Like the plenty of fish in the sea, there are plenty of children’s books about fish out there. We’ve narrowed it down to the best of the bunch so you can have a swimmingly time reading these with your little ones. From fact-filled reads to fantastic favorites, these fishy tales are sure to be a hit!
Shark Nate-O - Nate loves sharks. He reads shark books every day, watches sharks on TV, and talks about them nonstop. He even likes to pretend he’s a shark wherever he goes! However, there is one small problem. . . . Nate can’t swim. When his older brother points this out, Nate works hard to overcome his fears and learn how to blow bubbles, use a kickboard, and finally swim without help, as quickly and as gracefully as a shark. Will he be able to beat his brother in a swim tryout and get his bite back? Kids will love this jawsome book complete with vibrant and whimsical art and a list of shark facts in the back!
Sardines of Love - “Grandmother Lola hates sardines, but Grandfather Lolo loves them. He eats them every day. When she runs out of sardines one day, Lola can’t bear to think of Lolo going hungry. She decides to go fishing —with unexpected results. What on earth will Lola eat when she discovers that sardines are the only food on offer? And what will Lolo do when he finds out that his beloved Lola is missing?”—Dust jacket flap.
Little Fish and Mommy - Join Little Fish and Mommy Fish for a special day as they play beneath the waves. Little Fish loves Mommy Fish very much, and young readers are invited along on a special adventure with them under the sea. Bouncy rhyming text follows the two from one page to the next as Mommy Fish teaches Little Fish to swim, blow big bubbles, and say hello to all their friends. Fun, fish-shaped, and perfect for Mother’s Day, this board book celebrates a singular bond with vibrant colors and playful scenes.
Grandpas Are for Finding Worms - When you need worms for fishing, Grandpa knows just where to look. Grandpas are great at making things, like bookshelves, burgers, and funny faces. Some grandpas like to sing old songs, some like to play baseball, and all grandpas make you feel special. Young children and grandpas alike will love this sweet tribute to the special love between them
Want to see books about family?
Fish Girl - The triple Caldecott winner David Wiesner brings his rich visual imagination and trademark artistry to the graphic novel format in a unique coming-of-age tale that begins underwater. A young mermaid, called Fish Girl, in a boardwalk aquarium has a chance encounter with an ordinary girl. Their growing friendship inspires Fish Girl’s longing for freedom, independence, and a life beyond the aquarium tank. Sparkling with humor and brilliantly visualized, Fish Girl’s story will resonate with every young person facing the challenges and rewards of growing up.
Tropical Terry - From author-illustrator Jarvis comes a buoyant underwater tale about a little blue fish who learns that being dazzling isn’t what makes you special. Coral Reef City is home to the most brilliant tropical fish in the ocean. Sparkling and multicolored, they swim around and around, showing off. And then there’s Terry. Small, blue, and ordinary, Terry spends his days playing hiding games with his friends and wishing the tropical fish would play with him, too. So with the help of his friends, Terry fashions a flashy, dazzling costume and transforms into Tropical Terry. But life as the center of attention isn’t quite everything Terry dreamed it would be — especially once Eddie the Eel shows up, hungry for dinner. In a bright, cheerful story, Jarvis uses his vibrant art and heartwarming wit to prove that sometimes the things you thought made you unremarkable are actually the most special qualities of all.
Rainbow Fish and the Big Blue Whale - An adorable Rainbow Fish board book! It’s a whale of a tale in which a terrible misunderstanding escalates, putting Rainbow Fish and his friends in great danger, and Rainbow Fish must try to make peace with a big blue whale to save them all from disaster. When a big blue whale comes to live near their reef, there is a misunderstanding between him and Rainbow Fish and his friends that leaves everyone very unhappy and hungry.
Can I Give You a Squish? - An important lesson on consent for over-exuberant little huggers, nestled inside this lighthearted, summery story about expressions of love and friendship. Kai is a little mer-boy who’s big on hugs—or “squishes,” as he and his mama call them. But not everyone’s a fan of Kai’s spirited embrace, which he discovers soon after squishing a puffer fish, who swells up in fright! Kai feels awful; but with the help of his friends, he figures out another way to show his affection, and then everyone demonstrates their preferred ways of being greeted. Because, as Kai realizes, “Every fish likes their own kind of squish.”
