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Marine Life: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about marine life?

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

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 marine life, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Baby Beluga to popular sellers like The Thing About Jellyfish to some of our favorite hidden gems like House for Hermit Crab.

We hope this list of kids books about marine life 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 Marine Life

To the Sea book
#1
To the Sea
Written & illustrated by Cale Atkinson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Sometimes Tim feels invisible at school-until one day, when Tim meets Sam. But Sam isn’t just any new friend: he’s a blue whale, and he can’t find his way home! Returning Sam to the sea is hard work, but Tim is determined to help. After all, it’s not every day you meet a new friend! This picture book about the power of friendship by new talent Cale Atkinson is brought to life by charming, dynamic illustrations.

The Grizzly Bear Who Lost His GRRRRR! book
#2
The Grizzly Bear Who Lost His GRRRRR!
Written & illustrated by Rob Biddulph
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From the award-winning author and illustrator of Blown Away, Rob Biddulph, comes a delightfully hilarious story about a grizzly bear named Fred who loses his GRRRRR. Each year, for as long as the forest has stood, a contest is held for the bears of the wood… Fred is the champion. He’s the best. But being the best takes time and training, especially when it comes to having the loudest growl. Then, one morning, disaster strikes—Fred’s GRRRRR is gone! Oh, no! Will Fred find his GRRRRR and realize that there’s more to life than being a winner?

Off & Away book
#3
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.

The Pout-Pout Fish book
#4
The Pout-Pout Fish
Written by Deborah Diesen & illustrated by Dan Hanna
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

As the pout-pout fish swims along in the ocean, he discovers that being glum and spreading the “dreary wearies” isn’t much fun anymore—especially when his true destiny is revealed!

The Sea Knows book
#5
The Sea Knows
Written by Alan B. Havis and Alice B. McGinty & illustrated by Stephanie Laberis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Dive in and explore the wonders of the ocean and its inhabitants in this lyrical, fact-filled ode to the sea! This beautifully illustrated picture book features extensive nonfiction backmatter for further exploration.

We are young. The sea is old. The sea has secrets to unfold. The sea knows.

In this playful, rhyming celebration of the marine world, readers can explore all of the wondrous things the sea knows. It knows huge whales and small krill; it knows short crabs and tall giant kelp; it knows brightly colored starfish in shallow pools; and in the inky depths it knows the alluring jewel of an anglerfish’s glowing lure.

Discover all of the strange and magnificent underwater creatures in this accessible tribute to the power and mystery of the ocean.

How Long Is a Whale? book
#6
How Long Is a Whale?
Written & illustrated by Alison Limentani
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

10 sea otters are as long as . . . 9 yellowfin tuna, which are as long as . . . 8 California sea lions, which are as long as . . . Have you ever wondered how long a whale is? What about a shark? Or a dolphin? Alison Limentani s extraordinary and original picture book introduces children to a fascinating world of numbers, length, and underwater wildlife.”

The Whale in My Swimming Pool  book
#7
The Whale in My Swimming Pool
Written & illustrated by Joyce Wan
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

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!

Let's Dive: Into the Ocean book
#8
Let's Dive: Into the Ocean
Written by Timothy Knapman & illustrated by Wesley Robins
board book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

Search, find, and swim under the sea with this nonfiction adventure! Dive deep into the ocean in a fun, layered seek-and-find! Visit a colorful coral reef, explore shipwreck, and swim to the deepest parts of the ocean with this nonfiction treasure. Turn the pages and learn all about different ocean habitats as you search for fun surprises on every spread. This interactive undersea adventure will keep you informed and entertained!

Shark Nate-O book
#9
Shark Nate-O
Written by Tara Luebbe and Becky Cattie & illustrated by Daniel Duncan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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!

Lottie & Walter book
#10
Lottie & Walter
Written & illustrated by Anna Walker
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

An original, compelling, and visually stunning treatment of a common childhood predicament: overcoming a fear of the water.

Lottie goes to swim lessons every Saturday, but she never gets in the water. That’s because she is convinced there is a shark in the pool, a shark that wants to eat her and only her. But then Walter appears. Walter likes singing and reading books and bubble baths, and his favorite food is fish sticks, just like Lottie. When Saturday rolls around again, Lottie is no more ready to jump in the pool than she was before. Or is she? Sometimes it just takes a special friend to find the courage that was inside you all along.

Table of Contents
Scroll to books about Marine Life and...

Books About Marine Life and Feelings And Emotions

To the Sea
Written & illustrated by Cale Atkinson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Sometimes Tim feels invisible at school-until one day, when Tim meets Sam. But Sam isn’t just any new friend: he’s a blue whale, and he can’t find his way home! Returning Sam to the sea is hard work, but Tim is determined to help. After all, it’s not every day you meet a new friend! This picture book about the power of friendship by new talent Cale Atkinson is brought to life by charming, dynamic illustrations.

The Pout-Pout Fish
Written by Deborah Diesen & illustrated by Dan Hanna
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

As the pout-pout fish swims along in the ocean, he discovers that being glum and spreading the “dreary wearies” isn’t much fun anymore—especially when his true destiny is revealed!

Shine!
Written by Patrick McDonnell & illustrated by Naoko Stoop
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

A shining new picture book about learning to appreciate the wonders in your world and within yourself, by New York Times bestselling author Patrick McDonnell and Naoko Stoop, creator of Red Knit Cap Girl, a New York Times Best Illustrated book Hoshi the sea star looks up in the sky and sees the stars shining. She wishes that she too could be in the sky amongst the brilliant stars—and as she imagines how much better it would be up in the air, she fails to appreciate the beautiful world that surrounds her underwater. It takes Hoshi’s friends, old and new, to help her realize that her shine comes from within. With gorgeous illustrations depicting colorful underwater life, Shine! teaches about the wonders that can be found inside ourselves. Naoko’s gorgeous use of plywood as the canvas for her work offers the perfect texture and pattern to evoke waves and sea currents in the underwater scenes.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Always Remember - A lyrically told, beautifully illustrated book that brings comfort to children–and adults–who have lost someone they love After Old Turtle swims his last swim and breathes his last breath, and the waves gently take him away, his friends lovingly remember how he impacted each and every one of them. As the sea animals think back on how much better Old Turtle made their lives and their world, they realize that he is not truly gone, because his memory and legacy will last forever. Jago’s gorgeous illustrations accompany Cece Meng’s serene text in a book that will help chidren understand and cope with the death of a loved one.

  2. The Thing About Jellyfish - This stunning debut novel about grief and wonder was an instant New York Times bestseller and captured widespread critical acclaim, including selection as a 2015 National Book Award finalist! After her best friend dies in a drowning accident, Suzy is convinced that the true cause of the tragedy must have been a rare jellyfish sting-things don’t just happen for no reason. Retreating into a silent world of imagination, she crafts a plan to prove her theory—even if it means traveling the globe, alone. Suzy’s achingly heartfelt journey explores life, death, the astonishing wonder of the universe…and the potential for love and hope right next door.

  3. 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!

Books About Marine Life and Imagination And Play

The Whale in My Swimming Pool
Written & illustrated by Joyce Wan
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

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!

Lottie & Walter
Written & illustrated by Anna Walker
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

An original, compelling, and visually stunning treatment of a common childhood predicament: overcoming a fear of the water.

