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Sailing: Books For Kids

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

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

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 sailing, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Hopper and Wilson to popular sellers like Wanderer to some of our favorite hidden gems like Ocean Meets Sky.

We hope this list of kids books about sailing can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!

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Ocean Meets Sky
Written by Terry Fan & illustrated by Eric Fan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

It’s a good day for sailing. Finn lives by the sea and the sea lives by him. Every time he looks out his window it’s a constant reminder of the stories his grandfather told him about the place where the ocean meets the sky. Where whales and jellyfish soar and birds and castles float. Finn’s grandfather is gone now but Finn knows the perfect way to honor him. He’ll build his own ship and sail out to find this magical place himself! And when he arrives, maybe, just maybe, he’ll find something he didn’t know he was looking for.

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Hopper and Wilson
Written & illustrated by Maria van Lieshout
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A playful tale about friendship and home

“What,” Hopper asks his little friend Wilson, “do you think it’s like at the end of the world?” Hopper, the blue elephant, imagines a staircase to the moon, while Wilson, the yellow mouse, hopes for an endless supply of lemonade. So the two sail off in a boat made of paper . . . only to discover they already have everything they could wish for in each other, and at home. Maria van Lieshout’s adorable new picture book tugs at heartstrings, inspires discussion, and reminds us all how good returning home can feel.

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The Star Thief
Written by Lindsey Becker
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The constellations come to life in this imaginative fantasy adventure debut. Honorine’s life as a maid at the Vidalia mansion is rather dull, dusting treasures from faraway places and daydreaming in front of maps of the world. But everything changes when she catches two brutish sailors ransacking Lord Vidalia’s study, and then follows a mysterious girl with wings out into the night…. Suddenly, Honorine is whisked into the middle of a battle between the crew of a spectacular steamship and a band of mythical constellations. The stars in the sky have come to life to defend themselves against those who want to harness their powers. Much to her surprise, Honorine is the crux of it all, the center of an epic clash between magic and science, the old ways and the new. But can this spirited young girl bring both sides of a larger-than-life fight together before they unleash an evil power even older than the stars?

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Little Pig Saves the Ship
Written & illustrated by David Hyde Costello
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Little Pig is back in Little Pig Saves the Ship! When the sea-faring pigs go a-sailing! Intrepid Little Pig — still the littlest pig in the family — is too little to go to summer camp with his older brothers and sisters. He is left behind with Grandpa and Poppy. Little Pig and Poppy make and sail a toy ship all week, but on Saturday a gusty wind takes the ship into the current, and Little Pig has to use his newfound knot-tying skills to save the day.

A sweetly told intergenerational story about how even the littlest can make a big difference.

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Bunny Overboard
Written by Claudia Rueda
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

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

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  • The Escape of Robert Smalls - The mist in Charleston Inner Harbor was heavy, but not heavy enough to disguise the stolen Confederate steamship, the Planter, from Confederate soldiers. In the early hours of May 13, 1862, in the midst of the deadly U.S. Civil War, an enslaved man named Robert Smalls was about to carry out a perilous plan of escape. Standing at the helm of the ship, Smalls impersonated the captain as he and his crew passed heavily armed Confederate forts to enter Union territory, where escaped slaves were given shelter. The suspenseful escape of the determined crew is celebrated with beautiful artwork and insightful prose, detailing the true account of an unsung American hero.

  • The Famouse Fjord Race -

  • The Adventure - Rip Squeak and his friends set off on a maiden voyage aboard their sailing ship and soon find themselves adrift in a mysterious fog.

  • Little Blue Boat: Ocean Lift-a-Flap - When you take the high seas with the Little Blue Boat, your baby or toddler will meet all kinds of ocean animals including dolphins, seals, otters, sharks, and more in this adorable lift-a-flap board book. Simple sentences reinforce future language structure while grasping and lifting the sturdy flaps helps develop fine motor skills. A perfect first book! Welcome to the world little one! Come explore the Little Blue Boat Lift-a-Flap board book filled with surprises. Perfectly sized for little hands and fingers to open and close the flaps. 6 chunky and sturdy flaps are extra strong so your little one can open and close again and again. Surprise and delight baby with bright artwork and special treats under each flap. Collect all the books in the Babies Love series. From colors and animals to first words and holidays, the Babies Love Chunky Lift-a-Flap series is a great introduction to reading with cheerful, contemporary, and whimsical illustrations and sturdy, easy-to-lift flaps.

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Navy's Night Before Christmas
Written by & illustrated by John Manders
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Inspired by the famous Christmas poem, The Night Before Christmas, this sweet picture book about Christmas in the Navy the perfect holiday gift for children of military families and anyone with loved ones serving overseas.
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The Wreck of the Zephyr
Written & illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

At the edge of a cliff lies the wreck of a small sailboat. How did it get there? “Waves carried it up in a storm,” says an old sailor. But is it possible that waves could ever get that high? There is another story – the story of a boy and his obsessive desire to be the greatest sailor, the story of a storm that carried the boy and his boat to a place where boats glide like gulls high above the water and not upon it. Chris Van Allsburg tells that story of the boy and his boat, the Zephyr, in words and haunting, full-color pastel paintings. His sailboats sail the night sky with the stars in pictures so vivid that the reader can almost hear the wind in the sails. Here is a work of unusual artistry that will enchant readers of all ages for many years to come.

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Wanderer
Written by Sharon Creech & illustrated by David Diaz
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Newbery Honor Book * ALA Notable Children's Book

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We the Children
Written by Andrew Clements & illustrated by Adam Stower
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Benjamin Pratt’s school is about to become the site of a new amusement park. It sounds like a dream come true! But lately, Ben has been wonder if he’s going to like an amusement park in the middle of his town–with all the buses and traffic and eight dollar slices of pizza. It’s going to change everything. And, Ben is not so big on all the new changes in his life, like how his dad has moved out and started living in the marina on what used to be the family” sailboat. Maybe it would be nice if the school just stayed as it is. He likes the school. Loves it, actually. It’s over 200 years old and sits right on the harbor. The playground has ocean breezes and the classrooms have million dollar views…MILLION DOLLAR views. And after a chance–and final–run-in with the school janitor, Ben starts to discover that these MILLION DOLLAR views have a lot to do with the deal to sell the school property. But, as much as the town wants to believe it, the school does not belong to the local government. It belongs to the CHILDREN and these children have the right to defend it! Don’t think Ben, his friend Jill (and the tag-along Robert) can ruin a multimillion dollar real estate deal? Then you don’t know the history and the power of the Keepers of the School. A suspenseful six book series, book one, We the Children, starts the battle on land and on sea. It’s a race to keep the school from turning into a ticket booth and these kids are about to discover just how threatening a little knowledge can be.

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Ready, Set, Sail!
Written by Meg Fleming & illustrated by Luke Flowers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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!

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$13.39
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