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Sea Creatures: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about sea creatures?

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

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 sea creatures, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Baby Beluga to popular sellers like The Rainbow Fish to some of our favorite hidden gems like House for Hermit Crab.

We hope this list of kids books about sea creatures 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.

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Top 10 Books About Sea Creatures

#1
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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.

#2
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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.

#3
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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!

#4
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The Blue Whale
Written & illustrated by Jenni Desmond
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

An introduction to the world of the giant blue whale combines engaging facts with evocative illustrations that compare the whale’s enormous size to objects in the everyday world.

#5
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Smart about Sharks
Written & illustrated by Owen Davey
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Did you know that sharks can detect electrical currents from other creatures? Or that some are covered in little tassels? Sharks are pretty incredible – some can even walk out of the water!

In this beautiful book from talented illustrator Owen Davey, you are sure to learn new and fascinating facts about these wonderful fish!

#6
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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.

#7
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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.”

#8
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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!

#9
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Nugget and Fang: Friends Forever--or Snack Time?
Written by Tammi Sauer & illustrated by Michael Slack
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Friends forever—or snack time?

In the deep ocean, tiny Nugget and big, toothy Fang get along swimmingly—until Nugget’s first day of minnow school. There Nugget learns that minnows are supposed to be afraid of sharks! To regain Nugget’s trust, Fang takes desperate (and hilarious) measures. But it’s not until his big sharp teeth save the entire school that minnows learn this shark is no foe. Fantastically stylized artwork adds even more humor to this undersea story of unlikely friendship

#10
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Happy
Written & illustrated by Mies Van Hout
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
I love that this book goes through all the different emotions, showing them through each illustrated fish on the page. :) It's a really simple, beautiful, and fun book, and I felt like this one had a lot more emotions than just "happy" and "sad." I actually found this one in a bookstore and paid full price for the last copy that had a dent on the cover because I wanted it in my home library. :)
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

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

Table of Contents
Scroll to books about Sea Creatures and...

Books About Sea Creatures and Feelings And Emotions

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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.

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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!

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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
Can I Give You a Squish? book
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Always Remember book
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The Thing About Jellyfish book
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Bremner & the Party book
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  1. Can I Give You a Squish? - An important lesson on consent for over-exuberant little huggers, nestled inside this lighthearted, summery story about expressions of love and friendship. Kai is a little mer-boy who’s big on hugs—or “squishes,” as he and his mama call them. But not everyone’s a fan of Kai’s spirited embrace, which he discovers soon after squishing a puffer fish, who swells up in fright! Kai feels awful; but with the help of his friends, he figures out another way to show his affection, and then everyone demonstrates their preferred ways of being greeted. Because, as Kai realizes, “Every fish likes their own kind of squish.”

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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 Sea Creatures and Sharks

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Smart about Sharks
Written & illustrated by Owen Davey
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Did you know that sharks can detect electrical currents from other creatures? Or that some are covered in little tassels? Sharks are pretty incredible – some can even walk out of the water!

In this beautiful book from talented illustrator Owen Davey, you are sure to learn new and fascinating facts about these wonderful fish!

Add to list
Nugget and Fang: Friends Forever--or Snack Time?
Written by Tammi Sauer & illustrated by Michael Slack
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Friends forever—or snack time?

In the deep ocean, tiny Nugget and big, toothy Fang get along swimmingly—until Nugget’s first day of minnow school. There Nugget learns that minnows are supposed to be afraid of sharks! To regain Nugget’s trust, Fang takes desperate (and hilarious) measures. But it’s not until his big sharp teeth save the entire school that minnows learn this shark is no foe. Fantastically stylized artwork adds even more humor to this undersea story of unlikely friendship

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Land Shark
Written by Beth Ferry & illustrated by Ben Mantle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-6

The only thing Bobby wants for his birthday is a pet shark. So you can imagine his disappointment when his parents get him…a puppy. Everyone knows shark lovers can never become dog lovers. Or can they? Full of humor and heart, this book explores the idea that sometimes, getting exactly what you don’t want turns out to be exactly what you need.

