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The Beach: Books For Kids

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

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

Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.

When it comes to children’s stories about the beach, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Sisters Are for Making Sand Castles to popular sellers like The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles to some of our favorite hidden gems like Sandcastle That Lola Built.

We hope this list of kids books about the beach 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.

Boats on the Bay book
#1
Boats on the Bay
Written by Jeanne Walker Harvey and illustrated by Grady McFerrin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Illustrations and easy to read text portray a variety of vessels, from houseboats to dredgers, through the course of a busy day on the bay.

 Sandcastle That Lola Built book
#2
Sandcastle That Lola Built
Written by Megan Maynor and illustrated by Kate Berube
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Lola is building her dream sandcastle—one with a tall, tall tower and sea glass that sends signals to mermaids. But the beach is crowded, and soon enough, a boy steps on her castle. Not to worry! Lola recruits him to build a wall. When a toddler with a bulldozer starts digging too close the walls, Lola decides he can be in charge of digging the moat. As the sandcastle grows, so does Lola’s friendly group of helpers. There’s only one thing that Lola doesn’t want near the sandcastle: a wave! Will the new friends be able to salvage the mermaids’ castle when their hard work is washed away?

The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles book
#3
The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles
Written by Michelle Cuevas and illustrated by Erin E. Stead
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A message in a bottle holds the promise of surprise and wonder, as told in this enthralling picture book by Caldecott Medalist Erin E. Stead

The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles, who lives alone atop a hill, has a job of the utmost importance. It is his task to open any bottles found at sea and make sure that the messages are delivered. He loves his job, though he has always wished that, someday, one of the letters would be addressed to him. One day he opens a party invitation—but there’s no name attached. As he devotes himself to the mystery of the intended recipient, he ends up finding something even more special: the possibility of new friends.

Waiting for Chicken Smith book
#4
Waiting for Chicken Smith
Written and 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.

Day at the Beach book
#5
Day at the Beach
Written and illustrated by Tom Booth
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A day at the beach becomes a lesson in sibling bonding for Gideon in this magical picture book.

Every summer, Gideon and his younger sister Audrey build a sand castle—together. But this summer, everything changes. Gideon is going to build the most spectacular sandcastle anyone on the beach has ever seen. And he’s going to do it on his own—without any help from his sister.

But much to his surprise, Gideon discovers that building together is more fun and that everyone has their own unique talent when it comes to creativity and imagination, even Audrey.

  1. Pip and Posy: The New Friend - Pip and Posy are having a lovely day at the beach, collecting shells and digging in the sand. But when Posy takes a nap, Pip makes a new friend named Zac. Zac is very cool: he has lots of fun toys and he’s really good at handstands. When Posy wakes up, she finds that Pip is more interested in playing with Zac than with her. A funny and dramatic story about discovering that two’s company and three’s a . . . PARTY!

  2. On My Beach - 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!

  3. Stanley's Train - It’s another busy day for Stanley and friends! All aboard on Stanley’s train and tickets ready, please. Stanley’s passengers have a beach ball, a toy boat, and an inner tube. Where could Stanley’s train be headed? Off we go on another adventure! Choo, choo! With bright illustrations, adorable characters, and a padded-cover format, William Bee’s Stanley series is perfect for readers transitioning from board books to picture books.

  4. The Storm Whale - 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.

At the Boardwalk book
#10
At the Boardwalk
Written and illustrated by Kelly Ramsdell Fineman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

From sunrise to sunset, the attractions of a beach boardwalk include popcorn, taffy, arcade games, and a dazzling amusement park.

Who's Hiding at the Beach? book
#11
Who's Hiding at the Beach?
Written by Nosy Crow and illustrated by Katharine McEwen and Nosy Crow
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

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

Charlie Chick Goes on Holiday book
#12
Charlie Chick Goes on Holiday
Written by Nick Denchfield and illustrated by Ant Parker
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A first pop-up book about Charlie Chick’s holiday by the sea!Charlie Chick is going on holiday. He’s packed a rubber ring, a bucket, a spade, and a HUGE kite. But what will he do with them? Open the pops and unfold the giant flap to find out!With stunning paper engineering by Nick Denchfield and wonderful illustrations by Ant Parker, Charlie Chick Goes on Holiday is sure to bring a giggle and a gasp from young and old alike!

