An Award-Winning Book Club for Kids
Shop Now

Fishing: Books For Kids

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

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

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.

When it comes to children’s stories about fishing, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Henry and Ribsy to popular sellers like McElligot’s Pool to some of our favorite hidden gems like I Love You the Purplest.

We hope this list of kids books about fishing 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.

Share this list
Add to list
Vernon Is on His Way
Written & illustrated by Philip C. Stead
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Today is a very nice day. There has never been a day so nice as this, except for maybe yesterday. Join Vernon and his friends Skunk and Porcupine on a series of three enchanting adventures entitled Waiting, Fishing, and Gardening, as they comb the forest floor for trinkets and go fishing in their own unconventional way. Award-winning author Philip Stead’s calming text and playful, sincere illustrations will charm and entertain many times over.

Add to list
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.

Add to list
Milton & Odie and the Bigger-than- Bigmouth Bass
Written & illustrated by Mary Ann Fraser
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When faced with a challenge—or a super cold morning—Milton grumbles and Odie sees the bright side. Whiling away the hours at their respective fishing holes, neither Milton nor Odie get even the tiniest nibble . . . until Milton snags Odie’s pole. But does that mean fishing is over? On facing pages, Milton and Odie approach life with contrasting attitudes. Milton’s sure there isn’t a fish for miles, but Odie embraces the joy of anticipation, imagining that a bigmouth bass will be along any minute. Sweetly simple illustrations reveal the ups and downs of patience and expectation in this fish story about the one that didn’t get away.

Add to list
Sardines of Love
Written & illustrated by Zuriñe Aguirre
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

“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.

Add to list
I Love You the Purplest
Written by Barbara M. Joosse & illustrated by Mary Whyte
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

From the bestselling author of Mama, Do You Love Me?— and finally available in a board book format—this classic read-aloud provides a poetic and comforting answer to a universal question: Who do you love more? In this warm celebration of unconditional love, a wise mother reassures her children that each of them has a very special place in her heart, making this a perfect gift for the whole family.

A Different Pond book
Add to list
How the Stars Came To Be book
Add to list
South book
Add to list
Song of the Deep book
Add to list
  • A Different Pond - A 2018 Caldecott Honor Book that Kirkus Reviews calls “a must-read for our times,” A Different Pond is an unforgettable story about a simple event - a long-ago fishing trip. Graphic novelist Thi Bui and acclaimed poet Bao Phi deliver a powerful, honest glimpse into a relationship between father and son - and between cultures, old and new. As a young boy, Bao and his father awoke early, hours before his father’s long workday began, to fish on the shores of a small pond in Minneapolis. Unlike many other anglers, Bao and his father fished for food, not recreation. A successful catch meant a fed family. Between hope-filled casts, Bao’s father told him about a different pond in their homeland of Vietnam. Thi Bui’s striking, evocative art paired with Phi’s expertly crafted prose has earned this powerful picture books six starred reviews and numerous awards.

  • How the Stars Came To Be - Have you ever wondered how the stars came to be in the sky? The Fisherman’s Daughter loved to dance in the sunlight, and bathe in the glow of the moon. But when the moon disappeared for a few nights each month, she worried about her father and how he would find his way home from the sea in the deep darkness. When the sun finds her sobbing one night, he takes one of his rays and shatters it onto the ground, creating the stars and giving the girl the task of putting them into the dark night sky. This beautifully illustrated story gives us a new folk tale, and a new way to look up at the night sky.

  • 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.

  • Song of the Deep - 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.”

Add to list
Sunrise Summer
Written by Matthew Swanson & illustrated by Robbi Behr
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Sunrise Summer is a picture book by writer Matthew Swanson and illustrator Robbi Behr that celebrates self-confidence and empowerment, as a girl’s role changes in her family’s fishing expeditions.

When a girl and her family travel four thousand miles from home, it’s not your typical summer vacation. Everything is different on the Alaskan tundra―where the grizzly bears roam and the sockeye salmon swim―including the rules. A girl can do things she wouldn’t, and couldn’t, do at home.

She can wake up at midnight to work with her mom on a fishing crew. She can learn what it means to be an essential part of a team. She can become a braver, stronger, and ever-more capable version of herself. She can take her next big step.

She’s ready for her first real sunrise.

An Imprint Book

Add to list
The Boy and the Whale
Written & illustrated by Mordicai Gerstein
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

A boy and his father discover a whale tangled in their only fishing net. Is the whale dead? While the man worries about losing their net, the boy worries about the whale. He remembers the fear he felt when, caught in a net himself in childhood, he almost drowned before being rescued by his father. When the whale blinks an enormous eye, the boy knows that he has to try to save the creature, no matter how dangerous doing so may be.

Expressive and perfectly paced, this powerful story, The Boy and the Whale, by Caldecott Medal–winner Mordicai Gerstein was inspired in part by a real-life video of a whale’s rescue, and the creature’s joyful dance through the waves after being freed.

Add to list
The Selkie's Mate
Written by Nicola Davies & illustrated by Claire Jenkins and Nicola Davies
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11

In a land where people flow between ocean and land, a seal and a fisherman sing together under a flowing moon.

One in a series of tales that explore the deeper, darker side of our connection with the natural world. Be ready to feel a little bit of magic, and perhaps a few shivers down the spine.

Add to list
One Boy's Choice: A Tale of the Amazon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

On the bank of a river in the Amazon, a boy learns from his grandfather about a father fish that cares for his offspring, and the importance of preserving the species for future generations.