Honorable Mentions
Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean's Most Fearless Scientist book
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The Pout-Pout Fish and the Bully-Bully Shark book
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Little Shark: Finger Puppet Book book
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Sharkee & the Teddy Bear book
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  1. Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean's Most Fearless Scientist - 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.

  2. The Pout-Pout Fish and the Bully-Bully Shark - Mr. Fish finds the courage to speak up for his friends when a shark comes to the park and bullies them.

  3. Little Shark: Finger Puppet Book - 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.

  4. Sharkee & the Teddy Bear - 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!

Books About Sea Creatures and Whales

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The Blue Whale
Written & illustrated by Jenni Desmond
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

An introduction to the world of the giant blue whale combines engaging facts with evocative illustrations that compare the whale’s enormous size to objects in the everyday world.

Add to list
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!

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Waiting for Chicken Smith
Written & illustrated by David Mackintosh
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A story about childhood friendships, anticipation, and the magic moments that arise while you’re waiting for something else to happen. Every year a young boy stays in the same cabin at the beach with his family. And every year his friend Chicken Smith stays in the next cabin over. But this year, something’s different: Chicken Smith hasn’t shown up yet. The boy’s little sister, MaryAnn, keeps trying to get his attention, but he’s too busy remembering all of his adventures with Chicken Smith — and thinking about everything they’re going to do this summer. Is Chicken ever going to show up? And just what has MaryAnn been yelling about? David Mackintosh’s ode to small summer wonders will make readers of all ages open their eyes to the quick, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moments happening all around them.

Honorable Mentions
Squishy Squashy Whale book
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Moby-Dick book
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I Won a What? book
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Ocean book
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  1. Squishy Squashy Whale - 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!

  2. Moby-Dick - Little Master Melville teaches little ones the language of the sea in Moby-Dick: An Ocean Primer. From ships and sailors to squawking gulls and moody good captains, Alison Oliver’s brilliant illustrations and Jennifer Adams’ clever, simple text will make a sea dog out of any young shipmate.

  3. I Won a What? - The hilarious and heartwarming story of a boy who tries to win a goldfish and winds up with FAR more than he bargained for . . . A young boy wins a humongous new pet at the carnival, and before long, they become fast friends. But his parents are skeptical. After all, Nuncio doesn’t even fit in the house! Will the gargantuan goldfish have to go? Or will the family find a way to give him the home he deserves? Fans of Sparky will flip for this whale of a tale from Audrey Vernick, author of Is Your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten? and featuring illustrations from Wow! City! illustrator Robert Neubecker.

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

Books About Sea Creatures and Family

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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.

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Shark Nate-O
Written by Becky Cattie and Tara Luebbe & 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!

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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.

Honorable Mentions
A Dolphin's Wish book
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Together book
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Here Comes Ocean book
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The Turning book
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  1. A Dolphin's Wish - 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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?

Want to see books about family?

Books About Sea Creatures and Fish

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Happy
Written & illustrated by Mies Van Hout
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
I love that this book goes through all the different emotions, showing them through each illustrated fish on the page. :) It's a really simple, beautiful, and fun book, and I felt like this one had a lot more emotions than just "happy" and "sad." I actually found this one in a bookstore and paid full price for the last copy that had a dent on the cover because I wanted it in my home library. :)
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

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

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DogFish
Written by Gillian Shields & illustrated by Dan Taylor
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
This story has a great overall message in it, to want what you already have instead of wanting something you can't have. :) The boy learns to make the best of things, and instead of just wanting a dog, he learns to teach his goldfish to catch a stick, takes him on walks, and everyone ends up happy. :)
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