Lottie goes to swim lessons every Saturday, but she never gets in the water. That’s because she is convinced there is a shark in the pool, a shark that wants to eat her and only her. But then Walter appears. Walter likes singing and reading books and bubble baths, and his favorite food is fish sticks, just like Lottie. When Saturday rolls around again, Lottie is no more ready to jump in the pool than she was before. Or is she? Sometimes it just takes a special friend to find the courage that was inside you all along.

Izzy and Frank
Written by Katrina Lehman & illustrated by Sophie Beer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Izzy and Frank spend blue-sky-sunny days and gray-cloud-rainy days roaming and playing by the sea.

But when Izzy has to leave her lighthouse and island life behind to move to the city, she also has to say goodbye to Frank.

The city is crowded and noisy, and Izzy misses the sand and the sea.

Can Izzy find a place for herself in her new home? And will she ever see Frank again?

Honorable Mentions
  1. Also an Octopus - Even the most totally awesome story starts with a little bit of nothing. What happens next is up to you! A delightfully meta picture book that will set imaginations soaring. It begins with an octopus who plays the ukulele. Since this is a story, the octopus has to want something—maybe to travel to faraway galaxies in a totally awesome purple spaceship. Then the octopus sets out to build a spaceship out of soda cans, glue, umbrellas, glitter, and waffles. OK, maybe the octopus needs some help, like from an adorable bunny friend, and maybe that bunny turns out to be . . . a rocket scientist? (Probably not.) But could something even more amazing come to pass? Debut author Maggie Tokuda-Hall, with the help of illustrator Benji Davies, sets up an endearingly funny story, then hands the baton to readers, who will be more than primed to take it away.

  2. 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.

  3. Octopus Alone - Octopus loves living on the busy reef under the sea. From her cozy cave, she can see clown fish, and sea turtles, and little butterflies swimming by. She especially loves watching the seahorses having fun, wiggling and twirling. Sometimes she will play with them, but occasionally Octopus just wants to be alone, somewhere quiet, and not so busy. So one day, she swims far, far beyond the reef and finds another cozy cave, only here she is perfectly, wonderfully alone. It is exactly what she wanted . . . until she’s ready to go back home to be with her friends. As she did in Little Owl’s Night, Divya Srinivasan shows children a wonderful part of the natural world in a very warm-hearted way.

  4. Bath Time! - What makes bath time fun for baby? Bath toys! From parading penguins and splashing seals to frolicking frogs and bathing beavers, these joyful animal toys are ready to play. Join the splashy party in the tub…you may even get wet too!  
    Bright, vibrant illustrations from Christine Battuz match the energy of a baby in the bath as you’re introduced to Eric Walters’s animal alliterations across each page. It’s just good clean fun!

Books About Marine Life and Bullying

The Pout-Pout Fish and the Bully-Bully Shark
Written by Deborah Diesen & illustrated by Dan Hanna
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Mr. Fish finds the courage to speak up for his friends when a shark comes to the park and bullies them.

The Grizzly Bear Who Lost His GRRRRR!
Written & illustrated by Rob Biddulph
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From the award-winning author and illustrator of Blown Away, Rob Biddulph, comes a delightfully hilarious story about a grizzly bear named Fred who loses his GRRRRR. Each year, for as long as the forest has stood, a contest is held for the bears of the wood… Fred is the champion. He’s the best. But being the best takes time and training, especially when it comes to having the loudest growl. Then, one morning, disaster strikes—Fred’s GRRRRR is gone! Oh, no! Will Fred find his GRRRRR and realize that there’s more to life than being a winner?

Peanut Butter and Jellyfish
Written & illustrated by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

From the author of National Book Award finalist Hey, Kiddo.

Peanut Butter and Jellyfish are best of friends and swim up, down, around, and through their ocean home.
Crabby is their neighbor. He is not their best friend.
But when Crabby gets in trouble, will Peanut Butter and Jellyfish come to the rescue?
You bet they will!
From award-winning picture book creator Jarrett J. Krosoczka, this is a funny and touching story of friendships old and new, and about being brave enough to apologize.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Iced Out - Wilfred Walrus and Neville Narwhal are the only kids in Miss Blubber’s class who are not seals. Life is tough being the odd ones out - lunchtimes and football matches and school photos all present challenges to the two outliers. And they don’t even like each other very much! When Betty Beluga joins the class, everything changes. Betty is smart and independent and amazing at football. As a friendship forms, Betty helps the two boys to recognise that being different isn’t always a bad thing! A warm, funny tale about friendship and fitting in that school-aged children are sure to identify with. Isabella Bunnell’s joyous watercolour illustrations are complimented by luxuriant packaging.

  2. Poor Little Guy - What do you do when you’re so tiny that the bigger ocean creatures think you might even taste adorable? An itsy-bitsy, glasses-wearing fish is minding his own business when a playful (and hungry) octopus snatches him right up. Luckily, this poor little guy is not quite as innocent as he seems…and he has a BIG surprise up his sleeve!

Want to see books about bullying?

Books About Marine Life and Boats, Ships And Underwater Vehicles

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 Marine Life and First Concepts

The Sea Knows
Written by Alan B. Havis and Alice B. McGinty & illustrated by Stephanie Laberis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Dive in and explore the wonders of the ocean and its inhabitants in this lyrical, fact-filled ode to the sea! This beautifully illustrated picture book features extensive nonfiction backmatter for further exploration.

We are young. The sea is old. The sea has secrets to unfold. The sea knows.

In this playful, rhyming celebration of the marine world, readers can explore all of the wondrous things the sea knows. It knows huge whales and small krill; it knows short crabs and tall giant kelp; it knows brightly colored starfish in shallow pools; and in the inky depths it knows the alluring jewel of an anglerfish’s glowing lure.

Discover all of the strange and magnificent underwater creatures in this accessible tribute to the power and mystery of the ocean.

1, 2, 3 Sea Creatures
Written & illustrated by Toko Hosoya
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-5

Beautiful, hand-drawn illustrations of sea creatures help teach the 1,2,3s in a fun and unforgettable way. This charming picture book is sure to engage early learners in counting and picture recognition skills until the very last page! The book also comes with a poster displaying the silly sea creatures matched with their corresponding numbers!

Hooray for Fish!
Written & 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.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Octopuses One to Ten - “A fascinating counting journey through the amazing and mysterious world of octopuses”—

  2. Busy Colors - Welcome to an exciting adventure in the deep blue sea with BUSY COLORS. Join your little explorer friends as they travel in their submarine.

    • Little ones will discover and identify a small red fish a baby blue whale and more colorful animal friends!
    • The Clever Wheels series features a sturdy spinning wheel mechanism for toddlers to play as they learn
    • The colorful board pages are bright**busy and playful - the perfect way to keep toddlers engaged**
    • Preschoolers are not only introduced to numbers and shapes they will also develop fine motor skills
    • An ideal 2-in-1 series!

  3. Up & Down - Lift the flaps to take Little Penguin on a journey filled with ups and downs. Little Penguin misses his friend and decides it’s time to visit. Leaping off his iceberg, he embarks on a journey, facing ups and downs and ins and outs until the pair are finally reunited. Young readers will have fun getting hands-on with this interactive book of lift-the-flap opposites, presented in an upmarket format that perfectly showcases Britta Teckentrup’s color-rich artwork.

