jack and Annie when the Magic Tree House whisks them off to the middle of the ocean. Luckily, they find a mini-submarine on a coral reef. Unluckily, they are about to meet a giant octopus and one very hungry shark. Will the dolphins save the day? Or are Jack and Annie doomed to be dinner?

Want to see books about submarines?

Books About Boats, Ships And Underwater Vehicles and Science And Nature

Ocean Meets Sky
Written by Terry Fan & illustrated by Eric Fan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

It’s a good day for sailing. Finn lives by the sea and the sea lives by him. Every time he looks out his window it’s a constant reminder of the stories his grandfather told him about the place where the ocean meets the sky. Where whales and jellyfish soar and birds and castles float. Finn’s grandfather is gone now but Finn knows the perfect way to honor him. He’ll build his own ship and sail out to find this magical place himself! And when he arrives, maybe, just maybe, he’ll find something he didn’t know he was looking for.

A River
Written & illustrated by Marc Martin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

There’s a river outside my window. Where will it take me? So begins the imaginary journey of a child inspired by the view outside her bedroom window: a vast river winding through a towering city. A small boat with a single white sail floats down the river and takes her from factories to farmlands, freeways to forests, out to the stormy and teeming depths of the ocean, and finally back to the comforts—and inspirations—of home. This lush, immersive book by award-winning picture book creator Marc Martin will delight readers of all ages by taking them on a transcendent and aspirational journey through an imaginative landscape.

Flying Deep Climb Inside Deep Sea Submersible ALVIN
Written by Michelle A. Cusolito & illustrated by Nicole Wong
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Climb aboard Alvin, the famous deep-sea submersible credited with helping to find the Titanic, and take a trip two miles down to the bottom of the ocean. Experience a day in the life of an Alvin pilot, diving two miles down to explore the seafloor, collect samples, and conduct research. Along the way, discover what one wears, eats, and talks about during a typical eight-hour trip in a underwater craft, and find out more about the animals that live deep in our oceans.

In expressive, poetic language and gorgeous illustrations, the mysteries of the deep sea are revealed. Backmatter includes an author’s note about researching this book, a glossary, and suggested further reading.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Exploring the Deep, Dark Sea - The surface of the moon is more familiar to us than the deep sea of our own planet. Many oceanographers are trying to change that. To explore the deep sea, they climb into submersibles and employ ROVs to find out more about the ocean and ocean floor. Gail Gibbons invites readers along for a journey to the deep sea, explaining the technology for exploration and the kinds of animals found at different sea levels.

  2. Sinking the Sultana - The worst maritime disaster in American history wasn’t the Titanic. It was the steamboat Sultana on the Mississippi River—and it could have been prevented.

  3. Deep in the Ocean - A scientific team has boarded the submarine Oceanos to explore the ocean’s depths. Suddenly, it gets caught in a violent storm, causing it to drift thousands of miles off-course. From the glittering surface of the sea to the darkness of the abyss, Deep in the Ocean takes readers on a bewitching journey through fascinating waters—some warm, colorful, and crowded with sea creatures, others mysterious and turbulent. Six colors of ink (including neon pink and metallic silver) are used throughout, and a free downloadable soundtrack allows readers to feel even more fully immersed in this beautiful underwater world. Find it at abramsbooks.com/DeepInTheOceanSoundtrack.

Books About Boats, Ships And Underwater Vehicles and Travel

Row, Row, Row Your Boat in Oregon
Written by Forrest Everett & illustrated by Mary Sergeeva
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

Row, row, row your boat . . . in Oregon! The sights and scenery of Oregon spring to life in this adorable twist on the favorite children’s song. Each die-cut page of the layered board book reveals an imaginary boat sailing past Mount Hood, the Tillamook factory, Sea Lion Caves, coastal lighthouses, and more! A delightful children’s introduction to the iconic places of Oregon, and when you’re done with your journey? Row, row, row your boat back around thebend. If you love Oregon, sing the song again!

Ship
Written & illustrated by Chris Demarest
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Ship sails, tug beside. Salt air. Early tide. Take a voyage on the high seas in this rhyming board book.