A little boy of the Amazon is excited to go on his first fishing trip with his grandad. He wants to catch the biggest fish! After hours of drifting among the water-lilies, at last they capture a huge Arowana. But, as Grandad explains, sometimes catching the biggest fish isn’t the best way to preserve the river’s bounty. This is a story of environmental awareness that also touches on fatherhood and the importance of living in harmony with nature. Perfect for our times.

Add to list
The Secret Of Black Rock
Written by Joe Todd-Stanton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Erin loves to lie on the jetty, looking for the weirdest fish in the sea—the weirder, the better! And she knows the best ones must be further out, where her mum won’t let her go… Out there in the deepest sea lies the Black Rock: a huge, dark and spiky mass that is said to destroy any boats that come near it! Can Erin uncover the truth behind this mysterious legend?

McElligot's Pool book
Add to list
Mother Cary's Butter Knife book
Add to list
Henry and Ribsy book
Add to list
The Rock Maiden book
Add to list
  • McElligot's Pool - Imagination runs wild in this Caldecott Honor-winning tale featuring Dr. Seuss’s inimitable voice and hysterical illustrations. The first Seuss title to feature full-color art on every other page, this adventurous picture book tells of Marco-who first imagined an extraordinary parade in And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street-as he daydreams of all the possibilities that await him while he fishes in McElligot’s Pool. Optimistic and exciting, this tale is the perfect bait, and readers young and old will be hooked on this fish-tastic favorite.

  • Mother Cary's Butter Knife - A boy who falls in love with the sea. One in a series of short stories that explore the deeper, darker side of our connection with the natural world. Inspired by ancient folk tales and a love of nature. Be ready to feel a little bit of magic, and perhaps a few shivers down the spine.

  • Henry and Ribsy - This special edition of Henry and Ribsy features the original illustrations by Louis Darling—the first artist to ever render Henry, Ribsy, Ramona, and Beezus—as well as a foreword written by the New York Times bestselling author and illustrator of the Origami Yoda series, Tom Angelberger.    In this humorous and heartfelt novel from Newbery Medal-winning author Beverly Cleary, the bond between a boy and his dog proves unbreakable, as Henry vows to stick up for Ribsy…even if he is a troublemaker! From the first moment Henry found Ribsy, the curious mutt was poking his nose into things he shouldn’t be. Whether terrorizing the garbage man, chasing cats, or gobbling Ramona Quimby’s ice cream cone, Henry’s four-legged pal has walked himself into one problem too many. So when Henry asks his dad if his pup can join them on the big fishing trip, Mr. Huggins agrees, but on one condition: Ribsy must stay out of mischief for two whole months. Henry is confident in his loyal dog—until Ribsy goes overboard with his appetite for chaos…literally!

  • The Rock Maiden - When her fisherman husband fails to come home after a storm at sea, the beautiful maiden Ling Yee is heartbroken. Every morning, she puts her baby on her back and clambers to the top of a cliff looking for any signs of his return. But day after day, she is disappointed. The villagers try to convince her to give up her vigil. “No,” she would say, “He will come home soon.” Tin Hau, the Goddess of the Heavens, takes pity on her grief and turns Ling Yee and her child into stone so that they would mourn no more. The fisherman eventually finds his way home―only to discover that his wife has been transformed into the Rock Maiden. Will the family forever be kept apart? Or will devotion and faithfulness ultimately be rewarded? Find out in this re-envisioning of an old Hong Kong legend by award-winning author Natasha Yim, featuring stunning illustrations by renowned Finnish artist Pirkko Vainio.

Add to list
The Salmon Princess
Written & illustrated by Mindy Dwyer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Loosely based on “Cinderella,” this story is set in Alaska, the fairy godmother is an eagle, and the hero, the son of a cannery owner, finds his true love through her Sitka slipper, a heavy rubber boot she left at the Silver Salmon Festival.

Add to list
Hooked
Written by Tommy Greenwald & illustrated by David McPhail
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

Joe loves fishing. He loves watching the water and looking at the sky, he loves the peacefulness, and he especially loves dreaming about catching the Big One. Joe’s dad does not love fishing. He doesn’t like the waiting, or the worms, or the fact that nothing much happens. But when Joe needs a parental chaperone for an ice-fishing field trip, his dad agrees to go along. And when the waiting turns into talking, exchanging jokes, and sharing hot chocolate, Joe’s dad discovers something unexpected. He doesn’t just like fishing with Joe—he loves it. You could even say he’s hooked.

Add to list
Skyfishing
Written by Gideon Sterer & illustrated by Poly Bernatene
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

“A young girl helps her grandfather adjust to his new home in the city with her family by inventing a fantastical fishing game”—

Add to list
Fishing in the Air
Written by Sharon Creech & illustrated by Chris Raschka
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

We were going on a journey, to a secret place. We’d catch the air! We’d catch the breeze! A father and son set out early one morning in search of a cool, clear river in which to fish. With their lines and bobbers, they cast high into the air catching memories, discoveries, and a bubble of breeze and a sliver of sky and a slice of yellow sun. The first picture book by Sharon Creech, Newbery award-winning author of Walk Two Moons, is a lyrical portrait of the bond between a father and son. Caldecott Honor recipient Chris Raschka’s illustrations shimmer in pools of color and light, making Fishing in the Air a beautiful reminder of the gift of imagination a parent passes on to a child — and a child gladly shares in return. AWARDS: Best Children’s Books 2000 (PW) and Lasting Connections 2001 (Book Links)

Add to list
Down by the River
Written by Andrew Weiner & illustrated by April Chu
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

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.

A River Dream book
Add to list
  • A River Dream - A little boy takes a fantasy trip up the river by his house to fly-fish with his uncle.

Did you enjoy our children's book recommendations? Did you know you can help us improve this list? Check out our Community Handbook and learn how to add tags to books.

Suggested Links