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

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Papa's Mechanical Fish
Written by Candace Fleming & illustrated by Boris Kulikov
Thoughts from Grammy
This is a great story about exploring ideas; sometimes they work out and sometimes they need more work. The creative dad in this book just keeps working on his ideas, most of which don't really succeed. Although so many of his ideas have fallen short, he doesn't get discouraged, and no one in his family is ever critical; everyone just keeps thinking and nurturing curiosity. The painterly illustrations engage the reader in the action, both of the inventor and his family who have their own activities parallel to the father's pursuits. This story is on the long side, although the repetition and reiterations work to keep young readers engaged and there is plenty to look at on every page. It is a terrific book for STEM topics and encouraging curiosity, perseverance, thinking, and patience.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In the summer of 1851, with encouragement and ideas provided by his family, an inventor builds a working submarine and takes his family for a ride. Includes notes about Lodner Phillips, the real inventor on whom the story is based.

Honorable Mentions
This is Not My Hat book
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The Rainbow Fish book
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A Fish Out of Water book
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Song of the Deep book
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  1. This is Not My Hat - The 2013 Caldecott Medal winner! From the creator of the #1 New York Times best-selling and award-winning I Want My Hat Back comes a second wry tale. When a tiny fish shoots into view wearing a round blue topper (which happens to fit him perfectly), trouble could be following close behind. So it’s a good thing that enormous fish won’t wake up. And even if he does, it’s not like he’ll ever know what happened. . . . Visual humor swims to the fore as the best-selling Jon Klassen follows his breakout debut with another deadpan-funny tale.

  2. The Rainbow Fish - The Rainbow Fish is an international best-seller and a modern classic. Eye-catching foil stamping, glittering on every page, offers instant child appeal, but it is the universal message at the heart of this simple story about a beautiful fish who learns to make friends by sharing his most prized possessions that gives the book its lasting value. A CHRISTOPHER AWARD WINNER WINNER OF THE BOLOGNA BOOK FAIR CRITICI IN ERBA PRIZE AMERICAN BOOKSELLERS ABBY AWARD WINNER AN IRA-CBC CHILDREN’S CHOICE #1 PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BESTSELLER and WALL STREET JOURNAL BESTSELLER

  3. A Fish Out of Water - A fun-filled reading experience for the beginning reader about a little boy who overfeeds his fish

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

Books About Sea Creatures and Science

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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.

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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.

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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
Sea Creatures from the Sky book
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A First Book of the Sea book
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The Sea Book book
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Down, Down, Down book
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  1. Sea Creatures from the Sky - 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.

  2. A First Book of the Sea - 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.

  3. The Sea Book - 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.

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

Want to see books about science?

Books About Sea Creatures and Transportation

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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.

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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.

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Young Captain Nemo
Written & illustrated by Jason Henderson
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

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!

Honorable Mentions
Moby Dick (10 Minute Classics) book
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Deep in the Ocean book
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Ready, Set, Sail! book
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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

Books About Sea Creatures and The Environment

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

Mr. Fish and his friends have noticed something strange in their ocean—a big, big MESS! How did it get there? What can they do about it? The closer they look, the more they see where the mess came from . . . and they’ll have to work together to get rid of it. This newest jacketed hardcover in the New York Times–bestselling Pout-Pout Fish series will teach little guppies how to take responsibility for their actions and for the environment.

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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.

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Turtle Tug to the Rescue
Written & illustrated by Michael Slack
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

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.

Honorable Mentions
A Whale of a Time: A Bindi Irwin Adventure book
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Look Who's There book
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Coral book
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Storm Whale book
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  1. A Whale of a Time: A Bindi Irwin Adventure - 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?

  2. Look Who's There - Children will discover nature’s creatures hidden in graphic environments.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

Books About Sea Creatures and Crabs

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House for Hermit Crab
Written & illustrated by Eric Carle
board book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Join Hermit Crab as he learns an important lesson about growing up: For every friend and adventure left behind, there are new ones just ahead!

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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.

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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.