  4. Oscar the Octopus - Join Oscar as he introduces preschoolers to the months of the year, texture, colors, and fascinating sea creatures. The cleverly textured pages will tickle fingertips and funny bones while revealing clues to what Oscar will catch next from a shiny friend to a surprise pop-up ending!

Books About Marine Life and Environmental Science And Ecosystems

Let's Dive: Into the Ocean
Written by Timothy Knapman & illustrated by Wesley Robins
board book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

Search, find, and swim under the sea with this nonfiction adventure! Dive deep into the ocean in a fun, layered seek-and-find! Visit a colorful coral reef, explore shipwreck, and swim to the deepest parts of the ocean with this nonfiction treasure. Turn the pages and learn all about different ocean habitats as you search for fun surprises on every spread. This interactive undersea adventure will keep you informed and entertained!

The Ocean
Written & illustrated by Miranda Krestovnikoff
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

A highly designed and comprehensive look at the watery wonders of the world.

Oceans cover more than 70% of the earth’s surface, and so much science is lurking just underneath! This survey-style book is packed with facts and anecdotes about the creatures and plants that populate these waters—and also features a critical look at why, now more than ever, people need to work to protect them. Filled with fascinating facts and stunning artwork, this flippable nonfiction book has an extra-large trim size and is perfect for science lovers, environmentalists, and child and adult fans of gift books like Maps, The Fifty States, and Animalium.

Nerdy Babies: Ocean
Written & illustrated by Emmy Kastner
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

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!

Honorable Mentions
  1. Baby Oceanographer - Baby Scientist is an adorable board book series that brings fun, accessible science concepts to baby’s world using simple language, recognizable settings, and vibrant art. Read them all with your baby scientist! Baby Oceanographer explores the oceans. With his snorkel and mask, he looks at the animals and plants under the sea. What creatures are found deep down? Are waves in the ocean like waves in the bathtub? Find out with Baby Oceanographer! Don’t miss the other books in this series, including Baby Astronaut!

  2. Down, Down, Down - Provides a top-to-bottom look at the ocean, from birds and waves to thermal vents and ooze.

  3. Sea Creatures - FIRST EXPLORERS: With cool things to push, pull, and slide on the cover and every spread for interactive fun, this chunky board book gives children their first enticing taste of nonfiction! Swim through coral reefs, rock pools, and deep blue seas to see what lives in and near the ocean! As kids push, pull, and slide their way through the pages, they’ll encounter some amazing creatures: scuttling crabs, tentacled jellyfish, slippery eels, and penguins, seals, and giant whales that like icy-cold water. From pretty starfish to fierce sharks and octopuses, each one is fantastic.

Books About Marine Life and Whales

How Long Is a Whale?
Written & illustrated by Alison Limentani
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

10 sea otters are as long as . . . 9 yellowfin tuna, which are as long as . . . 8 California sea lions, which are as long as . . . Have you ever wondered how long a whale is? What about a shark? Or a dolphin? Alison Limentani s extraordinary and original picture book introduces children to a fascinating world of numbers, length, and underwater wildlife.”

Squishy Squashy Whale
Written & illustrated by Jenny Copper
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Squish and squash the whale as you read the rhyming story and discover all the things that Whale loves to do. Perfect for interactive play, for shared reading or for reading alone, these delightful, touchable books are full of fun!

Ocean
Written by Heather Alexander & 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.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Baby Beluga - Presents the illustrated text to the song about the little white whale who swims wild and free.

  2. A Book about Whales - Acting as a first book of whales, A Book About Whales teaches young readers everything they need to know about the largest mammals on earth: how they have evolved over millions of years, what and how they eat, their migration patterns, and more! Andrea Antinori’s whimsical black-and-white illustrations bring their underwater world to life. The book discusses a variety of whales one by one so readers learn to tell the differences between a blue whale and a humpback whale, among others, and what makes each of these whales unique. Packed with facts and playful in tone, this book is a must-have for young and curious nature lovers. It includes a bibliography and index.

  3. Whaley Whale - Theme: Hide-and-Seek. It’s hard to be discreet when you’re a whale (. . . or a preschooler). With relatable obviousness, Whaley Whale engages in a lighthearted game of hide-and-seek with the reader. Is she on the table? . . . Is she behind the door? This methodical progression builds an anticipation that delights young readers, while the unmistakable foreshadowing keeps parents giggling along.

Books About Marine Life and Family

Shark Nate-O
Written by Tara Luebbe and Becky Cattie & illustrated by Daniel Duncan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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!

The Storm Whale in Winter
Written & illustrated by Benji Davies
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In this sequel to The Storm Whale, the boy, Noi, is caught in a storm at sea and his whale friend comes to his rescue. When Noi’s dad sails out on one last fishing trip before winter, Noi waits for him at home. But as the storm worsens and his dad does not return, Noi decides to go looking for his dad. But the storm is powerful and dangerous, and soon Noi, too, is stuck in the icy sea. When it seems that all hope is lost, a friend comes to help Noi and his father. Poignant and evocative, this is a beautiful celebration of friendship and family, and the special bond between a father and son.

A Dolphin's Wish
Written by Trevor McCurdie & illustrated by Cinzia Battistel
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Dive under the sea with a family of dolphins and discover the dangers of plastic pollution.

Every year, huge amounts of plastic end up in our oceans. Luckily, there’s something we can do to change that! Follow along as Daddy Dolphin and his son show readers what we’re doing wrong, then be inspired to take action and make a difference!

Featuring charming rhymes, bold illustrations, and educational back matter, this beautiful ocean tale offers readers a peek into life under the sea and is perfect for anyone who cares about our planet.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Together - This little sea otter loves spending time with its parent — learning new things, playing together, or even just holding hands. Every day is special when they are together.

  2. Here Comes Ocean - Discover the wonder of a day at the beach in this exuberant, rhyming picture book from the author of I Heart You and Sometimes Rain. Grab a big bucket, your best pup pal, and a whole lot of imagination, and get ready for a day at the beach! There’s endless fun to be had chasing the waves and countless treasures waiting to be discovered—first a sand dollar, then a sandpiper feather, even a sneaky little crab. What surprises will the ocean reveal next? This sandy, salty, seek-and-find picture book is perfect for families who love the water, kids who love collecting, and ocean enthusiasts of all ages.

  3. The Turning - Does he belong to the land or to the sea? Readers who loved Kelly Barnhill’s The Girl Who Drank the Moon and Pam Muñoz Ryan’s Echo will be transported to the place where the water and land meet in this exquisitely crafted coming-of-age tale about a selkie boy. Aran has never truly fit in with his selkie clan. He was born in his human form, without a pelt to transform him into a sleek, strong seal. Each day he waits, left behind while his selkie family explores the deep ocean. What if his pelt never comes? Does the Moon even see him? Is he putting his clan at risk? When his mother undertakes a journey to the far north to seek help, Aran is left in the care of a reclusive human woman on remote Spindle Island. Life on land is full of more wonders—and more dangers—than Aran could have ever imagined. Soon Aran will be forced to decide: will he fight for his place on land, or return to his home in the sea?

