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79 Factual Kids Books About Fish

Updated Apr. 22, 2019

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!

Top 10 Fish Books

Happy book
#1
Happy
Written and illustrated by Mies Van Hout
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I love that this book goes through all the different emotions, showing them through each illustrated fish on the page. :) It's a really simple, beautiful, and fun book, and I felt like this one had a lot more emotions than just "happy" and "sad." I actually found this one in a bookstore and paid full price for the last copy that had a dent on the cover because I wanted it in my home library. :)

Teaches about emotions with illustrations of fish portraying these feelings, including curiosity, sadness, and confusion.

DogFish book
#2
DogFish
Written by Gillian Shields and illustrated by Dan Taylor
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This story has a great overall message in it, to want what you already have instead of wanting something you can't have. :) The boy learns to make the best of things, and instead of just wanting a dog, he learns to teach his goldfish to catch a stick, takes him on walks, and everyone ends up happy. :)

Everyone has a dog. Except for one little boy. He has a goldfish. He needs a dog. Mom says, "Why do you need a dog when you have such a nice goldfish?" But goldfish can't catch sticks or go for walks or wag their tails.... Can they? Maybe they can...

Papa's Mechanical Fish book
#3
Papa's Mechanical Fish
Written by Candace Fleming and illustrated by Boris Kulikov
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from Grammy

This is a great story about exploring ideas; sometimes they work out and sometimes they need more work. The creative dad in this book just keeps working on his ideas, most of which don't really succeed. Although so many of his ideas have fallen short, he doesn't get discouraged, and no one in his family is ever critical; everyone just keeps thinking and nurturing curiosity. The painterly illustrations engage the reader in the action, both of the inventor and his family who have their own activities parallel to the father's pursuits. This story is on the long side, although the repetition and reiterations work to keep young readers engaged and there is plenty to look at on every page. It is a terrific book for STEM topics and encouraging curiosity, perseverance, thinking, and patience.

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.

Hello, World! Ocean Life book
#4
Hello, World! Ocean Life
Written and illustrated by Jill McDonald
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

All young children love to play in the waves at the beach. Now here’s a Hello, World! board book that teaches them all about oceans and the creatures and plants that live there.

Hooray for Fish! book
#5
Hooray for Fish!
Written and illustrated by Lucy Cousins
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Little Fish has all sorts of fishy friends in his underwater home, but loves one of them most of all.

A Fish Out of Water book
#6
A Fish Out of Water
Written by Helen Palmer and illustrated by P. D. Eastman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A fun-filled reading experience for the beginning reader about a little boy who overfeeds his fish

The Rainbow Fish book
#7
The Rainbow Fish
Written and illustrated by Marcus Pfister
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

The most beautiful fish in the entire ocean discovers the real value of personal beauty and friendship.

Little Shark: Finger Puppet Book book
#8
Little Shark: Finger Puppet Book
Written and illustrated by ImageBooks, Chronicle Books
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

A new title in the bestselling finger puppet series! Tiny tots can enjoy swimming among the fish with Little Shark in this simple, comforting story. The book features a permanently attached plush finger puppet and peek-a-boo holes in every page, giving parents and children a fun, interactive way to play and read together.

Swimmy book
#9
Swimmy
Written and illustrated by Leo Lionni
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The gorgeous, Caldecott Honor-winning tale of a very clever fish by beloved picture book creator Leo Lionni. Deep in the sea lives a happy school of fish. Their watery world is full of wonders, but there is also danger, and the little fish are afraid to come out of hiding . . . until Swimmy comes along. Swimmy shows his friends how—with ingenuity and team work—they can overcome any danger. Winner of the 1964 Caldecott Honor, this beloved tale of a brave little fish has been a favorite to generations of readers. To celebrate Swimmy's fiftieth anniversary, we are issuing a handsome special edition hardcover that includes a bonus poster.

Not Norman book
#10
Not Norman
Written by Kelly Bennett and illustrated by Noah Z. Jones
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

As a boy attempts to convince someone else to take his disappointing pet, he learns to love Norman the goldfish himself.

Books About The Ocean & Fish

Hello, World! Ocean Life book
#1
Hello, World! Ocean Life
Written and illustrated by Jill McDonald
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

All young children love to play in the waves at the beach. Now here’s a Hello, World! board book that teaches them all about oceans and the creatures and plants that live there.

The Ocean Alphabet Board Book book
#2
The Ocean Alphabet Board Book
Written and illustrated by Jerry Pallotta
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-5
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This ocean-themed alphabet board book has a lot of great facts in it, but I didn't love all of the text. For a board book, it's really informative!

Introduces the letters A to Z by describing fish and other creatures living in the North Atlantic Ocean. On board pages.

Song of the Deep book
#3
Song of the Deep
Written and illustrated by Brian Hastings
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Twelve-year-old Merryn lives with her fisherman father in a little cottage by the sea. Each day, her father braves the tumultuous waves and returns home in time for dinner. One stormy evening, he doesn't come back. Merryn has a vision that he s been dragged underwater by a terrifying sea creature, and he needs her help. Determined to rescue him, Merryn builds a tiny submarine and embarks on a journey through the undersea worlds she's only heard about in her father's lullabies. As she faces the dangers and wonders of the world below the waves, she realizes that her father's stories were all real. Readers can also experience Merryn's daring journey firsthand in the new "Song of the Deep" video game from acclaimed developer Insomniac Games."