Sea Rex book
#13
Sea Rex
Written and illustrated by Molly Idle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

What could that be

down in the sea?

Is it a fish?

A snail?

A mermaid’s tail?

No, it’s bigger than that . . .

a LOT bigger . . .

it’s Sea Rex!

Join Cordelia and her cretacious companions as they spend a memorable day at the beach, as only dinosaurs can do!

Llama Llama Sand and Sun book
#14
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!

  1. Beach - Run little fingers along these chunky, die-cut shapes and guess what created the tracks! Lift the flap to find out if you are right! Develop observation and prediction skills by exploring tracks that can be found in a variety of settings. What left this trail? Can you figure it out? A rewarding and tactile experience, full of surprises.

  2. Water Sings Blue - Come down to the shore with this rich and vivid celebration of the ocean! With watercolors gorgeous enough to wade in by award-winning artist Meilo So and playful, moving poems by Kate Coombs, Water Sings Blue evokes the beauty and power, the depth and mystery, and the endless resonance of the sea.

  3. Los Angeles Is . . . - Los Angeles is . . . surfing waves and fashion faves, citrus fruits and long commutes, lowrider cruising and poolside snoozing, zipping cars and Hollywood stars. From taco trucks to tar pits, this stylish primer to California’s City of Angels, illustrated by Alexander Vidal, is spot-on for toddlers and first-time travelers.

  4. Sandcastle - Rae and Grandad set out to build a sandcastle. They make a tall tower. They raise great ramparts. They dig a deep moat. They even find a dragon. But will it be enough to hold the tide? Sandcastle is a beautiful exploration of the ebb and flow of life.

Sisters Are for Making Sand Castles book
#19
Sisters Are for Making Sand Castles
Written by Harriet Ziefert and illustrated by Chris Demarest
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

You can climb a tree with a sister, or have a pillow fight, or ride the see-saw. A sister can keep you company in the back of the car, play dress-up with you, and help you when it’s time to clean up. A sister is a special someone to love. This sweet, lively lift-the-flap book is perfect for sisters and brothers to share. Children will delight in seeing all the fun things there are to do with a sister.

Sea Star Wishes book
#20
Sea Star Wishes
Written by Eric Ode and 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.

Chu's Day at the Beach book
#21
Chu's Day at the Beach
Written by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Adam Rex
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

A new adventure for everyone’s favorite sneezing panda, from New York Times bestselling team Neil Gaiman and Adam Rex. Now available as a board book for Neil Gaiman’s youngest fans!

Chu and his family are going to the beach! Chu is excited. He will get to play in the sand and wade in the water. But what will happen if Chu sneezes at the beach? And what will happen if he doesn’t?

A perfect read-aloud story about a summertime adventure!

Sam Wu Is Not Afraid of Sharks book
#22
Sam Wu Is Not Afraid of Sharks
Written by Kevin Tsang and Katie Tsang and illustrated by Nathan Reed
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-12

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?

Storm Whale book
#23
Storm Whale
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

  1. A Stone for Sascha - A girl grieves the loss of her dog in an achingly beautiful wordless epic from the Caldecott Honor-winning creator of Journey. This year’s summer vacation will be very different for a young girl and her family without Sascha, the beloved family dog, along for the ride. But a wistful walk along the beach to gather cool, polished stones becomes a brilliant turning point in the girl’s grief. There, at the edge of a vast ocean beneath an infinite sky, she uncovers, alongside the reader, a profound and joyous truth. In his first picture book following the conclusion of his best-selling Journey trilogy, Aaron Becker achieves a tremendous feat, connecting the private, personal loss of one child to a cycle spanning millennia — and delivering a stunningly layered tale that demands to be pored over again and again.

  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. Good Vibrations - Mike Love and Brian Wilson’s world-famous song, gloriously illustrated by Paul Hoppe, will bring smiles to the faces of children and parents alike. I’m pickin’ up good vibrations
    She’s giving me the excitations (oom bop bop)
    I’m pickin’ up good vibrations (good vibrations, oom bop bop)
    She’s giving me the excitations (excitations, oom bop bop)
    Good Vibrations is a lively picture book based on Mike Love and Brian Wilson’s number one hit about absorbing positive energy from the people around them. Often praised as one of the most important compositions in rock, the Beach Boys’ original version of this song was their third number one Billboard hit. With lyrics by Brian Wilson and Mike Love, and illustrations by Paul Hoppe, this picture book follows a girl and her dog as they make their way down to the beach, sharing good vibrations all along the way. Parents and children alike can share and enjoy one of rock’s greatest hits through the colorful pages of Good Vibrations.