  4. Octopus Stew - What do you do when an octopus captures Grandma? Put on your superhero cape and rescue her! Two stories in one from award-winning Afro-Latino artist Eric Velasquez. The octopus Grandma is cooking has grown to titanic proportions. “¡Tenga cuidado!” Ramsey shouts. “Be careful!” But it’s too late. The octopus traps Grandma! Ramsey uses both art and intellect to free his beloved abuela. Then the story takes a surprising twist. And it can be read two ways. Open the fold-out pages to find Ramsey telling a story to his family. Keep the pages folded, and Ramsey’s octopus adventure is real. This beautifully illustrated picture book, drawn from the author’s childhood memories, celebrates creativity, heroism, family, grandmothers, grandsons, Puerto Rican food, Latinx culture and more.

Want to see books about family?

Books About Marine Life and The Beach

On My Beach
Written & illustrated by Sara Gillingham
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Turn the colorful die-cut pages of this irresistible board book to discover just what makes little crab’s beach so cozy. Is it the soft sand? Is it the salty seaweed? No, it’s his loving family! Bright pictures, a sweet reassuring message, unique layered pages, and an adorable finger puppet combine to create interactive reading and playtime fun!

Who's Hiding at the Beach?
Written by Nosy Crow & illustrated by Katharine McEwen and Nosy Crow
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

There are lots of creatures at the beach. Where are they hiding and what are they doing? In this innovative lift-the-flap book, little ones can pore over the beautiful collaged pages and explore under rocks, shells, and seaweed to find out lots of interesting facts about seaside wildlife. This is the perfect introduction to the outdoors.

The Storm Whale
Written & illustrated by Benji Davies
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Every day, in a house by the sea, a little boy watches his father leave for work. One night, a storm washes a small whale onto the beach. The boy discovers the whale is a good listener, and the father discovers the boy is lonely. Together, they return the whale to the sea, and the boy realizes his father can be a good listener, too. Full color.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Sea Star Wishes - Selected as a Children’s Poet Laureate Monthly Book Pick, Sea Star Wishes captures the varied and colorful world of our beautiful coastal shores. Discover the wonders of the sea and enjoy a day at the beach in playful and imaginative poetry and illustrations. In these coastal poems for kids, children meet sea lions, starfish, jellyfish, and other animals in the ocean, and dream about sandcastles and other beach activities. This fun, lyrical children’s poetry collection by award-winning children’s singer and songwriter Eric Ode features lively illustrations by Washington State Book Award recipient Erik Brooks.

  2. Sam Wu Is Not Afraid of Sharks - On a class trip to the aquarium, certified ghost hunter Sam Wu encounters something even scarier than ghosts: a giant shark who TOTALLY tries to eat him. Sam has no intentions of taking any more chances with these people-eating creatures. But then his classmates plan a birthday bash . . . on the BEACH! Can Sam overcome his fear of becoming fish food before he misses out on the fun?

  3. If Wendell Had a Walrus - A boy sets out to find a walrus only to make a new friend in this heartwarming, funny picture book by Lori Mortensen with art byMatt Phelan, creator of the New YorkTimes bestseller Snow White.Wendell is convinced that if he ever found a walrus, the twoof them would be the best of friends—they’d tell tons of jokes, ride bikes, and have the time of their lives. As Wendell begins his search, he soon realizes that walruses aren’t easy to come by. But looking for a walrus turns out to be its own adventure, one with an unexpected result.Matt Phelan’s gentle watercolor art complements Lori Mortensen’s charming story about the joy of finding new friends in this picture book perfect for fans of Strictly NoElephants by Lisa Mantchev and Billy Twitters and His BlueWhale Problem by Mac Barnett and Adam Rex.

  4. 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?

Want to see books about the beach?

Books About Marine Life and Nature

The Snail And the Whale
Written by Julia Donaldson & illustrated by Axel Scheffler
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

When a tiny snail meets a humpback whale, the two travel together to far-off lands. It’s a dream come true for the snail, who has never left home before. But when the whale swims too close to shore, will the snail be able to save her new friend?

Hello, World! Ocean Life
Written & illustrated by Jill McDonald
board 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
Written & 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. Aquarium - A girl ventures to the water’s edge, dreaming of a new friend. And, just like that, a beguiling red fish leaps into her life. But is friendship a sea these two can navigate together? From debut Argentinian author-illustrator Cynthia Alonso comes a wordless picture book about the timeless beauty of nature, the transcendent power of connection, and the importance of letting go.

  2. The Boy and the Whale - 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.

  3. To Live on an Island - When you live on an island, things are different. Sometimes harder. Sometimes sweeter. Sometimes quieter. Experience a day in the life of a child growing up on a Pacific Northwest island in this beautifully written and illustrated picture book. Off the coast of Washington State rise hundreds of small islands. Some are lush and green. Others are rugged and rocky. And each has its own personality. Many islands are home mostly to deer, but quite a few have farms and fields, schools and stores, and people. What is it like to live on an island? Award-winning author Emma Bland Smith explores what it’s like to grow up on an island in the Pacific Northwest from the perspective of a young boy, who wakes up to the sound of a ferry horn, hikes through the woods to get to his bus stop, drops crab pots for dinner, and falls asleep counting orcas instead of sheep. This book celebrates what’s special about island culture and includes a brief nonfiction element on each spread that relates to the narrative.

  4. 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.

Books About Marine Life and Mermaids

Oliver and the Seawigs
Written by Phillip Reave & illustrated by Sarah McIntyre and Phillip Reave
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Get ready for moving islands! Mischievous monkeys! And a splashy adventure with illustrations on almost every page.

When Oliver’s explorer parents go missing, he sets sail to find them with some new friends. There’s a grumpy albatross, a nearsighted mermaid . . . even a living island! But the high seas are more exciting and strange than Oliver could have imagined. Can he and his crew spar with sarcastic seaweed, outrun an army of sea monkeys, win a fabulous maritime fashion contest, and defeat a wicked sea captain in time to save Mom and Dad?

For early chapter book readers who are ready for something longer, the Not-So-Impossible Tales are packed with silly humor, action, and larger-than-life fun.

Books Vs. Looks
Written by Debbie Dadey & illustrated by Tatevik Avakyan
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Kiki wants to start a book club, but Pearl tries to steal the spotlight with a rival fashion club in this sparkling Mermaid Tales adventure. Kiki misses her brother, Yuta, who lives on the other side of the ocean. To help keep in touch, the two of them start a book club, and Kiki decides it would be fun to expand the club for all of Trident Academy. But Pearl doesn’t want anything to do with a boring book club. Instead, she decides she’s going to make the best club ever: a fashion club! Pearl will do anything to make sure the other students join her club instead of Kiki’s, and offers free food, candy, and even prizes to draw them in. But will it be enough? Who will win the battle of the clubs?

The Polar Bear Express (Mermaid Tales)
Written by Debbie Dadey & illustrated by Tatevik Avakyan
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

A lost baby polar bear shares the spotlight with a popular boy band in this Mermaid Tales adventure. Kiki Coral is thrilled beyond words when she meets a brand-new friend: a baby polar bear! The problem is, the little bear, whose name is Nestor, has floated away from home on a patch of ice and now he’s lost, hungry, and all alone! Kiki, Shelly, and Echo want to send Nestor back to his home on the Manta Ray Express, but a one-way ticket costs a whopping four jewels! That’s a fortune! Not to mention, all anyone at school can talk about is the Rays, who are performing a concert in Poseidon. Kiki loves the cute boy band as much as the next mergirl, but what about Nestor? Isn’t saving him more important than a concert? Can Kiki and her friends find a fun way to send their new furry friend home—and hang out with the Rays in the process?