Lifeboat 12
Written by Susan Hood
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-13

In the tradition of The War That Saved My Life and Stella By Starlight, this poignant novel in verse based on true events tells the story of a boy’s harrowing experience on a lifeboat after surviving a torpedo attack during World War II. With Nazis bombing London every night, it’s time for thirteen-year-old Ken to escape. He suspects his stepmother is glad to see him go, but his dad says he’s one of the lucky ones—one of ninety boys and girls to ship out aboard the SS City of Benares to safety in Canada. Life aboard the luxury ship is grand—nine-course meals, new friends, and a life far from the bombs, rations, and his stepmum’s glare. And after five days at sea, the ship’s officers announce that they’re out of danger. They’re wrong. Late that night, an explosion hurls Ken from his bunk. They’ve been hit. Torpedoed! The Benares is sinking fast. Terrified, Ken scrambles aboard Lifeboat 12 with five other boys. Will they get away? Will they survive? Award-winning author Susan Hood brings this little-known World War II story to life in a riveting novel of courage, hope, and compassion. Based on true events and real people, Lifeboat 12 is about believing in one another, knowing that only by banding together will we have any chance to survive.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Everything Goes: By Sea - Everything Goes: By Sea, the third picture book in the Everything Goes series of picture books, board books, and I Can Reads, is a wonderful celebration of sailboats, submarines, and many other interesting sea vehicles. Featuring fun mini–story lines, seek-and-find activities, tons of hilarious details, and cool cutaways, Everything Goes: By Sea is an interactive book that provides hours of fun!

  2. The Pennypackers Go on Vacation - Charlie Pennypacker is finally going somewhere. Mrs. Pennypacker has wrestled money for a vacation from Mr. Pennypacker’s tightfisted grip and the family is on their way to a Disney cruise. An eleven- story luxury cruise liner sporting a 212-foot waterslide and an all-night buffet awaits. So he thinks. It’s not long before Charlie discovers he will be cruising on a dilapidated fishing boat, the Disney characters are fake, there’s no waterslide, the food is only eggs, his enemy Gunter Hwang has been brought along for thirty dollars a day and the captain is on the run from sinister men in dark suits. It’s a Caribbean game of cat and mouse involving wits, interrogations, a hidden room, emergency departures, races against time and clever deceptions. Charlie finds the sort of adventure he’d always dreamed of. And a whole lot of adventure he’d never dreamed of.

  3. The Treasure of Pirate Frank - A boy and his dog set sail in search of treasure, braving stormy seas, mountains snowy and cold, the forest where the monkeys swing, the swamp where the bullfrogs sing, and other challenging obstacles, before finally reaching the end of their quest—the treasure of Pirate Frank. But there’s a surprise in store when they discover that Pirate Frank is a girl. And no one is going to steal her treasure!

Want to see books about travel?

Books About Boats, Ships And Underwater Vehicles and Shipwrecks

Simon and the Bear: A Hanukkah Tale
Written by Eric A. Kimmel & illustrated by Matthew Trueman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Before Simon sails to America, he promises his family that he will get a job and send for them. Simon’s mother knows he will need a miracle, so she reminds him to celebrate Hanukkah wherever he may be. Little does either of them know that Simon will spend the first night of Hanukkah on an ice floe after his ship sinks.The lone survivor out in the wide ocean, Simon lights the first candle, and it attracts a visitor: a polar bear. Does she eat him? No! She shares his latkes, enjoys his songs, goes fishing for him, and even keeps him warm at night. By the last day of Hanukkah, Simon has nearly given up hope of ever being rescued. But then he recounts all of the miracles that have befallen him so far. Perhaps it is not too much to hope for one more, he thinks, as he lights all of the candles in the menorah. The bright glow signals a passing ship, and Simon makes it to New York after all. This fanciful Hanukkah tale-like none you’ve ever read before-celebrates eight miracles: family, friendship, hope, selflessness, sharing, faith, courage, and love. A retelling of the ancient Hanukkah story is included on the last page.

