Best Children's Books About Swimming

34 Children's Books About Swimming

Updated Jan. 19, 2019
Shark Nate-O book
#1
Shark Nate-O
Written by Tara Luebbe, Becky Cattie and 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!

Jabari Jumps book
#2
Jabari Jumps
Written and illustrated by Gaia Cornwall
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Working up the courage to take a big, important leap is hard, but Jabari is almost absolutely ready to make a giant splash. Jabari is definitely ready to jump off the diving board. He’s finished his swimming lessons and passed his swim test, and he’s a great jumper, so he’s not scared at all. “Looks easy,” says Jabari, watching the other kids take their turns. But when his dad squeezes his hand, Jabari squeezes back. He needs to figure out what kind of special jump to do anyway, and he should probably do some stretches before climbing up onto the diving board. In a sweetly appealing tale of overcoming your fears, newcomer Gaia Cornwall captures a moment between a patient and encouraging father and a determined little boy you can’t help but root for.

Froggy Learns to Swim book
#3
Froggy Learns to Swim
Written by Jonathan London and illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Zzzziiiinnngggg splash! Everyone’s favorite frog learns to swim! Frogs are supposed to be great swimmers. “Not me!” says Froggy, who’s afraid of the water. But with a little encouragement, some practice, and the help of a silly song or two, Froggy becomes an expert frog-kicker!

You Can Do It, Bert! book
#4
You Can Do It, Bert!
Written and illustrated by Ole Könnecke
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-6

This is Bert's big day. He is well prepared, mentally, and physically. But he might need some encouragement. You Can Do It, Bert! is a simple, funny picture book with an encouraging positive message. It's a great gift for anyone embarking on a new venture: a child about to start school, a teenager finishing high school, a college student graduating, or anyone starting a new job or going overseas.

Dilly Dally Daisy book
#5
Dilly Dally Daisy
Written and illustrated by Mark Fearing
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Get ready with Daisy the dawdler as she tries (really!) to get it together in this very real, very funny spin on dilly dallying. Daisy Marsha Martin is always late. For good reasons, of course. She’s busy saving the world, or teaching her stuffed animals to dance, or finding the perfect shirt to wear. But if Daisy is late one more time, then it’s no more mermaid swim class for her! This is the perfect story for fans of everyday silliness and for every kid who has been told to stop dawdling.

Summer book
#6
Summer
Written and illustrated by Ailie Busby
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

Follow the children in this book as they discover and explore the unique character of summer through indoor and outdoor play.

Llama Llama Sand and Sun book
#7
Llama Llama Sand and Sun
Written and illustrated by Anna Dewdney
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Fun in the sun with Llama Llama! Read along with Llama Llama as he splashes in the waves and plays in the sand in this brand-new touch-and-feel board book!

Ladybug Girl at the Beach book
#8
Ladybug Girl at the Beach
Written by Jacky Davis and illustrated by David Soman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

It is preschooler Lulu’s first time at the beach and she needs to conquer her fear of the ocean in this hardcover picture book from the New York Times bestselling Ladybug Girl series. Lulu has never been to the beach but she knows she is going to love it…until she sees just how big and loud the ocean is. She and her dog Bingo decide that they will make sandcastles, fly kites, and get ice cream instead of swimming. But then the ocean waves snatch Lulu’s favorite pail. This is a job for Ladybug Girl! When Lulu is Ladybug Girl, she is brave and nothing can stop her from rescuing her pail – and suddenly she is in the ocean and it is fun! This story is the perfect preparation for a first beach vacation, or to explore a new experience with a preschooler. Mama and Papa are never far away while Ladybug Girl builds up her courage and confronts something scary for the first time. For fans of Fancy Nancy and Angelina Ballerina, the Ladybug Girl series honors courage, creativity, and a love of nature!

Good Night Sea Shore book
#9
Good Night Sea Shore
Written and illustrated by Mark Jasper, Adam Gamble
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Good Night Seashore features beaches, the ocean, crabs, shorebirds, marshes, dunes, starfish, sea turtles, seaweed, urchins, seashells, clams, lobster boats, plants, jellyfish, minnows, seaglass, fishermen, dune buggies, surfers, swimmers, sand castles, and more. Grab your bathing suit and towel--it's time to explore the fabulous seashore. This book is part of the bestselling Good Night Our World series, which includes hundreds of titles exploring iconic locations and exciting themes. This adorable board book takes young readers on an exciting and educational tour of one of America's greatest treasures.