Honorable Mentions
  1. Goodnight Lagoon - Read along to this sweet, playful parody of Goodnight Moon, featuring pirates, a narwhal, a sleepy mermaid, and creatures of the ocean! In the great green lagoon There was a jellyfish And a gold doubloon And a shadow of—- A pirate searching on the dune Join the mermaid as she says goodnight to the lagoon—to the pirate and the dune, to the whales and sails, to the seashells and the ship bells. To each, the little mermaid says goodnight. Children will love this endearing, whimsical parody that’s full of lovable sea creatures. With its rhyming text and sweet, soothing illustrations, this a perfect book for saying goodnight.

  2. Flower Girl Dreams - Unable to comprehend a beloved librarian’s imminent marriage to a cafeteria worker who seems to be perpetually grouchy, Pearl becomes jealous when Echo, Shelly, and Kiki are all asked to be flower girls.

  3. 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.

  4. The Mermaid - A striking under-the-sea version of Goldilocks with bonus storytelling in the borders, as only Jan Brett could create. When Kiniro, a young mermaid, comes upon a gorgeous house made of seashells and coral, she is so curious that she goes inside. She’s thrilled to find a just-right breakfast, pretty little chair, and, best of all, a comfy bed that rocks in the current. But when the Octopus family returns home, they are not happy to find that someone has been eating their food and breaking their things. Baby has the biggest shock when she finds the mermaid asleep in her bed! Luckily, shock turns to happiness when Kiniro gives her a thoughtful gift before escaping from the twenty-four arms coming her way. Vibrant, intricate scenes of an underwater paradise transport this classic fairy tale to a magical setting inspired by the seas off the coast of Okinawa, Japan. Along with fun details that enrich the storytelling in Jan Brett’s trademark borders, this visual treat will enchant readers of all ages.

Want to see books about mermaids?

Books About Marine Life and Social Themes

Don't Worry, Little Crab
Written & illustrated by Chris Haughton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

From the award-winning creator of Shh! We Have a Plan comes a vibrantly colorful story about mustering the courage to try something new.

Little Crab and Very Big Crab live in a tiny rock pool near the sea. Today they’re going for a dip in the big ocean. “This is going to be so great,” says Little Crab, splish-splashing and squelch-squelching along, all the way to the very edge. Then comes a first glance down at the waves. WHOOSH! Maybe it’s better if they don’t go in? With vivid colors, bold shapes, and his trademark visual humor, Chris Haughton shows that sometimes a gentle “don’t worry, I’m here” can keep tentative little crabs sidestepping ahead — and help them discover the brilliant worlds that await when they take the plunge.

Swimmy
Written & 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.

Rainbow Fish and the Big Blue Whale
Written & 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.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Lloyd Finds His Whalesong - Lloyd can’t sing. The rhythm of the whalesong guides the whales through danger and connects them to each other. But Lloyd is too quiet to join in. If he can’t sing, how can he be a part of the pod? Then one day he finds a magical, mysterious object with supersonic seaweed strings! This could be his chance to be part of the song. He practices and practices, nervously preparing to show the other whales. But before he can perform for them, a disruptive, noisy boat approaches and scatters the pod. Lloyd’s powerful new instrument may be the only thing that can reunite them―if he can find the courage to share his unique song. This inspiring and whimsical tale about celebrating your differences and finding your voice is complemented by bright and endearing illustrations that sparkle with quiet magic.

  2. Whale in a Fishbowl - Wednesday is a whale who lives in a fishbowl smack dab in the middle of a city—it’s the only home she’s ever known. Cars whizz around her and people hurry past; even the sun and moon circle above. But if she leaps high enough out of her bowl, Wednesday can see it: a calm bit of blue off in the distance. When a girl in a paisley dress tells Wednesday “You belong in the sea,” the whale starts to wonder, what is the sea? Readers will cheer—and get all choked up— when, one day, Wednesday leaps higher than ever before and sets in motion a breathtaking chain of events that will carry her to her rightful home. Touching, and ultimately uplifting, here is a story about a lonely creature longing to be free—and longing to find someone just like her.

  3. Clark the Shark Dares to Share - Join Clark the Shark as he discovers the true meaning of sharing and caring in this colorful read-aloud picture book written by Bruce Hale and illustrated by Guy Francis. In Clark the Shark Dares to Share, our favorite boisterous shark learns that sharing is caring—but sometimes the lesson is a little confusing. Clark shares his funky shark dance with the class, but Mrs. Inkydink tells him he has to wait his turn. Clark shares his reef-hockey skills, but his teammates would rather Clark share the puck. With help from his friends and with his trademark lively rhythms and rhymes, Clark learns how to share in this follow-up to Clark the Shark.

  4. Seagull & Sea Dragon - Debut author-illustrator Sydni Gregg explores the unlikely friendship between a seagull and sea dragon—and how their two worlds might be more similar than they ever could imagine. Meet Seagull. Meet Sea Dragon. One comes from the sky. One comes from the sea. And both are scared of the other’s world. But when they meet, they discover they might have more in common than they ever imagined. Debut author-illustrator Sydni Gregg beautifully illustrates the idea that sometimes new friends can come from unlikely and unexpected places.

Books About Marine Life and Octopuses

Squid and Octopus
Written & illustrated by Tao Nyeu
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Four separate stories celebrate the many-legged friendship between Squid and Octopus as they disagree over how to stay warm, encourage each other, and fret over the contents of a fortune cookie.

The Octopuppy
Written & illustrated by Martin McKenna
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Can the OCTOPUPPY be the perfect pet?

Edgar wanted a dog. Instead, he got an octopus named Jarvis.

Jarvis is brilliant and does his best to act like the dog Edgar wants, but nothing he does is good enough to please Edgar. Ultimately, Edgar recognizes that while Jarvis might not be the dog he wanted, he is special in his own endearing way.

Love, Agnes: Postcards from an Octopus
Written by Irene Latham & illustrated by Thea Baker
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-8

Agnes has a beak that can crush bones and arms and stretch wide as a car―but that doesn’t make her a monster! After she comes across a postcard, Agnes, a giant Pacific octopus, strikes up a correspondence with various other creatures below―and above―the waves. Readers will delight in this unlikely introduction to the octopus life cycle.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Hello My Name Is . . . - A new creature is added to the deep-sea tank, but what will they call this flapjack octopus? Includes an author’s note on Adorabilis and its name.

  2. Inky the Octopus - Out of this tank, I must be free.I must explore the open sea!Inky the octopus is bored with aquarium life and wants to escape to the ocean! But just how can an octopus in a tank get to the open seas? Find out in Inky the Octopus, the only tale of the mischievous octopus to be officially endorsed by the National Aquarium of New Zealand.

  3. Follow Me! - When Octopus Mum takes her eight children on a special trip under the sea, the little octopuses blow bubbles with parrot fish, dance with shrimp, and play hide-and-seek with angelfish, eventually arriving safely at a surprise destination.

  4. Inky's Great Escape - Inky, worn out from his exciting life in the ocean, has retired to the aquarium. There he quietly regales his tank mate Blotchy with tales of his past adventures. Then Blotchy dares Inky to make one more daring escape. Will Inky succeed?