Pout-Pout Fish: Haunted House - It’s time for Halloween, and Mr. Fish is nervous about visiting a haunted house with his friends—but he just may be surprised that it’s not all so scary! At an affordable price point, and with two pages of stickers, this new format is fun and accessible for Mr. Fish’s fans and newcomers alike.
Dinosaur Parade - A short and sweet mini-adventure especially created to introduce the youngest guppies to the popular Pout-Pout Fish. It’s Halloween under the sea! Mr. Fish is wearing his costume, but what is he dressed as? A goblin? An astronaut in space? A pirate at the helm of the spooky submarine? Tiny tots will love swimming along with Mr. Fish as he turns little pouts into big smiles. With just one line of text per page, this simple, 12-page board book will send Debbie Diesen and Dan Hanna’s much-loved Pout-Pout Fish flippering and swishing into the hearts and minds of very young children.
The Goodbye Book - From bestselling author Todd Parr, a poignant and reassuring story about loss. Through the lens of a pet fish who has lost his companion, Todd Parr tells a moving and wholly accessible story about saying goodbye. Touching upon the host of emotions children experience, Todd reminds readers that it’s okay not to know all the answers, and that someone will always be there to support them. An invaluable resource for life’s toughest moments.
Pout-Pout Fish, Far, Far from Home - An exciting new adventure starring the New York Times-Bestselling Pout-Pout Fish! Mr. Fish has prepped and packed,
And he's made big plans to roam.
He's ready for adventure
On his trip away from home!But sometimes trips have detours
And not everything goes right.
Without his favorite toy,
Can he fall asleep at night?Swim along with Mr. Fish as he explores new places and meets new friends in THE POUT-POUT FISH, FAR, FAR FROM HOME. He might just learn that a few bumps along the way are all part of the journey. Deborah Diesen and Dan Hanna are back with everyone's favorite grumpy fish, to show that love doesn't have to be packed, it travels with you always.
Henny, Penny, Lenny, Denny, and Mike - 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…
The Only Fish in the Sea - Did you hear about little Amy Scott? She got a goldfish for her birthday and then just threw it in the ocean! That doesn’t seem right. I guess Sherman and Sadie will have to go save little Ellsworth (every fish deserves a proper name) on their own. They’ll need: A boat Fishing gear Twenty-one pink balloons A bucket of paint And Appropriate headwear in case of weather―good or bad Don’t worry. Ellsworth is in good hands now, but what ever happened to little Amy Scott? Join Sadie (Special Delivery) on another adventure in The Only Fish in the Sea, a delightful picture book by Philip C. Stead and Matthew Cordell.
Five Little Gefiltes - When five curious young gefilte fish have the chutzpah to sneak out of their jar and set off to explore the world, they are followed by a loud OY VEY!—Mama Gefilte isn’t too happy to see her little ones leaving the nest. But she’s taught them well, and at the end of their adventures, each one proves himself a mensch—making Mama one proud gefilte indeed. Dave Horowitz’s playful rhyming tale, its illustrations packed with comic asides, will have readers giggling out loud and looking for opportunities to practice their Yiddish—with help from the handy glossary at the end of the book.
The Eel Question - Bound to serve a cruel master, Nant’s curiosity never fails to get her into trouble. Some questions she had learned it was best not to ask, but every autumn the silver eels return, and so do her questions. Where do they come from? And where do they go? Be ready to feel a little bit of magic, and perhaps a few shivers down the spine.
Want to see books about action and adventure?
Bremner & the Party - Brand new picture books from Ripley’s feature fun and engaging stories around two favorite Ripley’s Aquarium mascots—Sharkee the sand tiger shark and Bremner the pufferfish. Filled with expressive illustrations, silly situations, and lovable characters, kids and parents alike will be enchanted by each of these charming “tails”! Bremner the pufferfish is going to a party. Tonight. Gulp! And he’s nervous. And he knows what happens when he gets nervous. He puffs up. And he definitely doesn’t want to puff up. Children and parents alike will laugh their way through Bremner’s nervous dialogue as he goes off the deep end before joining the party. Will Bremner puff up and ruin the celebration? There’s only one way to find out!
Dolphin Boy - Discover this spellbinding story from former Children’s Laureate and author of War Horse Michael Morpurgo, and illustrated by multi-award-winning Michael Foreman. Jim lives in a Cornish fishing village—but since the fish disappeared, no one goes fishing any more. One day, Jim spots a dolphin beached on the sand, and soon the whole village is working together to return the dolphin to the water. The dolphin stays in the harbor, playing with Jim and the swimmers, but then the dolphin disappears . . . Will Jim ever see him again?