Mister Seahorse book
#10
Mister Seahorse
Written and illustrated by Eric Carle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

When Mrs. Seahorse lays her eggs, she does it on Mr. Seahorse’s belly! She knows he will take good care of them. While he swims waiting for the eggs to hatch, he meets other underwater fathers caring for their babies. Now Eric Carle’s heart-warming New York Times bestseller is finally available in a board book edition, complete with the clear “peek-a-boo” pages that made the original such a hit. Brimming with bright, colorful sea life, this new board book will be irresistable to young children everywhere.

I Can Fly book
#11
I Can Fly
Written by and illustrated by Fifi Kuo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Penguin wants to fly like other birds, but he has trouble doing so when he tries! Penguin is confused because he has wings and can flap, waddle, and leap like other birds, but he lands flat on his stomach when he tries to fly. When Penguin asks his dad why he can't fly, his father tells him that penguins swim. But Penguin doesn't want to accept this! Will he be able to find a way to fly?

Surf's Up book
#12
Surf's Up
Written by Kwame Alexander and illustrated by Daniel Miyares
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Surf’s up, Bro! Not yet, Dude. Books are boring. Not this one! Newbery Award Winner Kwame Alexander's bouncy ode to the joy of reading is available in board book format Bro and Dude have very different ideas about how to spend a day at the beach. But as Bro continues to gasp and cheer while he reads his book (Moby Dick), Dude can’t help getting pulled in—literally. Before you can shout “Surf’s up!” both frogs are sharing the same adventure— that is, until they get to the beach. Newbery Medalist Kwame Alexander and illustrator Daniel Miyares join forces to give readers a wild ride in this playful board book celebrating the joys of summer and reading.

Surf's Up, Creepy Stuff! book
#13
Surf's Up, Creepy Stuff!
Written by Andres Miedoso and illustrated by Victor Rivas
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Desmond and Andres battle beach bullies who also happen to be creepy monsters in the third book of the Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol chapter book series! Welcome to Kersville, a town with a spooky history and a collection of ghosts and spirits who are major mischief-makers. Most kids spend their days without ever seeing or dealing with a ghost, but some kids get stuck with a haunt. When that happens, they call Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol. There’s no job too spooky, icky, or risky for Desmond. I’m not like that at all. My name’s Andres Miedoso. I’m Desmond’s best friend and I’m afraid of everything. When you go to the beach with Desmond Cole, it isn’t all sand, surf, and sun. It’s more like, ghosts, ghouls, and gloom. And yes, being haunted while there’s sand in your swimsuit is annoying, but at least you can always count on one thing—beach life is never boring with Mersurfers around. With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol chapter books are perfect for emerging readers.

I'm a Duck book
#14
I'm a Duck
Written by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Will Hillenbrand
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

I cannot swim, and that is bad. A landlocked duck is very sad. One day, an egg rolled out of a nest and right into a deep pond. Now that egg is a little duck, and the water is still very scary. Jumping into the pond at all seems impossible, never mind swimming in a line with all his brothers. “You’re a duck, and ducks don’t sink,” Big Frog points out. Practicing in a puddle helps a little, while backrubs and snacks from his mother help a little more. Big Frog offers to hold his friend’s wing and dive in together, but our little duck knows that some challenges need to be faced alone. Even when they are very scary!

Freddie Ramos Makes a Splash book
#15
Freddie Ramos Makes a Splash
Written by Jacqueline Jules and illustrated by Miguel Benitez
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Freddie Ramos uses his super powers to give himself the courage to learn how to swim and to deal with a new neighbor who is a bully.

Swimming with Sharks book
#16
Swimming with Sharks
Written by Heather Lang and illustrated by Jordi Solano
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Before Eugenie Clark's groundbreaking research, most people thought sharks were vicious, blood-thirsty killers. From the first time she saw a shark in an aquarium, Japanese-American Eugenie was enthralled. Instead of frightening and ferocious eating machines, she saw sleek, graceful fish gliding through the water. After she became a scientist—an unexpected career path for a woman in the 1940s—she began taking research dives and training sharks, earning her the nickname "The Shark Lady."

Super Happy Party Bears: Cruising for a Snoozing book
#17
Super Happy Party Bears: Cruising for a Snoozing
Written by Marcie Colleen and illustrated by Steve James
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

The eighth book in a funny chapter book series filled with full-color illustrations and adorable animals! A group of sloths arrives at the Grumpy River for a synchronized swimming competition, and the Super Happy Party Bears are thrilled. They throw a party to celebrate their team, but the sloths just...sleep. The residents of the Grumpy Woods can't help but notice the giant pile of snoozing sloths, and Mayor Quill plots to get rid of them by shutting down the competition...until he unexpectedly gets the opportunity to show off his swimming moves.