The Girl Who Sailed the Stars
Written & illustrated by Matilda Woods
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

When Oona Britt was born in the magical town of Nordlor, where all of the homes are built from wrecked ships, her parents never expected her to be a girl. Having listened to a faulty prediction from a washed-up soothsayer, they were promised a “bold and brave son,” so as the youngest of seven sisters, Oona’s birth became a disappointment — especially to her sea captain father, who doesn’t believe there’s a place for girls aboard ships.

But Oona is different from the rest of her family. She longs for adventure and knowledge. So she steals aboard her father’s ship just as he’s about to set sail for his annual winter whale hunt, and suddenly finds herself in the midst of a grand adventure! The ship has its own sea cat, Barnacles, and a navigator named Haroyld, who show Oona how to follow the stars. But for all that, Oona’s father is furious. Can she prove to him that she’s worth his love and pride, even though she’s not the bold and brave son he was promised?

This follow-up to The Boy, the Bird & the Coffin Maker carries just as much heart and charm as Matilda Woods’s first novel. The characters, story, and illustrations will dazzle readers.

Tonight on the Titanic
Written by Mary Pope Osborne & illustrated by Sal Murdocca
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Titanic trouble! Jack and Annie are in for an exciting, scary, and sad adventure when the Magic Tree House whisks them back to the decks of the Titanic. Is there anything they can do to help the ill-fated ship? Will they be able to save anyone? Will they be able to save themselves?

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Bravest Man in the World - One afternoon, Jonathan Harker Weeks didn’t feel like practicing the piano. So his grandfather decided to tell him a story to show how much of an impact music can have. When he was a child growing up poor in Ireland, his mother made sure he learned to play the fiddle, despite their challenges. After his mother passed away and he was on his own, Jonathan’s grandfather fell asleep hiding in a mail sack and was taken to a ship. When he woke up, he realized he was on the Titanic on its maiden voyage, and it was there that he met Wallace Hartley and Mrs. Weeks, a kind man and woman who took him in. Then one night, the majestic ship hit an iceberg. He and Mrs. Weeks were put on a lifeboat—and Mr. Hartley and his band bravely continued to play to calm the crew and passengers. The story of Wallace Hartley is true and he is known throughout the world as a hero. The New York Times bestselling author and illustrator of The Keeping Quilt Patricia Polacco offers this stunning and heartbreaking picture book to celebrate the memory and bravery of a single man who used the power of music to comfort thousands of people during a catastrophic situation.

  2. The Unsinkable Walker Bean and the Knights of the Waxing Moon - SHIPWRECKED! After their perilous encounter with the sea-witches, Walker and the pirate crew of the Jacklight find refuge on a deserted island. But it might not be as deserted as it seems—shadowy creatures have been spotted in the jungle, and strange animal tracks appear overnight. When Walker, Shiv, and Genoa discover a secret passage and mysterious ruins, the dark history of the archipelago begins to unravel. Legend tells of a mad king, a fallen civilization, and a powerful royal family in search of their lost sister. And for reasons Walker can’t understand, Genoa seems to be at the center of it all. In this triumphant follow-up to the epic graphic novel The Unsinkable Walker Bean, Aaron Renier is back with more breathtaking art and high-sea adventure.

Want to see books about shipwrecks?

Books About Boats, Ships And Underwater Vehicles and Animals

Little Bear's Little Boat
Written by Eve Bunting & illustrated by Nancy Carpenter
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

Little Bear loves his little boat. But Little Bear soon begins to grow and grow, until one day he doesn’t fit in his little boat anymore! All children who experience growing pains will appreciate Little Bear’s predicament. And they will smile with satisfaction as the solution to his problem unfolds in simple, lyrical words and charming pictures from two award-winning picture-book creators.

Gracie Laroo Sets Sail
Written by Marsha Qualey & illustrated by Kristyna Litten
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

The Water Sprites are supposed to perform their medal-winning synchronized swimming routine aboard a cruise ship, but everything goes wrong when the piglets aboard start throwing things at the swimmers—so Gracie enlists the help of famous Rita Sinclair and her dancers to help impose order on the unruly passengers.