The Pout-Pout Fish and the Can't-Sleep Blues - Mr. Fish cannot fall asleep, but with help from his underwater friends, he finds a bedtime routine.
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.
Live and Let Swim: My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish - The name’s Goldfish. Zombie Goldfish. Fishy mayhem abounds with two more fin-tastic stories featuring our favorite (New York Times-bestselling!) zombie goldfish.
Goldfish on Vacation - From a New York Times bestselling author and a rising-star illustrator comes a humorous tale based on an amazing-but-true story about the summer a city fountain was used as a goldfish pond. H, Little O, and Baby Em are stuck in the city for the summer with only their pet goldfish—Barracuda, Patch, and Fiss—for company. It’s looking like it might be a pretty boring vacation, but one day, something exciting happens. Someone starts fixing up the old fountain down the street—the one Grandpa says horses used to drink from before everyone had cars—and a sign appears: “Calling All Goldfish Looking for a Summer Home.” H, Little O, and Baby Em can’t wait to send their goldfish on vacation, and the fish, well, they seem pretty excited too. Based on the true story of Hamilton Fountain in New York City, this charming tale of one special summer will delight readers young and old. Author’s Note included.
Goldfish Ghost - Goldfish Ghost was born on the surface of the water in the bowl on a dresser in a boy’s room. The boy’s room was pleasant and familiar, but Goldfish Ghost wanted company, so he set out to find a friend. He floats over the neighborhood, past the pier, and let the breeze carry him into town where he discovers that not many people pay attention to goldfish ghosts. Off he floats, searching for the perfect home and the perfect friend and then he hears a voice. . .Bestselling author Lemony Snicket and illustrator Lisa Brown brings us a fresh and funny take on what happens after your favorite goldfish crosses over to the other side.
Something's Fishy - The facts behind a fish that’s worth its weight in gold. Some fish breathe air and some fish fly, but the most wonderful fish of all turns out to be the one you’ve got at home. In another offering of the beloved Giggle and Learn series, Kevin McCloskey blends science, art, and comedy to reveal the true story behind the common goldfish.
Want to see books about goldfish?
The Whale in My Swimming Pool - One sunny day, a little boy heads outside for a swim, but his pool is already taken . . . There’s a big whale in the water and it’s not budging! The boy tries everything to get the whale to leave. Nothing seems to work. Not fetch. Not tag. Not even offering his allowance. What’s a boy to do? Luckily, he comes up with the perfect solution: he decides to chill out on a spray of water over the whale’s spout. This colorful whale of a tale from the talented Joyce Wan is sure to inspire giggles from little guppies!
Waiting for Chicken Smith - A story about childhood friendships, anticipation, and the magic moments that arise while you’re waiting for something else to happen. Every year a young boy stays in the same cabin at the beach with his family. And every year his friend Chicken Smith stays in the next cabin over. But this year, something’s different: Chicken Smith hasn’t shown up yet. The boy’s little sister, MaryAnn, keeps trying to get his attention, but he’s too busy remembering all of his adventures with Chicken Smith — and thinking about everything they’re going to do this summer. Is Chicken ever going to show up? And just what has MaryAnn been yelling about? David Mackintosh’s ode to small summer wonders will make readers of all ages open their eyes to the quick, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moments happening all around them.
The Fisherman & the Whale - 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 - 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.
Swim with Little Fish!: Bath Book - Whether in the bath, at the table, or on the go, the youngest sea explorers are sure to love visiting Little Fish with this alluring waterproof edition that’s soft, squishy, and sturdy—ideal for babies and toddlers at bath time, high-chair time, or anytime. Full color. Consumable.able.
You Can't Win Them All, Rainbow Fish - A brand new paperback title in the bestselling Rainbow Fish series! Everyone loses once in a while. But being a good sport when you lose isn’t always easy—not even for Rainbow Fish. A lighthearted look at accepting loss without losing your sparkle!
Made by Maxine - When Maxine’s school puts on a pet parade, she creates a unique contraption to allow her very special pet fish, Milton, to participate.
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.
Want to see books about imagination and play?