Honorable Mentions
  1. 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.

  2. Down Down Down in the Sea - Join Turtle as he dives deeper and deeper into the ocean - what surprise will he find at the bottom? With flaps to lift and peek-through holes, there's lots to spot, count and discover along the way.

  3. Slide-N-Seek Ocean - Explore a new and exciting way to learn about creatures that live in the ocean with this Slide-N-Reveal book. You'll see colorful images appear before your very eyes with the turn of a wheel. Learn fun facts about each creature and discover hidden images throughout each page. Kids will love this fun and interactive format and learn about beautiful creatures along the way.

  4. Ocean - How do fish breathe? Why is the ocean salty? Why is a whale not a fish? Find out the answers to these and many more questions in this brilliant interactive lift-the-flap fact book. Embark on an epic journey under the sea looking for fish and other ocean creatures beneath the waves, learn what shells are for, find out which sea creatures are the most dangerous, and take a closer look at a coral reef. This fascinating fact-filled book is the perfect introduction to life under the sea.

Want to see even more books about fish and the ocean?

How about books about the ocean?

Books About Animals & Fish

Hello, World! Ocean Life book
#1
Hello, World! Ocean Life
Written and illustrated by Jill McDonald
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

All young children love to play in the waves at the beach. Now here’s a Hello, World! board book that teaches them all about oceans and the creatures and plants that live there.

Slide-N-Seek Ocean book
#2
Slide-N-Seek Ocean
Written and illustrated by David Miles
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Explore a new and exciting way to learn about creatures that live in the ocean with this Slide-N-Reveal book. You'll see colorful images appear before your very eyes with the turn of a wheel. Learn fun facts about each creature and discover hidden images throughout each page. Kids will love this fun and interactive format and learn about beautiful creatures along the way.

Water Sings Blue book
#3
Water Sings Blue
Written by Kate Coombs and illustrated by Meilo So
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

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.

Honorable Mentions
  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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 even more books about fish and animals?

How about books about animals?

Books About Water & Fish

Hello, World! Ocean Life book
#1
Hello, World! Ocean Life
Written and illustrated by Jill McDonald
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

All young children love to play in the waves at the beach. Now here’s a Hello, World! board book that teaches them all about oceans and the creatures and plants that live there.

Down Down Down in the Sea book
#2
Down Down Down in the Sea
Written by Jonathan Litton and illustrated by Maxime Lebrun
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Join Turtle as he dives deeper and deeper into the ocean - what surprise will he find at the bottom? With flaps to lift and peek-through holes, there's lots to spot, count and discover along the way.

Water Sings Blue book
#3
Water Sings Blue
Written by Kate Coombs and illustrated by Meilo So
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

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.

Honorable Mentions
  1. 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."

  2. 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.

Want to see even more books about fish and water?

How about books about water?

Books About Nature & Fish

Hello, World! Ocean Life book
#1
Hello, World! Ocean Life
Written and illustrated by Jill McDonald
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

All young children love to play in the waves at the beach. Now here’s a Hello, World! board book that teaches them all about oceans and the creatures and plants that live there.

Down Down Down in the Sea book
#2
Down Down Down in the Sea
Written by Jonathan Litton and illustrated by Maxime Lebrun
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Join Turtle as he dives deeper and deeper into the ocean - what surprise will he find at the bottom? With flaps to lift and peek-through holes, there's lots to spot, count and discover along the way.

Slide-N-Seek Ocean book
#3
Slide-N-Seek Ocean
Written and illustrated by David Miles
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Explore a new and exciting way to learn about creatures that live in the ocean with this Slide-N-Reveal book. You'll see colorful images appear before your very eyes with the turn of a wheel. Learn fun facts about each creature and discover hidden images throughout each page. Kids will love this fun and interactive format and learn about beautiful creatures along the way.

Honorable Mentions
  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

Want to see even more books about fish and nature?

How about books about nature?

Books About Whales & Fish

Ocean book
#1
Ocean
Written by Heather Alexander and illustrated by Andres Lozano
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

How do fish breathe? Why is the ocean salty? Why is a whale not a fish? Find out the answers to these and many more questions in this brilliant interactive lift-the-flap fact book. Embark on an epic journey under the sea looking for fish and other ocean creatures beneath the waves, learn what shells are for, find out which sea creatures are the most dangerous, and take a closer look at a coral reef. This fascinating fact-filled book is the perfect introduction to life under the sea.

Rainbow Fish and the Big Blue Whale book
#2
Rainbow Fish and the Big Blue Whale
Written and illustrated by Marcus Pfister
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

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.

Water Sings Blue book
#3
Water Sings Blue
Written by Kate Coombs and illustrated by Meilo So
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

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.

Honorable Mentions
  1. 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.

  2. 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 even more books about fish and whales?

How about books about whales?

Table of Contents
  1. Top 10 Fish Books
  2. + the ocean (22)
  3. + animals (10)
  4. + water (5)
  5. + nature (12)
  6. + whales (5)
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