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
Written & illustrated by Francesca Rossi
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

Jules Verne’s early sci-fi novel is a timeless masterpiece that predicted the invention of the submarine. This stunningly illustrated retelling introduces young readers to the enigmatic Captain Nemo and takes them along on a fantastic voyage on board the Nautilus. Artist Francesca Rossi vividly captures the ocean’s depths and the amazing creatures that live there, bringing children right into the heart of the adventure.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Peppa Pig and the Muddy Puddles - Peppa Pig is back! Get ready to join in on two new adventures starring the beloved, award-winning U.K. sensation. There’s so much rain! When Mummy Pig and Daddy Pig tuck them into bed, Peppa and her little brother, George, dream of all the puddles there will be to jump in the next day. Little do they know that the rain is turning their house into an island surrounded by water — making for a different kind of adventure for everyone!

  2. Ready, Set, Sail! - Join these sailors as they explore the sea during a fun day of sailing in this follow-up to Ready, Set, Build! Shout your orders loud and fast. “Hoist the mainsail up the mast!” Grab your life vest, hold on to your compass, and get ready for a day full of sailing fun with a playful tiger and turtle! Follow these salty sailors as they raise their anchor, cast off, and explore the sea in their little sloop. And after a long day of sailing, they gather and tell tales of all the things they’ve seen!

Books About Boats, Ships And Underwater Vehicles and Action And Adventure

Little Boat
Written & illustrated by Taro Gomi
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

When you’re small and on the go, there’s a lot to watch out for: big boats, waves, rain clouds, and more! But Little Boat can handle whatever comes his way, braving the elements and the unexpected with his initiative, confidence, and positive attitude. This colorful follow-up to Little Truck by beloved author-illustrator Taro Gomi will entertain toddlers sailing toward big adventures!

Happy Holidays, Pirates
Written by Tatiana Koval and Clever Publishing & illustrated by Inna Chernyak
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

Does Santa deliver presents to pirates? When a dastardly-looking pirate crew discovers that there’s a kindly old man who delivers presents to all people who behave themselves, the pirates decide to clean up their act! This joyous, rhyming story along with the irresistible lift-the-flap elements on each page make this the perfect holiday read you can revisit any time of the year. The large size, delightfully detailed illustrations, and witty story make this book an ideal holiday gift. Sturdy thick board pages with rounded corners will make this treasure last forever.

  • Winner of the 2019 IPPY Bronze Award for Children’s Interactive Books and the 2019 Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards Bronze Medal in the Lift-the-Flap Category!
Quest for the Nautilus: Young Captain Nemo
Written & illustrated by Jason Henderson
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Armed with his wits, his friends, and his Nemotech submarine, a twelve-year-old descendant of Jules Verne’s famous antihero must race against the clock to save his kidnapped mother in the second installment of this action-packed middle grade series.

Gabriel Nemo has never been your normal, everyday twelve- year-old. As a descendant of the famous Captain Nemo, he’s determined to use his Nemotech legacy for good. He and his best friends Peter and Misty spend their days studying at the elite Nemo Institute and in their spare time, run rescue missions in Gabriel’s submarine the Obscure.

But when a mysterious organization using advanced technology attacks the Institute and kidnaps Gabriel’s mother, he and his friends set off on a race against the clock. They must find Captain Nemo’s long-lost ship, the Nautilus, before his mother’s time runs out!

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Real Boat - When a paper boat learns about the ocean, he is determined to go there so he can be a real boat. On his journey he meets all sorts of friends, from the strong little tugboat to the glittering ocean liner. But he also learns that the real ocean is huge and deep and full of dangers. A lyrical text and magical illustrations combine to create a modern fable with an important message about striving for what you want and escaping your comfort zone.

  2. Go, Go, Pirate Boat - Little pirates will have endless fun with this vibrant board book that’s set to the tune of Row, Row, Row Your Boat! Go, go, pirate boat, Across the salty sea, Raise the anchor, hoist the sail, It’s a pirate’s life for me. Join two seafaring pirates and their captain on a nautical adventure to find a treasure chest. Add to that a text that is read aloud to the tune of Row, Row, Row Your Boat and you have a book that will be enjoyed time and time again!

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