Nerdy Babies: Ocean - In Nerdy Babies: Ocean, follow our intrepid infants into the watery depths. Check out animals, plants, and fish that live in the ocean. Plus, learn about the unique ecosystem in this simple text written in question and answer format. With bright artwork and an engaging design, this will be a book that the very littlest nerds will want to return to again and again. Stay curious. There’s more to learn about everything!
Water Sings Blue - Come down to the shore with this rich and vivid celebration of the ocean! With watercolors gorgeous enough to wade in by award-winning artist Meilo So and playful, moving poems by Kate Coombs, Water Sings Blue evokes the beauty and power, the depth and mystery, and the endless resonance of the sea.
The Sea Book - Featuring fascinating fishy facts accompanied by bright, bold, and beautiful illustrations, this book takes children on a journey through the sea and all its zones. The Sea Book explores a wealth of incredible marine animals and their habitats, from up on the ice, down to colorful coral reefs, underwater forests, and right down to the deepest darkest depths where the weird and wonderful lurk. Following on from The Bee Book, Charlotte Milner continues to highlight to children important ecological issues faced by our planet, this time with a focus on marine life and the damaging effects humans are having on our seas. Children will discover what they can do to help, and there are tips on how to live plastic-free. Children will even get to craft their own recycled shopping bag! This charming celebration of the sea shows children just how extraordinary our oceans are, and is a reminder that it is up to us to keep it that way.
A Whale's World - A Whale’s World follows a pod of spy-hopping orcas as they explore the ecosystems of the Great Bear Sea while hunting for their next meal. Past rocky shores and through kelp forests,they observe foraging wolves, hungry grizzly bears, curious black bears, graceful fin whales, splashing porpoises,slippery seals and other members of the Pacific coastal food web.The book gives readers a fun introduction to the many ways that marine and land animals interact with their environments and with each other.
Want to see books about science?
Way Down Below Deep - Swim with the ocean’s most secret creatures! What mysteries lurk at the bottom of the ocean? Discover some of the world’s most fascinating animals, such as anglerfish, luring prey to a toothy doom with a siren’s light; vampire squid, peering forth with red eyes; and sea cucumbers, filtering food from the water passing through their bodies. Follow the lanternfish as he lights the way down to the mysterious deep, where whale worms sprout from bones and all varieties of jellies float free. Children will learn about these bizarre bottom-dwellers through clever rhymes and captivating drawings that bring this sunless land to light. Fun, sometimes silly, facts and images accompany each rhyming marine description.
Swimming with Sharks - Before Eugenie Clark’s groundbreaking research, most people thought sharks were vicious, blood-thirsty killers. From the first time she saw a shark in an aquarium, Japanese-American Eugenie was enthralled. Instead of frightening and ferocious eating machines, she saw sleek, graceful fish gliding through the water. After she became a scientist—an unexpected career path for a woman in the 1940s—she began taking research dives and training sharks, earning her the nickname “The Shark Lady.”
Splish Splash! - Dragonflies zip zip zip and frogs croakity croak while bare feet splish splash in this board book all about the sounds of the river. Each spread features a touch and feel element that creates the sound described in the text. With beautiful illustrations, interesting textures and fun sounds, this highly interactive format is certain to tickle the senses.
Free the Lines - A little sailing boat casts out his line to catch a fish in a busy, healthy ocean. But when a big, smoking trawler casts its mighty net, will any of the fish escape? Does the little sailing boat make the right choice? What do you think? This striking and artistic wordless picture book explores an environmental theme through simple linework, patterns and strong contrasts. A great way to spark conversations between parents and children about conservation and environmental issues.
Where Is Little Fish? - Is that Little Fish hiding behind the yellow coral? No, it s stripy fish! How about inside the shell? That s shelly fish, of course! Open up the treasure chest (hi, crab!) and peek behind the red coral (so that s where curly whirly and twisty twirly went off to!).
Fishy Fishy: A Changing Picture Book - Fishy, Fishy is an entertaining numbers novelty book full of surprises. By pulling the tab on each spread, you can change the acetate picture and add another character to the image—add a friend for the dog, another animal to the rocket, and many other fun reveals. With lively text and colorful illustrations, it is a great way to introduce the concept of counting to young children. Previously published titles in the series are Red Car, Green Car and Dinosaur Galore!
Count with Little Fish - First there s just one fish Little Fish under the sea. But not for long: here come two fin-fin fish, three counting fish, and four flying fish. And can you imagine who else? Shy fish and scary fish, tiny fish and funny fish.
