Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to mermaids. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about mermaids.
Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.
When it comes to children’s stories about mermaids, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like The Lost Stone to popular sellers like The Little Mermaid to some of our favorite hidden gems like Julian Is a Mermaid.
We hope this list of kids books about mermaids 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.
Merbaby's Lullaby - From New York Times bestselling author Jane Yolen comes a lilting lullaby from the bottom of the sea. Hush, foam rocker, sleep, wave breaker. Close your eyes and dream, tide breaker. A hush-filled bedtime rhyme for parents to share with their newborns, Merbaby’s Lullaby is an underwater cradlesong written by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Elizabeth O. Dulemba. Join a mermaid as she helps her merbaby to sleep, rocking with the gentle waves, singing with the whispering whales, and settling in with sea stars lighting the way to sweet dreams.
The Little Mermaid - A classic fairy tale gets a fresh twist in this vibrant Caribbean spin on the Little Mermaid! The Little Mermaid longs to know about the world above the ocean. When she’s finally old enough to visit, she falls in love with a prince! A sea witch agrees to give the mermaid a potion that will make her human—but the spell will be broken if the prince doesn’t love her too! Set in the Caribbean, with beautiful illustrations by Puerto Rican illustrator Nivea Ortiz, this fifth book in the Once Upon a World series is the same beloved fairy tale but it’s totally reimagined. Once Upon a World offers a multicultural take on the fairy tales we all know and love. Because these tales are for everyone, everywhere.
Lilly and Fin - These mermaid friends are fishing for trouble! Lilly and Fin are merpups—mermaid kids—who love to play and explore the caves outside the mermaid city. They aren’t really supposed to leave the city, but that’s what makes it so much fun! Surely all those stories about Two-Legs (you know, humans) and sea monsters are just made up to scare young merpups. Little do they know, a real live human couple is on the hunt for a mermaid to add to their collection of rare sea creatures. If Two-Legs exist, what about sea monsters? With fun full-color illustrations by the author herself, this adventure is sure to capture all two-legged chapter-book readers!
Books Vs. Looks - 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 Ocean Calls - A breathtaking picture book featuring a Korean girl and her haenyeo (free diving) grandmother about intergenerational bonds, finding courage in the face of fear, and connecting with our natural world. Dayeon wants to be a haenyeo just like Grandma. The haenyeo dive off the coast of Jeju Island to pluck treasures from the sea—generations of Korean women have done so for centuries. To Dayeon, the haenyeo are as strong and graceful as mermaids. To give her strength, Dayeon eats Grandma’s abalone porridge. She practices holding her breath while they do the dishes. And when Grandma suits up for her next dive, Dayeon grabs her suit, flippers, and goggles. A scary memory of the sea keeps Dayeon clinging to the shore, but with Grandma’s guidance, Dayeon comes to appreciate the ocean’s many gifts. Tina Cho’s The Ocean Calls, with luminous illustrations by muralist Jess X. Snow, is a classic in the making.
Mermaid and Me - From Instagram sensation and New York Times bestselling author-artist Soosh comes a heartwarming celebration of friendship between a mermaid and a human girl. A young girl has always loved Mermaids. Every day she wishes she could be friends with one. And on one magical day, her wish comes true. Nestled on the beach, a place between their two worlds, these unlikely friends discover imaginative ways to go on many adventures. But will one stormy night drive them apart? From the New York Times bestselling author and illustrator of Dad By My Side comes a gorgeously depicted story bursting with whimsy and imagination that celebrates the power of friendship.
Emily Windsnap and the Pirate Prince - Emily Windsnap ends up surrounded by pirates — and on a life-changing adventure — in the eighth installment of the New York Times best-selling series. Traveling home by cruise ship should be a relaxing break after Emily’s latest adventure, but things take a turn when the ship is overtaken by a pirate king and his crew. After the pirates collect everyone’s riches, they steal something even more valuable: Aaron. The pirate king’s eldest son takes Aaron captive, forcing him to help guide the pirates to the mythical Trident’s Treasure. So Emily dives into action and joins the younger son’s crew in hopes of saving Aaron. But while experiencing life on the waves, Emily is surprised to find herself not only enjoying the pirate life, but actually bonding with the crew — especially Sam, the pirate king’s son. Between helping Sam unravel riddles to beat his brother to the treasure and making sure that her friends are safe, Emily realizes that she needs to be true to herself. Will she cast aside her mermaid life to join her new friends, or will she find a way to follow her own path?
Bad Mermaids: On the Rocks - Smart, daring mermaid trio Beattie, Mimi and Zelda, along with Steve the talking seahorse, may have saved the Hidden Lagoon from danger once . . . But now they’re trapped aboard a spooky ship called the Merry Mary, which is heading for the legendary (and super fashionable) Crocodile Kingdom. Can they avoid a crab-tastrophe and swim against the tide to get back home? Meanwhile, on land, an ice-cream seller and gadget expert named Paris Silkensocks has uncovered a plot to destroy the mermaid world. Will she will be able to find and warn the mermaids of the impending danger before it’s too late? This second book in a hilarious paper-over-board series that?s The Little Mermaid meets My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish is filled with delightful black-and-white illustrations.