Honorable Mentions
A Perfect Day book
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The Crab Alphabet Book book
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  1. A Perfect Day - A seagull and a crab find friendship and compromise in this sweet and humorous story about the meaning of perfection. The sky is blue, the sun is warm, the breeze is cool—it’s a perfect day for Seagull, perched on a rock in the sea. That is, until crabby Crab comes along and points out all of the day’s flaws! There’s a cloud in the sky, a smelly boat in the distance, and the rock that they’re sitting on is covered in barnacles. In this sweet and funny story about finding happiness amidst flaws, Seagull and Crab learn that nothing is more perfect than spending time with friends.

  2. The Crab Alphabet Book - With his signature humor and amazing facts, best-selling author Jerry Pallott a offers a decapod for every letter of the alphabet. From A is for Arrow Crab to Z is for Zebra Hermit Crab, young scientists learn about a vast variety of crab species, their body parts, where they live, what they eat, and more. Did you know that the Imocaris is a fossil that scientists believe was the first crab to inhabit the earth?

Want to see books about crabs?

Books About Sea Creatures and Octopuses

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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.

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Squid and Octopus: Friends For Always
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.

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Octopuses One to Ten
Written by Ellen Jackson & illustrated by Robin Page
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-8

“A fascinating counting journey through the amazing and mysterious world of octopuses”—

Honorable Mentions
Fourteen Animals (That Are Definitely Not an Octopus) book
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Mabel: A Mermaid Fable book
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Love, Agnes: Postcards from an Octopus book
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Inky the Octopus book
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  1. Fourteen Animals (That Are Definitely Not an Octopus) - In this hilarious book of animals, artist Gabe Pyle presents sixteen beloved animals who are definitely not an octopus—or are they? Observant youngsters will love uncovering each octopus cleverly disguised in 16 animals’ shapes. Based on the immensely popular threadless t-shirt, 16 Animals (that Definitely Aren’t an Octopus) is a fresh, witty romp through the animal kingdom that even adults will find hard to resist.

  2. Mabel: A Mermaid Fable - A lovely and laugh-out-loud picture book from the award-winning author of Rude Cakes and Most Marshmallows. A silly read-aloud tale for kids about being yourself! Mabel isn’t like the other mermaids. Lucky isn’t like the other octopuses. But when they find each other, they discover that true friendship isn’t about how you look, and that sometimes what we are searching for is right under our noses. The inimitable Rowboat Watkins is back with another humorous tale about being true to yourself. • A delightful, inspiring read-aloud book for toddlers that celebrates gender diversity and difference • Stylish, accessible art brings this story of being true to yourself to hilarious life. • Rowboat Watkins is a 2010 Sendak Fellow and Ezra Jack Keats honoree. Young readers of Julian Is a Mermaid, Mary Wears What She Wants, and Exclamation Mark will find much to love in this tale that celebrates individuality and acceptance.

  3. Love, Agnes: Postcards from an Octopus - 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.

  4. 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.

Books About Sea Creatures and Imagination And Play

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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.

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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?

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Chirri & Chirra, Under the Sea
Written by Kaya Doi
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

On their sixth adventure, Chirri and Chirra bicycle beneath the waves, discovering the beauty of coral and the deliciousness of marine edibles.

Chirri and Chirra are pedaling along when they find a cave. At the end of the tunnel, they see a light. Oh! They are under the sea! They pedal through a maze of color and pass through an opening in the seaweed, into a scene of seashells of all colors and shapes. Naturally, they come upon sea treats, such as parfait à la conch and marine soda jelly topped with pearl cream. This is the happy, lovely world of Chirri and Chirra, where they stumble on the most wonderful surprises.

Born in Tokyo, Japan, Kaya Doi graduated with a degree in design from Tokyo Zokei University. She got her start in picture books by attending the Atosaki Juku Workshop, held at a Tokyo bookshop specializing in children’s books. Since then she has created many picture books featuring her delicate color-pencil drawings. She lives in Chiba Prefecture and maintains a strong interest in environmental and animal welfare issues. Since the earthquake of 2011 she has been active in recovery and shelter efforts for abandoned pets.

David Boyd is Assistant Professor of Japanese at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. His translations have appeared in Monkey Business International, Granta, and Words Without Borders, among other publications.