    • Released in 1966, this is one of the defining and iconic songs of the era
    • The recording involved the then-revolutionary process of tape-splicing, cutting up and editing pieces of the master tape together
    • The musicians used in the recording of the song included members of the Wrecking Crew, the legendary set of Los Angeles session studio players
    • Beach Boys publicist Derek Taylor described the song as a “pocket symphony” (Derek was the former press officer for the Beatles and the Beach Boys, and worked with the Byrds and the Mamas & the Papas, among others)
    • The unusual sound featured in the song’s chorus was produced by an electrotheremin
    • The song was a transatlantic number one, reaching the top spot in both the USA and the UK
    • The song was the last US number one the Beach Boys achieved in the 1960s
    • Inducted into both the Grammy and Rock & Roll Halls of Fame
    • Rolling Stone ranked the song at number six on its 2010 list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All-Time
    • In 2001, the RIAA and the National Endowment for the Arts published their Songs of the Century list, with “Good Vibrations” at number 24
    • The song is part of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s permanent exhibition,500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll

  4. The Sea Turtle Mystery - The Aldens are spending spring break on a beach, but they aren’t just soaking up the sun. They’re protecting an endangered species! Their job is to mark sea turtle nests so the eggs can be moved to a safe place to hatch, but someone is digging up the eggs without permission. Can the Boxcar Children figure out what’s going on and help save the sea turtles?

Dolphin Boy book
#28
Dolphin Boy
Written by Michael Morpurgo and illustrated by Michael Foreman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-5

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?

The Seashore Book book
#29
The Seashore Book
Written by Charlotte Zolotow and illustrated by Wendell Minor
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A summer classic by two masters, reissued and redesigned for contemporary audiences.

Wendell Minor’s elegant artwork and Charlotte Zolotow’s simple, evocative prose brings a day at the beach vividly to life as a boy and his mother imagine what it would be like to spend a day at the seashore.

Lois Looks for Bob at the Beach book
#30
Lois Looks for Bob at the Beach
Written by Nosy Crow and illustrated by Gerry Turley and Nosy Crow
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

The next two titles in this quirky lift-the-flap book series from illustrator Gerry Turley appeal with their offbeat humor. Little readers will love helping Lois search for her friend Bob at the beach and encountering their friends along the way.

The Magic Boat book
#31
The Magic Boat
Written by Katherine Farris and Kit Pearson and illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Every summer morning, Ellie and her Nonna go to the beach. They swim and build sandcastles, and while Nonna reads, Ellie watches the other children play. One day Ellie builds up the courage to approach an older girl playing on her own in a beached rowboat. Piper has a gift, an imagination so great that she whisks Ellie off on grand adventures, going high in the air, deep below the ocean and everywhere in between in their little blue boat, their magic boat. When Piper has to leave, Ellie discovers she has her own vivid imagination.

The Beach Trip book
#32
The Beach Trip
Written by Jacqueline Jules and illustrated by Kim Smith
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

The Martinez family is headed for a weekend at the beach, along with their friends, but Sofia has packed so many games that she does not have room for clothes.

  1. Hands & Hearts - A mother and daughter spend a sunny day at the beach together where they swim, dance, build sandcastles, and, most importantly, communicate. But their communication is not spoken; rather, it is created by loving hands that use American Sign Language. Readers will learn how to sign 15 words using American Sign Language with the help of sidebars that are both instructive and playful. And the beautifully illustrated beach scenes will appeal both to the deaf community and to hearing parents and children, who will enjoy this gentle introduction to some basic words in ASL. Hands & Hearts is a picture book unlike any other, revealing the special bond between mother and child.

  2. Spot Goes to the Beach - Everyone’s favorite puppy takes a trip to the beach in this board book adventure! It’s a sunny day at the beach–and Spot is ready to have some fun and make new friends. Spot loves building sandcastles, but this time he decides to try something new: surfing! Spend a day at the beach along with Spot, his parents, and his new friends!