Books About Marine Life and Marine Biology

Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean's Most Fearless Scientist
Written by Jess Keating & illustrated by Marta Alvarez Miguens and Jess Keating
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A beautifully illustrated biography of Eugenie Clark, a scientist as impressive as the sharks she studied At nine years old, Eugenie Clark developed an unexpected passion for sharks after a visit to the Battery Park Aquarium in New York City. At the time, sharks were seen as mindless killing machines, but Eugenie knew better and set out to prove it. Despite many obstacles in her path, including trying to break into the scientific field as a woman, Eugenie was able to study the creatures she loved so much. From her many discoveries to the shark-related myths she dispelled, Eugenie’s wide scientific contributions led to the well-earned nickname “Shark Lady,” as she become a fixture in the world of ocean conservation and shark research.

Sea Creatures from the Sky
Written & illustrated by Ricardo Cortes
picture book
Recommend Ages: 1-7

Ricardo Cortés’s stunning seascapes follow the story of a shark that has a story to share about creatures who live above the ocean. At its surface, our shark encounters strange-looking creatures who resemble nice, caring marine biologists. But after they release it back into the ocean, the shark cannot find one friend to believe its tale. Filled with humor and warmth, this book will charm children and parents alike.

Way Down Below Deep
Written by Nancy Raines Day & illustrated by David Sheldon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

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. Race to the Bottom of the Sea - Can a clever young inventor uncover a ruthless pirate’s heart of gold? Thrilling sea adventure takes on a hint of steampunk in the second book by the author of the acclaimed Hour of the Bees. When her parents, the great marine scientists Dr. and Dr. Quail, are killed in a tragic accident, eleven-year-old Fidelia Quail is racked by grief — and guilt. It was a submarine of Fidelia’s invention that her parents were in when they died, and it was she who pressed them to stay out longer when the raging Undertow was looming. But Fidelia is forced out of her mourning when she’s kidnapped by Merrick the Monstrous, a pirate whose list of treasons stretches longer than a ribbon eel. Her task? Use her marine know-how to retrieve his treasure, lost on the ocean floor. But as Fidelia and the pirates close in on the prize, with the navy hot on their heels, she realizes that Merrick doesn’t expect to live long enough to enjoy his loot. Could something other than black-hearted greed be driving him? Will Fidelia be able to master the perils of the ocean without her parents — and piece together the mystery of Merrick the Monstrous before it’s too late?

  3. 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.

  4. How to Spy on a Shark - Spend a day at sea tracking sharks—with the help of a robot! Join a team of marine biologists as they head out in their boat to study mako sharks. Simple, entertaining text and bright, accurate illustrations bring science and technology to life, and additional pages of facts about sharks follow the story. This book is bound to make a splash with young minds!

Books About Marine Life and Sharks

Little Shark: Finger Puppet Book
Written & illustrated by ImageBooks and 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.

Shark in the Dark
Written by Peter Bently & illustrated by Ben Cort
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

The shark has been lurking in the deep, dark sea, searching for a fishy snack. He’s big and he’s mean and he’s always hungry. Tired of fleeing the shark, the other seas creatures come up with a plan. If they all work together it might be possible to teach the shark a lesson he’ll never forget. With a lively rhyming text; bright, expressive illustrations; and a playful die-cut cover, this is one shark’s tale that will be a hit either at story hour . . . or feeding time.

Sharkee & the Teddy Bear
Written & illustrated by Ripley Publishing
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

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”! A teddy bear has fallen into the ocean, but there were witnesses. And they want the teddy bear. Join Sharkee and his sassy sidekick as they search for the bear, stopping to ask all sorts of marine animals along the way with varying degrees of silliness. Told from Sharkee’s point of view, this bubbly tail will have young readers giggling at Sharkee’s hilarious encounters and parents entertained by the adorable ending. Will Sharkee ever find the teddy bear? There’s only one way to find out!

Honorable Mentions
  1. Shark Dog and the School Trip Rescue! - Splash! It’s a shark! Woof! No wait, it’s a dog! Hey! It’s Shark Dog: a one-of-a-kind pet! And this time, he’s joining Ms. Ablett’s class on their school trip. For Shark Dog, a trip to the woods means: Jumping in a pond full of frogs! Frolicking in mud! And shaking off mud! The great outdoors is loads of fun and nothing short of an adventure for a pet like Shark Dog. But the muddy fun stops when there’s a loud cry coming from the woods. An animal is in trouble, and it’s up to Shark Dog to save the day! FOLLOW THAT SHARK DOG! From author-illustrator Ged Adamson, Shark Dog and the School Trip Rescue! is the perfect back-to-school book for fans of such favorites as Hello, My Name Is Octicorn, Not Quite Narwhal, and The Adventures of Beekle.

  2. Long Fin Silver - Harry Hammer looks for the lost treasure of Long Fin Silver, the greatest pirate of the deep seas, in this ninth Shark School (mis)adventure. Harry Hammer can’t believe his luck! He and his family are going on vacation to Treasure Reef, home of The Lost Treasure of that dastardly, long-ago pirate Long Fin Silver. Legend has it that Long Fin buried the Black Blood Pearl, the most valuable and beautiful gem in the history of the ocean. Harry and his pesky cousin Harvey are on the hunt for treasure, but they best beware of where they look, as they’re about to come fin-to-fin with the spooky spirit of Long Fin Silver himself!

  3. How to Survive as a Shark - Ahoy, me mateys! Upset your Mom swam away after you were born? Cry me an ocean. You’ve got ME to show you the ropes! Well, at least until I get a craving for baby shark. Swim along and I’ll teach you how to hunt using all six senses (a whole sense more than a human), why you can NEVER stop moving (blimey, no - not even to sleep!), and what your most dangerous threat is (here’s a hint: those sneaky landlubbers don’t even live in our waters!). Aye, me hearties, learning How to Survive as a Shark is not as easy as it sounds! How to Survive as a Shark provides a unique take on fish science that will entertain and educate in and out of the classroom. Full of opportunities for extended learning, this book includes fun facts hidden throughout the hilarious illustrated story – and after, a glossary of important terms and some real photos of great white sharks. If you’ve ever wondered how to think and swim like a shark, and you like to laugh while you learn, this book is for you!

  4. 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?!

Books About Marine Life and The Environment

Stella Diaz Never Gives Up
Written & illustrated by Angela Dominguez
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

From award-winning author Angela Dominguez, comes the novel Stella Diaz Never Gives Up, a novel about a shy Mexican-American girl who becomes an environmental activist and makes a difference in her community. Stella gets a big surprise when her mom plans a trip to visit their family in Mexico! Stella loves marine animals, and she can’t wait to see the ocean for the first time . . . until she arrives and learns that the sea and its life forms are in danger due to pollution. Stella wants to save the ocean, but she knows she can’t do it alone. It’s going to take a lot of work and help from old and new friends to make a difference, but Stella Díaz never gives up! This is the second middle-grade novel from award-winning picture book author and illustrator Angela Dominguez. Based on the author’s experiences growing up Mexican-American, this infectiously charming character comes to life through relatable story-telling including simple Spanish vocabulary and adorable black-and-white art throughout.

