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Coral Reefs: Books For Kids

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

As you can see, this list of kids books about coral reefs is a work in progress! We’re currently exploring the best books available, and we’d love your input. If you have a title you’d suggest including on our list of kids books about coral reefs, please share it with us!

We’ll be featuring a variety of titles on our list, from well known classics to popular bestsellers to lesser known titles that deserve a bigger audience. We’re also including books for a range of ages, from board books for babies and toddlers, to picture books for preschool and kindergarten age kids, to chapter books for early elementary age kids.

We’d love to hear any book suggestions you have—you can comment below or email us at [email protected].

Dive in: Swim with Sea Creatures at Their Actual Size
Written by Roxie Munro
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

A scuba diver encounters exquisite coral reef creatures in this clever introduction, which includes a gatefold of a reef shark, to one of world’s most alluring—and threatened—habitats.

Luminous spreads of true-to-size sea life, from a brilliantly colored rainbow parrotfish to a venomous southern stingray, and a surprise gatefold fit together into one scene in this meticulously illustrated nonfiction picture book.

Accompanying the vibrant artwork are descriptions of the 29 creatures that reveal their intriguing habits and more about the Caribbean coral reef they call home. A key included in the back matter shows how the pages smartly fit together. An index, a map, and a section on protecting coral reefs are also included. Budding conservationists will love learning about this vital ecosystem of coral reefs around the world.

Alba and the Ocean Cleanup
Written & illustrated by Lara Hawthorne
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Alba the fish has spent her entire life collecting precious objects that drift down to the ocean floor. From delicate shells to brightly colored coral, each year on her birthday she gathers one more precious item. But over the years, Alba notices her collection is losing its sparkle and that the world is changing. There is trash everywhere! When, on her birthday hunt, something unthinkable happens, it seems like the plastic may have changed her ocean home forever. Is it too late?

Alba and the Ocean Cleanup
is a beautifully illustrated picture book about what we can do to save this important ecosystem.

Coral
Written by Molly Idle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Caldecott Honor author-illustrator Molly Idle offers a stunningly illustrated environmental tale featuring three very different mermaid friends who learn to coexist, in a companion to her acclaimed story Pearl.

Coral, Filly, and Manta live on a sunlit reef teeming with sea life. When Coral comes upon an empty hollow at the heart of the reef and tries to keep it as her very own, Filly and Manta are banished. All that grows in the wake of her anger is regret, and Coral must find a way to turn the tide…but she can’t do it alone.

Caldecott Honor-winning author and artist Molly Idle has brilliantly illustrated a tale both timeless and timely, about the power of collaboration and the profound importance of caring for our environment…and one another.

The Coral Kingdom
Written by Laura Knowles & illustrated by Jennie Webber
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

From brightly coloured corals to shimmering shoals of fish, the diversity of life on a coral reef is celebrated in this visually stunning picture book with a strong ecological message about the need to protect this most precious of environments. Through gentle rhyme and intricately etched artwork, it explores the life cycle, diversity and colour of the coral reef ecosystem, as well as the threats the reef faces and what we can do to save it. With each page packed full of delightful sea creatures to discover and enjoy, this is a lyrical and engaging way to learn about the life cycle of a coral reef.

Coral Reefs (New & Updated Edition)
Written & illustrated by Gail Gibbons
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

What is life like in a coral reef? What do corals eat? Why are corals more colorful at nighttime? Learn about some of the most beautiful locations in the natural world Marine biologists believe coral reefs existed 400 million years ago, when dinosaurs roamed the earth. Today this active environment is home to about 20,000 kinds of brilliantly colored corals, plants, and animals—more sea creatures than are found anywhere else in the world. The Great Barrier Reef in Australia is so large that astronauts can see it from outer space! Children in early elementary grades will enjoy Gibbon’s informative text and clear, detailed illustrations on this journey into the unique lives of coral reefs.

  • Fish Wish - An underwater fantasy comes to life in this board book with colorful cut-paper art that will spark the imagination of young readers. If I were a fish . . . A daydreaming child imagines himself under the sea, where turtles glide by and a cloud of jellyfish float above. The boy gets to play with sea horses, shrimp, and crabs, swim through octopus tentacles and squid ink, and goes to sleep tucked among a dazzling school of starfish. Vibrant collage illustrations depict a whimsical world of ocean life.

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