Want to see books about first concepts?
Mister Seahorse - When Mrs. Seahorse lays her eggs, she does it on Mr. Seahorse’s belly! She knows he will take good care of them. While he swims waiting for the eggs to hatch, he meets other underwater fathers caring for their babies. Now Eric Carle’s heart-warming New York Times bestseller is finally available in a board book edition, complete with the clear “peek-a-boo” pages that made the original such a hit. Brimming with bright, colorful sea life, this new board book will be irresistable to young children everywhere.
Fishin': Impossible - Harry does some deep sea detective work while investigating the fishy disappearance of his worst enemy in this eighth Shark School (mis)adventure. Harry Hammer’s all-time favorite TV show is Mike Hammerhead, Shark Detective. The fin-tastic detective never fails to solve under-the-sea ‘who-dunnits’ and now Harry has found himself in similar water when he investigates the disappearance of his worst enemy Rick Reef. Has his nemesis gone missing or gone fishing?!
Jonah and the Big Fish - God asks Jonah to go to Nineveh to deliver a message. What happens when he disobeys him? Why is Jonah thrown into the stormy sea? Read about Jonah’s adventure and find out how he ends up inside a big fish! These beautifully illustrated classic Bible stories are perfect for reading together as well as reading alone. The most popular stories from the Old Testament are retold in easy-to-read language and provide a perfect introduction into the Bible. The series allows children to become familiar with colorful stories from the Old Testament using the familiar picture story format. Whilst the language is simple and easy to understand, the detailed illustrations support the text and provide ideal opportunities for spotting things and for further discussion.
Bright Books: Bubble's Ocean Friends - Join Bubble on a counting adventure under the sea! Swim along with Bubble in the deep, blue sea! Follow Bubble on her adventure and discover turtles, starfish, crabs, and more. Lively rhyming text, bright, colorful illustrations, and shiny-foiled details invite young readers to have hands-on story time. Page after page, babies and toddlers will have fun counting all of Bubble’s new ocean friends.
The Pout-Pout Fish in the Big-Big Dark - Mr. Fish wants to help his friend Ms. Clam when she loses her pearl, but though he’s fast as a sailfish, as smart as dolphin, and as strong as a shark, Mr. Fish has a secret: he’s scared of the dark! Very young children will swim along with Mr. Fish as he journeys deep into the ocean to new and mysterious places. They will discover, as Mr. Fish does, the power of friendship to light the way through the big-big dark.
10 Reasons to Love... a Whale - Blue whales are incredible creatures! Did you know they are the largest animal on earth? Or that they sing songs across the ocean? Discover ten reasons why whales are amazing and five ways you can show they love them in this gorgeous picture book. A must for any young animal enthusiast and a fantastic introduction to environmental issues.
Fish Everywhere - Best-selling illustrator Britta Teckentrup explores the world of fish in a sumptuously illustrated nonfiction book. There are fish everywhere! Some of them live in fresh water, some of them live under ice, and some even live in the desert. Fish Everywhere is the first in a series of nonfiction books from Britta Teckentrup. Young readers will learn where in the world all sorts of animals can be found and all the weird and wonderful things that they never imagined were true. This is nonfiction with spark and personality from a much-loved illustrator.
The Coral Kingdom - 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.
Down by the River - One beautiful autumn day, Art sets out with his mother and grandfather for a fishing trip. Fishing days are Art’s favorite. He loves learning the ropes from Grandpa—the different kinds of flies and tackle and the trout that frequent their favorite river. Art especially appreciates Grandpa’s stories. But, this time, hearing the story about Mom’s big catch on her first cast ever makes Art feel insecure about his own fishing skills. But, as Art hooks a beautiful brown trout, he finds reassurance in Grandpa’s stories and marvels in the sport and a day spent with family, promising to continue the tradition with his own grandkids generations later.
Just Like Us! Fish - What animal uses stilts, has roommates, finds safety in numbers, and even gets skin treatments at the spa? FISH! While they might seem as different from humans as animals can possibly be, we actually have a lot in common with our underwater neighbors. From hunting to homemaking to dressing to impress, fish are a lot like us—though with fascinating twists all their own. Factual, funny, and featuring a dynamic mix of photographs and cartoon illustrations, Just Like Us! Fish will charm even the most reluctant nonfiction readers.