The Mess That We Made
Written by Michelle Lord & illustrated by Julia Blattman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

The Mess That We Made explores the environmental impact of trash and plastic on the ocean and marine life, and it inspires kids to do their part to combat pollution. Simple, rhythmic wording builds to a crescendo (“This is the mess that we made. These are the fish that swim in the mess that we made.”) and the vibrant digital artwork captures the disaster that is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Children can imagine themselves as one of the four multi-ethnic occupants of the little boat surrounded by swirling plastic in the middle of the ocean, witnessing the cycle of destruction and the harm it causes to plants, animals, and humans. The first half of the book portrays the growing magnitude of the issue, and the second half rallies children and adults to make the necessary changes to save our oceans, before it is too late. Facts about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, ocean pollution, and how kids can help are included in the back matter.

A Whale of a Time: A Bindi Irwin Adventure
Written by Chris Kunz and Bindi Irwin
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

A fast-paced adventure series featuring the Jungle Girl herself! The stories are inspired and co-created by Bindi Irwin, daughter of the iconic wildlife expert Steve Irwin. The series features the characters of Bindi, her brother Robert, mother Terri, and the Australia Zoo.

Bindi takes a pair of troublesome twins on a thrilling whale-watching trip. It’s going great until one of the twins spots a bright flare in the sky. They race to the scene and find a crashed boat!

Can Bindi help stop the boat from spilling oil and save the nearby sea creatures from danger?

Honorable Mentions
  1. Coral - 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.

  2. Storm Whale - A captivating and beautifully illustrated story about three sisters who nd a stranded whale on the beach. Bleak was the day and the wind whipped down when I and my sisters walked to town . . . With a powerful, poetic text, wonderful to read aloud, and illustrations full of life and movement, this picture book about three sisters finding a stranded whale celebrates the majesty and vulnerability of nature and our place in it.

  3. 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.

  4. Song of the Dolphin Boy - Finn has always been different and in the tiny Scottish fishing village of Stromhead, he sticks out like a sore thumb. One day he dives into the sea and finds that, swimming with the dolphins, feels completely like home. But his new friends are in danger of being injured by the rubbish that floats out into the water and now a supermarket is going to release thousands of balloons that could drift out to sea and cause even more damage. Desperate to help the dolphins, Finn goes to the Lighthouse Crew, a group of kids who have always left Finn out. Will they be able to set aside their differences to save the dolphins? And what will Finn discover about his past along the way?

Books About Marine Life and Ecology

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.

A First Book of the Sea
Written by Nicola Davies & illustrated by Emily Sutton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

In a remarkable collaboration, Nicola Davies and Emily Sutton celebrate the sea in all its changing moods — and the place it holds in our hearts and minds. Ours is a blue planet. The oceans cover more than two-thirds of its surface and constantly calls to us to play, explore, and dream. Our fascination with the sea is as endless as our means of enjoying it — whether building sand castles, navigating by the stars, or observing strange and beautiful marine creatures. In a volume brimming with information, Nicola Davies and Emily Sutton capture the magic and majesty of the ocean with stunning words and pictures. Poems about manta rays, flying fish, and humpback whales mingle with verses about harbors, storms, and pearl divers. Glimpses of life in the Arctic and Antarctic Oceans flow into spreads about tropical islands, coral reefs, and ancient shipwrecks on the seabed. Teeming with colorful details, this treasure trove of knowledge will be pored over by adults and children alike, and its exploration of the vast mysteries of the sea will captivate readers for years to come.

The Sea Book
Written & illustrated by Charlotte Milner
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

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.

Honorable Mentions
  1. 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.

  2. Seagrass Dreams - Learn to count as you discover a host of marine animals that make their home in seagrass. Seagrass Dreams is a unique counting book and introduction to marine life that stars animals who make their home in seagrass. While learning to count from 1 to 11, meet a host of marine animals, such as the great barracuda, yellow stingray, bucktooth parrotfish, and chocolate chip sea star. Find out each animal’s name, scientific name, natural habitat, and more! Seagrass Dreams features gorgeous illustrations, adding a colorful and engaging element to this delightful book. Seagrass Dreams closes with a list of the common species of seagrass, their scientific names, and where each can be found.

  3. Coral Reefs (New & Updated Edition) - 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.

  4. Ocean Emporium - With a nod to the Victorian-era fascination with natural history collections and drawings, young readers will be awed by this compendium of ocean creatures and will learn how creatures great and small are interconnected in this mysterious ecosystem. From plankton and krill, to corals and crabs, to sea dragons and squids and swordfish and more! The oceans are teeming with life! Find out fascinating facts about these animals and how they survive deep beneath the waves.

Want to see books about ecology?

Books About Marine Life and Explorers

Inky's Amazing Escape
Written by Sy Montgomery & illustrated by Amy Schimler-Safford
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Learn all about Inky the Octopus, an international sensation known for escaping from the New Zealand aquarium in April 2016, in this adorable picture book from National Book Award nominee and octopus lover Sy Montgomery. Inky had been at the New Zealand aquarium since 2014 after being taken in by a fisherman who found him at sea. Inky had been getting used to his new environment, but the staff quickly figured out that he had to be kept amused or he would get bored. Then one night in 2016 Inky, about the size of a basketball, decided he’d had enough. He slithered eight feet across the floor and down a drainpipe more than 160 feet long to his home in the sea. Acclaimed author Sy Montogmery reminds readers that Inky didn’t escape—but instead, like the curious animal he is, wanted to explore the rest of the vast ocean he called his home.

Little Explorers: Under the Sea
Written & illustrated by Little Bee Books
board book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Introducing the next book in the LITTLE EXPLORERS series, an interactive nonfiction series for curious youngsters. With more than 30 flaps, UNDER THE SEA provides little ones with hands-on fun! UNDER THE SEA is a lively introduction to all types of sea creatures, where children can lift the flaps to learn about all types of amazing animals and the environment they live in. Young readers will be amazed as they find out all about the coral reef, open ocean, endangered animals, shipwrecks, and much much more! This book features over 30 sturdy flaps to lift, along with charming, kid-friendly artwork that introduces new concepts and vocabulary in a simple and accessible way.

Great White Shark Adventure
Written by James O. Fraioli and Fabien Cousteau & illustrated by Joe St.Pierre
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Two young explorers join Fabien Cousteau and his team to get up close and personal with great white sharks in this start to a series of graphic adventure novels.

Junior explorers Bella and Marcus join famed explorer Fabien Cousteau and his research team as they embark on an ocean journey off the coast of South Africa, where the world’s largest concentrations of great white sharks are found. Their mission is to investigate a sighting of a massive white shark, and tag it so they can track and protect it. Along the way, they’ll encounter whales, seals, dolphins, penguins, and a colorful array of other marine life. They’ll also enter a shark cage and come face to face with these powerful creatures.

Dramatic, graphic illustrations and a compelling story help young readers discover tons of facts about sharks and other marine creatures. Children will also learn the many damaging myths about sharks, why they are so misunderstood, and what is being done to protect them from further exploitation and possible extinction.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Island in the Salish Sea - This gorgeously illustrated picture book is a celebration of summer vacation and West Coast island life. Every day is different on Gran’s island in the Salish Sea as granddaughter climbs big-leaf maples, eats blackberries, explores tide pools and sandstone caves and examines ancient middens and petroglyphs. She and Gran watch harbor seals sunning themselves and Gran’s neighbor carving an eagle out of a piece of cedar while drinking fresh nettle tea. And on her way home, our young narrator sees a pod of orcas, breaching,tail lobbing and spy-hopping as she says goodbye to the island for another summer.

  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!

Want to see books about explorers?