Honorable Mentions
Also an Octopus book
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If Wendell Had a Walrus book
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Captain Starfish book
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Octopus Alone book
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  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. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

Books About Sea Creatures and Nature

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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?

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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.

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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.

Honorable Mentions
Dinosaur Parade book
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The Pout-Pout Fish in the Big-Big Dark book
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Aquarium book
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The Boy and the Whale book
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  1. Dinosaur Parade - A short and sweet mini-adventure especially created to introduce the youngest guppies to the popular Pout-Pout Fish. It’s Halloween under the sea! Mr. Fish is wearing his costume, but what is he dressed as? A goblin? An astronaut in space? A pirate at the helm of the spooky submarine? Tiny tots will love swimming along with Mr. Fish as he turns little pouts into big smiles. With just one line of text per page, this simple, 12-page board book will send Debbie Diesen and Dan Hanna’s much-loved Pout-Pout Fish flippering and swishing into the hearts and minds of very young children.

  2. The Pout-Pout Fish in the Big-Big Dark - Mr. Fish wants to help his friend Ms. Clam when she loses her pearl, but though he’s fast as a sailfish, as smart as dolphin, and as strong as a shark, Mr. Fish has a secret: he’s scared of the dark! Very young children will swim along with Mr. Fish as he journeys deep into the ocean to new and mysterious places. They will discover, as Mr. Fish does, the power of friendship to light the way through the big-big dark.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

Books About Sea Creatures and Mermaids

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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.

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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?

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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
The Ocean Calls book
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Goodnight Lagoon book
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Flower Girl Dreams book
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Fish Girl book
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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

Want to see books about mermaids?

Books About Sea Creatures and The Beach

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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!

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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.

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Sea Star Wishes
Written by Eric Ode & illustrated by Erik Brooks
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

Honorable Mentions
Sam Wu Is Not Afraid of Sharks book
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Dolphin Boy book
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  1. 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?

  2. 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 Sea Creatures and Counting And Numbers

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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.”

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I Spy Under the Sea
Written & illustrated by Edward Gibbs
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Look through each eye-catching spy hole to count a new underwater creature!

There are many colorful creatures to find under the sea. Look through the spy hole and use the clues to guess the creature, then turn the page to count the animals. Watch as toddlers quickly become engaged in the game and learn to recognize and count sea creatures.

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Bright Books: Bubble's Ocean Friends
Written by Megan Roth & illustrated by Emiri Hayashi
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

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.

Honorable Mentions
Five Flying Penguins book
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Deep Deep Sea book
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  1. Five Flying Penguins - Five little penguins flee from a seal, flying through the water, and find themselves in an innocent game of tag.

  2. Deep Deep Sea - Descend into the depths of the sea! And meet along the way…1 Blue Whale (spouting at the surface of the water)2 Green Turtles3 Grey Dolphins4 Yellow Seahorses5 Red StarfishOne Hundred Colourful fish!A gorgeous chunky board book by award-winning author Frann Preston-Gannon featuring colours, counting and a whole host of undersea animals.

Books About Sea Creatures and Being Different

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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.

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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.

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Hello My Name Is . . .
Written by Marisa Polansky & illustrated by Joey Chou
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

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.

Honorable Mentions
Marcel the Shell with Shoes on book
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Song of the Dolphin Boy book
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  1. Marcel the Shell with Shoes on - View our feature on Jenny Slate and Dean Fleischer-Camp’s Marcel the Shell With Shoes On. Millions of people have fallen in love with Marcel. Now the tiny shell with shoes and a big heart is transitioning from online sensation to classic picture book character, and readers can learn more about this adorable creature and his wonderfully peculiar world. From wearing a lentil as a hat to hang-gliding on a Dorito, Marcel is able to find magic in the everyday. He may be small, but he knows he has a lot of good qualities. He may not be able to lift anything by himself, but when he needs help, he calls upon his family. He may never be able own a real dog . . . but he has a pretty awesome imagination.