  3. S is for Sea Glass - The tickle of sand on the bottom of bare feet … the taste of salt from a spray of water … the rumble-roar as waves come ashore. These are just a few of the many sensory experiences a day at the beach can bring. S is for Sea Glass: A Beach Alphabet uses a variety of poetry forms such as free verse, haiku, and ode in this celebration of the beach and seaside life. From a walk down the boardwalk to collecting sea glass to imagining the life of a shell’s former occupant, poet Richard Michelson reminds beach lovers of all ages of the many reasons we’re drawn to the shore.

  4. Beach Babies Wear Shades - The babies are back, and this time, they’re slathered with sunscreen and headed for the beach. They’ll hang ten, boogie down, and keep it cool—all in their sweetly incomparable urban baby way. The “hottest” title yet in the best-selling Urban Baby series finds the stylish tots basking at the seaside, lakeshore, and riverbank. Publishers Weekly named Urban Babies Wear Black “Board Book That Provides the Best Role Models for Tony Tots.” Coming Fall 2007—Winter Babies Wear Layers

These Little Piggies Go to the Beach book
#37
These Little Piggies Go to the Beach
Written by Amy E. Sklansky and illustrated by Christine Davenier
picture book
Recommend Ages: 1-5

From New York Times bestselling illustrator Christine Davenier and bestselling author Amy E. Sklansky comes this utterly charming, silly, and irresistible read-aloud that sends the little piggies from everyone’s favorite nursery rhyme off to the beach. Following the rhythm and rhyme scheme of the original (This little piggy went to market..), young children get to follow along as the five piggies pack the car, arrive at the beach, build a sand castle, swim and explore, and play with a beach ball. It’s the perfect read-aloud for young children and their adults, providing lots to look at, loads of fun action, and a perfect ending to a perfect day at the beach.

The Book of Summer book
#38
The Book of Summer
Written and illustrated by Agnese Baruzzi
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-4

Here comes the sun . . . and summer! Put on your sunglasses and enjoy the heat at the beach, where you can dig up the sand with your shovel and pail and see starfish in the sea. And don’t forget the seasonal treats like watermelon and ice cream—yum!

Blobfish Throws a Party book
#39
Blobfish Throws a Party
Written by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Maggie Caton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Introducing Blobfish Throws a Party, a wild and hilarious story from award-winning author Miranda Paul! Blobfish lives at the bottom of the ocean with no lights, no friends, and no delicious treats. The only two ways he can think to change this would be to 1) throw a party, or 2) save the world in true hero style. He decides to do the first one. However, when he announces, “Deep sea party! Bring a treat to share!”, the mermaids hear “Cheap, free party! Sling on a sheet to wear!”, and the shorebirds hear “Cheep-peep party! Sing a tweet with flair!”, and so on. Soon the whole world is partying in strange ways based on what they think they heard, and Blobfish is still sad and alone at the bottom of the sea. Will Blobfish ever get his lights, friends, and delicious treats?

Indestructibles: Beach Baby book
#40
Indestructibles: Beach Baby
Written by Amy Pixton and illustrated by Kate Merritt
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

Beach Baby is the perfect beach book for baby, telling the sweet story of baby’s day at the beach—and it’s sand-proof, waterproof, and sunscreen-proof, too.

With two million copies in print, Indestructibles are the books built for the way babies read. They are 100 percent baby-proof, chew-proof, rip-proof, and drool-proof. Printed on a unique nontoxic, paperlike material that holds up to anything babies can throw at it—gumming, spilling, dragging across the floor—Indestructibles are the little books that could. They’re indestructible. And if they get dirty, just throw them in the dishwasher or rinse them in the sink.

Beach Day book
#41
Beach Day
Written by Karen Roosa and illustrated by Maggie Smith
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

A colorful board book that captures the fun and excitement of a day at the beach. Sun, sea, and sand meet bright illustrations and a fun rhyming text in this delightful summer story. The perfect board book for summer! Buoyant verse and bright, playful illustrations capture the singular feeling of a hazy, lazy day by the ocean, complete with a ball game with new friends, water-skiers and sailboats, and a picnic lunch. A captivating introduction to the beach for young children.

    Did you enjoy our children's book recommendations? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!

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