Books About Marine Life and Fish

Hello, Ocean Friends
Written by & illustrated by Violet Lemay
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-4

A friendly narrator greets ten ocean creatures, in a book featuring high-contrast black-and-white illustrations.

The Marine Team
Written & illustrated by Madeline Rogers
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Teach your children about our aquatic friends with this fun and educational book, part of a series that explores the natural world. The series has three existing titles: The Safari Set, The Polar Pack and The Jungle Crew, and two new titles exploring birds and forest animals: The Sky Guys and The Forest Folk. Five sea creatures - a seal, seahorse, shark, turtle and whale - are explored through rhyme and pictures. With two spreads dedicated to each creature, adults will be able to read the short playful rhyme on each spread to children and look at the bright illustrations to teach them about their habits and environment. The book also features some fun facts about each animal on the inside back cover.

Fish Everywhere
Written & illustrated by Britta Teckentrup
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

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.

Honorable Mentions
  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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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Books About Marine Life and Science And Nature

Big Whales, Small World
Written by Mark Leiren-Young
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-2

In Big Whales, Small World you will meet whales from around the world. This rhyming photographic board book visits the oceans of places like New Zealand, Russia and South America. Writer, filmmaker and orca activist Mark Leiren-Young introduces young readers to blue whales bigger than dinosaurs and tiny vaquitas who swim close to shores.

Ocean Renegades!
Written & illustrated by Abby Howard
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

“Determined to show Ronnie just how interesting prehistoric life was BEFORE the age of the dinosaurs, Miss Lernin takes her back in time to the six parts of the Paleozoic era to study the earliest lifeforms on Earth, starting with the rise of the vertebrates”—]cProvided by publisher.

What's That Noise?
Written & illustrated by Naomi Howarth
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

When Magnus the seal is awakened by a rumbling sound, it may be closer than he thinks in a funny, kid-friendly story that winds up with facts about Arctic creatures.

Rumble, rumble, rumble. . . . What’s that noise?

Magnus the Arctic seal wakes up from a very deep sleep one morning, puzzled by a strange rumbling sound. What’s that noise? Could it be the creaking of the trees? The whistling of the wind? The cracking of the ice? The roaring of the sea? Hare, Owl, and Polar Bear don’t have any idea, but Walrus has a good suggestion: it could be Magnus’s rumbling tummy! After a yummy feast of plump, pink shrimp, the friends all settle down to sleep — but suddenly there’s another rumbling sound. What’s that noise? Readers curious about the creatures can learn more about them and their environment in an informative final spread.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Chomp: A Shark Romp - Dive in to the depths of the ocean to discover different species of sharks in this nonfiction picture book with simple text and illustrations. Many different kinds of sharks are swimming below the ocean’s surface. Some sharks are gentle, and some sharks are fierce. Some are awake in the day, and some are awake at night. Some eat almost anything, and some are very picky. You may not be able to visit their watery world, but you can always visit them up close at the aquarium. Simple text and bold illustrations take young explorers on a deep dive through the ocean full of sharks. Don’t Miss More from Michael Paul in Roar: A Dinosaur Tour!

  2. On Kiki's Reef - A tiny baby sea turtle scrambles across the sandy beach and into the sea. Floating far out in the ocean, Kiki is becoming a gentle giant. She swims to shallower water where a rainbow of corals puts on a show. Kiki adopts the busy coral reef as her new home and discovers fish of all sizes and lots of surprises! But something keeps calling her back to the beach . . . and the circle of life continues.

  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.

  4. Ocean Motions - Adorable ocean creatures sway, jiggle and play, glide, flip, and dive in this beautiful board book from indie collage artist Kate Endle and children’s music star Caspar Babypants. Toddlers will love this colorful board book about ocean creatures, featuring beautiful and playful collage art by indie artist Kate Endle and the clever word play of Seattle songwriter Caspar Babypants. Walruses warmly wave! Sea turtles tip and flip. River otters race through the ripples. Belugas blow bubbles.

Books About Marine Life and Baby Animals

You Are My Baby: Ocean
Written & illustrated by Lorena Siminovich
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

In a new title in this series of charming and inventive board books, readers will find a little book nestled inside a bigger one: Turn the pages to match the baby animals to their parents, and learn some early concepts along the way.

Peek-a-Baby: Ocean
Written & illustrated by Mike Orodan
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Baby animals are hiding in the ocean! Lift the flaps to help each animal parent find their babies, from playful dolphin pups to a shy whale calf. Peekaboo fans will delight in revealing every adorable baby animal—and learning what special sound they make! With cleverly layered pages and distinctive limited-palette artwork, this is a board book series to treasure.

The Seal Garden
Written by Ian McAllister & illustrated by Nicholas Read
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

When storms roar and orcas are on the prowl, it’s the seal gardens of the Great Bear Sea that provide safety and shelter to sea lions, otters, a variety of seals and other sea mammals. Ian McAllister’s glorious photographs reveal the beauty and mystery of this rarely seen place of refuge. This is the third book in the My Great Bear Rainforest series, following Wolf Island and A Bear’s Life.

Honorable Mentions
  1. 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.

  2. Baby Orca: Finger Puppet Book - Meet Baby Orca! Where does Baby Orca swim? How does Baby Orca like to play? Follow along as he experiences his world, from playtime to bedtime. The simple, comforting stories in this go-to baby gift series have made it a multimillion seller. Featuring a permanently attached plush finger puppet, each volume offers parents and children a fun, interactive way to play and read as they build a lifelong love of books together.

Books About Marine Life and Culture

Wild Orca
Written by Brenda Peterson & illustrated by Wendell Minor
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Mia, her family, and friends gather in the San Juan Islands for Orca Sing, hoping that 105-year-old Granny, the oldest orca, will return with the pods she watches over. Includes facts about Granny and orcas.

A Symphony of Whales
Written by Steve Schuch & illustrated by Peter Sylvada
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Glashka is the only one in her village who can hear the voice of Narna, the whale. That gift leads her to great responsibility one day, when she discovers thousands of whales trapped in an inlet. The narrow route to the sea is rapidly icing over, and every day ice covers more of the open water the whales need to breathe. There seems to be no way out. . . . This story, based on an actual event, tells of a dramatic rescue—a tale of bravery and faith and the power of music.

Trapped! A Whale's Rescue
Written by Robert Burleigh & illustrated by Wendell Minor
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

In the icy waters of the Pacific, a massive humpback whale unexpectedly finds herself tangled in a net abandoned by fishermen. When a rescue boat and a convoy of divers arrive to help the struggling humpback, a realistic and moving encounter bridges the human and aquatic worlds.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Turtle, Turtle, Watch Out! - A fascinating look at the dangers sea turtles face and the role that humans have in helping with wildlife and ocean conservation. In this re-illustrated edition of the previously published text, author April Pulley Sayre introduces readers to the life of a sea turtle. From the tiny hatchlings being born on the shores of Florida to the turtles making their way through the sea to their journey back to lay eggs of their own years later, the reader sees the dangers that turtles must face and how humans can help. Backmatter includes Information on sea turtle conservation efforts and the seven species of sea turtles. A great introduction to ocean life cycles as well as a perfect resource for building awareness about environmental and nature conservation in and outside of the classroom.

  2. A Whale in Paris - A hopeful and heroic girl befriends a small, lost whale during World War II and together they embark on a journey to liberate France and find their families in this charming debut novel.

Want to see books about culture?

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