  2. 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 Sea Creatures and The Ocean

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Home for a Penguin, Home for a Whale
Written by Brenda Williams & illustrated by Annalisa Beghelli
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Explore the ocean homes of 23 marine animals in this narrative nonfiction picture book, featuring 8 pages of fact-packed endnotes about wildlife, oceans about the world, clean energy and ocean conservation.

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Peekaboo! In the Ocean!
Written & illustrated by Cocoretto
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Peekaboo! Who’s hiding in the ocean? Lift the flap to find out! Perfect for guessing, prediction and memory skills – and simply joining in!

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The Magic School Bus on the Ocean Floor
Written by Joanna Cole & illustrated by Bruce Degen
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When Ms. Frizzle drives the Magic School Bus full speed ahead into the ocean, the class takes a submarine expedition that’s anything but ordinary. With a well-meaning lifeguard in tow, the class takes a deep breath and learns about hot water vents, coral reefs, plant and animal life on the ocean floor, and more!

Honorable Mentions
Baby Beluga book
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The Ocean Alphabet Board Book book
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Peek-a-Baby: Ocean book
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Dottie Dolphin Plays Hide-and-Seek book
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  1. Baby Beluga - Presents the illustrated text to the song about the little white whale who swims wild and free.

  2. The Ocean Alphabet Board Book - Introduces the letters A to Z by describing fish and other creatures living in the North Atlantic Ocean. On board pages.

  3. Peek-a-Baby: Ocean - 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.

  4. Dottie Dolphin Plays Hide-and-Seek - A one-of-a-kind ocean adventure with Dottie Dolphin! When Dottie Dolphin dives deep into the ocean to play hide-and-seek with her siblings, she discovers a wonderful world of ocean animals. Join Dottie and her new friends beneath the waves in this interactive story with flaps to lift and colorful, detailed underwater scenes by best-selling nature illustrator Maurice Pledger.

Books About Sea Creatures and Social Themes

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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.

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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.

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Lloyd Finds His Whalesong
Written by Skylaar Amann
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

Honorable Mentions
Iced Out book
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Race to the Bottom of the Sea book
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Poor Little Guy book
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Whale in a Fishbowl book
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  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. 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. 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!

  4. 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.

Books About Sea Creatures and Science And Nature

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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.

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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.

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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
Great White Shark Adventure book
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Ocean Emporium book
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On Kiki's Reef book
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Island in the Salish Sea book
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  1. Great White Shark Adventure - 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

Books About Sea Creatures and Friendship

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Sealed with a Kiss
Written by Beth Ferry & illustrated by Olivier Tallec
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

What’s a seal to do when she’s new to the zoo? Make new friends, of course!

But when the other animals aren’t so friendly, a wise sparrow inspires them to surprise Seal with a special treat.

Full of heart and humor, this story of friendship and forgiveness from bestselling author Beth Ferry and illustrator Olivier Tallec will have little ones giggling along, and it makes for a fun Valentine’s Day gift!

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Up & Down
Written & illustrated by Britta Teckentrup
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

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.

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Inky's Great Escape
Written by Casey Lyall & illustrated by Sebastià Serra
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10

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?

Honorable Mentions
Seagull & Sea Dragon book
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Walrus in the Bathtub book
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  1. 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.

  2. Walrus in the Bathtub - A first, worst impression leads to a lasting friendship in this hilarious picture book romp from the author of the New York Times bestselling Cat series and The Quiet Book. Things you’d expect to find in the bathtub: 1. Soap bubbles 2. Rubber duckies 3. Shampoo Things you don’t expect to find in the bathtub: 1. WALRUS As it turns out, once a walrus settles in for a nice long soak, it’s pretty darn hard to get him out. What’s a family to do? This silly-sweet story will keep readers giggling as a family tries–and tries again!–to evict their unexpected houseguest… before finally realizing why he’s there in the first place.

Books About Sea Creatures and Mammals

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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.

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

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

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

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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.

Honorable Mentions
A Whale in Paris book
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Baby Orca: Finger Puppet Book book
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  1. 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.

  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.

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