Twinkle, Twinkle, Mermaid Blue - This sparkling mermaid board book is a magical ocean twist on the popular bedtime lullaby, “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star!” Twinkle, Twinkle, Mermaid Blue How the ocean sways with you A charming mermaid twist on the popular bedtime nursery rhyme, Twinkle, Twinkle, Mermaid Blue is the sixth board book in the Twinkle, Twinkle series that’s perfect for parents and little ones to snuggle up and share.
Emily Windsnap and the Falls of Forgotten Island - Emily is headed to a tropical island for a relaxing vacation with friends and family—no adventures, just plenty of fun. But excitement seems to follow Emily, and before she knows it, she ends up on the other side of a powerful waterfall on a forgotten island no one else can get to. The people who live there believe in a prophecy that foretells how to prevent an imminent, devastating earthquake, and this prophecy seems to revolve around Emily and her boyfriend, Aaron, as well as a mysterious, mythic giant. Will they be able to find the giant—and fulfill the prophecy—before it’s too late?
The Little Mermaid - The beloved tale of The Little Mermaid is faithfully reproduced in this new edition of Hans Christian Anderson’s classic. Original art by critically acclaimed New York Times bestselling illustrator Charles Santore is masterfully reproduced using the most advanced technology to bring these breathtaking illustrations to life like never before. The vivid colors and captivating spreads make this beautiful story one to be treasured in every home. The Little Mermaid is a timeless classic that has fascinated readers young and old for many generations. The adventures of the young mermaid princess splash life across the pages of a story full of belonging, hope, love and sacrifice. This new edition embodies beautiful original artwork by Charles Santore, masterfully reproduced with the latest technology available, containing vivid colors and captivating illustrations that make every page an unrivaled masterpiece. The sharp contrast of life under the sea and on the land is captured with these magnificent depictions of the story. In reviewing the original Santore artwork, the School Library Journal wrote, “Through his clever use of contrasting palettes, the illustrations create two distinct worlds: the ethereal blues and greens of the Sea King’s undersea realm, and the sun-drenched reds and golds of the prince’s domain.” Children and adults are sure to treasure this book and all it encompasses for many years to come.
The Narwhal Problem - Kiki and her friends get caught up in a code war to try and meet a narwhal in this sparkling Mermaid Tales adventure. All the merkids are super-excited! Two famous narwhal scientists are visiting Trident City with their daughter, Nadine. Best of all, someone is going to get to show Nadine around the city while her parents are in meetings! But who? All the merkids want to be the one, so how are they going to decide who gets to do it? Mrs. Karp, their teacher, decides to organize a code-breaking contest, but with the competition getting fierce, it is more like a code war! Even Kiki, Echo, and Shelly are fighting! Is there a way that everyone can win?
Lily's Water Woes - The second installment of the Wild Fairies series, Lily’s Water Woes, follows wild fairy (and mermaid) Lily, who is feeling left out. While her fairy friends get to travel to beautiful beaches and lush forests, Lily is always stuck at home, unable to be away from the water for very long. Her froggy pal, Splash, tries his best to cheer her up, but Lily still wishes she could stay out late and play like the other fairies. Wanting to help their friend, the fairies come together to build an awesome surprise for Lily that just might make it easier for her to travel beyond her small pond. The Wild Fairies series features a group of magical fairy friends who love playing and learning in the beautiful and bountiful forest they call home. With their reliable sidekick critters alongside, Daisy, Thistle, Heather, Celosia, Poppy, Dahlia, Indigo, and Lily care for the natural world around them using their unique and diverse set of special skills. Infused with ecology, botany, and magic, the wild fairies’ whimsical adventures will inspire in kids a sense of wonder and curiosity for nature, as well as inform them about the wildflowers and critters behind the fairies through young-reader friendly nonfiction pages in the back of each book.
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.
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.
Sea Sirens - Dive into this visually stunning, middle-grade graphic novel about a spunky Vietnamese American surfer girl and her cantankerous talking cat who plunge into a fantasy world of oceanic marvels . . . and mayhem! Trot, a Vietnamese American surfer girl, and Cap’n Bill, her cranky one-eyed cat, catch too big a wave and wipe out, sucked down into a magical underwater kingdom where an ancient deep-sea battle rages. The beautiful Sea Siren mermaids are under attack from the Serpent King and his slithery minions–and Trot and her feline become dangerously entangled in this war of tails and fins. This beautiful graphic novel was inspired by The Sea Fairies, L. Frank Baum’s “underwater Wizard of Oz.” It weaves Vietnamese mythology, fantastical ocean creatures, a deep-sea setting, quirky but sympathetic main characters, and fast-paced adventure into an imaginative, world-building story.
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