Live and Let Swim: My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish book
#18
Live and Let Swim: My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish
Written by Mo O'Hara and illustrated by Marek Jagucki
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

The name's Goldfish. Zombie Goldfish. Fishy mayhem abounds with two more fin-tastic stories featuring our favorite (New York Times-bestselling!) zombie goldfish.

Gracie Laroo at Pig Jubilee book
#19
Gracie Laroo at Pig Jubilee
Written by Marsha Qualey and illustrated by Kristyna Litten
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

It is Gracie's first time at the Pig Jubilee with her synchronized swimming team, the Water Sprites, and she is the youngest pig with a chance to win a gold medal--the trouble is that she keeps getting distracted and missing her solo part, a triple spin dive.

Gracie Laroo Goes to School book
#20
Gracie Laroo Goes to School
Written by Marsha Qualey and illustrated by Kristyna Litten
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

Gracie LaRoo, the youngest pig on the Water Sprites synchronized swimming team, is nervous about giving a speech at the Wilbur Academy, the school she used to attend--she loves her sport, but her old coach does not think that it really measures up to swim racing.

Tiny Infinities book
#21
Tiny Infinities
Written and illustrated by J. H. Diehl
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

When Alice's dad moves out, leaving her with her troubled mother, she does the only thing that feels right: she retreats to her family's old Renaissance tent in the backyard, determined to live there until her dad comes home. In an attempt to keep at least one part of her summer from changing, Alice focuses on her quest to swim freestyle fast enough to get on her swim team's record board. But summers contain multitudes, and soon Alice meets an odd new friend, Harriet, whose obsession with the school's science fair is equal only to her conviction that Alice's best stroke is backstroke, not freestyle. Most unexpected of all is an unusual babysitting charge, Piper, who is mute—until Alice hears her speak. A funny and honest middle-grade novel, this sharply observed depiction of family, friendship, and Alice's determination to prove herself—as a babysitter, as a friend, as a daughter, as a person—rings loud and true.

Swimming with Seals book
#22
Swimming with Seals
Written by Maggie de Vries and illustrated by Janice Kun
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A stunning picture book set in the Pacific Northwest about an alternative, multigenerational family and their love for their granddaughter, niece and daughter. Ally isn’t able to live with her mother. Instead she lives far, far away, on the other side of the country, with her gram and great-aunt. But one summer Ally goes to stay with her aunt and uncle in the “big city by the ocean” and gets to spend time with her mom. While exploring the shore, watching whales from the boat and dipping into the salty water, Ally finds out something important: her mother loves to swim as much as she does. This is a very personal story. Ally is based on the author’s niece, Jeanie, and Ally’s mother is based on the author’s sister, Sarah, who went missing from the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver in 1998. Jeanie is like a seal in the water, and Sarah was just the same, but they never got to swim together. In this story, they do. Swimming with Seals is a story that was written for the thousands of children who long to live with their birth parents and will never fully understand why they can’t.

On My Swim book
#23
On My Swim
Written by Kari-Lynn Winters and illustrated by Christina Leist
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

On My Swim, the fourth in a popular under-five series, is another delightful collaboration between Winters and Leist. Set on the waterfront in and around Vancouver, British Columbia, this book features a very young child frolicking on the beach and learning to swim. Toddlers will take delight in this whimsically illustrated rhyming story.n the water at the seaside.

Splish, Splash, Splat! book
#24
Splish, Splash, Splat!
Written by Rob Scotton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Splat does not want to have a playdate with Spike. Spike will break his toys and eat all of his candy fish! And he does not want to learn how to swim—water is horrible, scary, and wet! He's sure that this is going to be the worst day ever. But when the rest of their classmates rush straight into the pool, Splat and Spike find that they may have more in common than they thought. Will Splat overcome his fear of water and get into the pool? And how can he help Spike to do the same?

Way Down Below Deep book
#25
Way Down Below Deep
Written by Nancy Raines Day and illustrated by David Sheldon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Swim with the ocean's most secret creatures! What mysteries lurk at the bottom of the ocean? Discover some of the world's most fascinating animals, such as anglerfish, luring prey to a toothy doom with a siren's light; vampire squid, peering forth with red eyes; and sea cucumbers, filtering food from the water passing through their bodies. Follow the lanternfish as he lights the way down to the mysterious deep, where whale worms sprout from bones and all varieties of jellies float free. Children will learn about these bizarre bottom-dwellers through clever rhymes and captivating drawings that bring this sunless land to light. Fun, sometimes silly, facts and images accompany each rhyming marine description.

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected] with your book and list suggestion.