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The Ocean: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about the ocean?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to the ocean. 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 ocean.

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 the ocean, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Mystery of the brass-bound trunk to popular sellers like Life of Pi to some of our favorite hidden gems like House for Hermit Crab.

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

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Top 10 Books About The Ocean

#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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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!

#5
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Sandcastle That Lola Built
Written by Megan Maynor & 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?

#6
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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.

#7
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The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles
Written by Michelle Cuevas & 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.

#8
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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.

#9
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Let's Dive: Into the Ocean
Written by Timothy Knapman & illustrated by Wesley Robins
board book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

Search, find, and swim under the sea with this nonfiction adventure! Dive deep into the ocean in a fun, layered seek-and-find! Visit a colorful coral reef, explore shipwreck, and swim to the deepest parts of the ocean with this nonfiction treasure. Turn the pages and learn all about different ocean habitats as you search for fun surprises on every spread. This interactive undersea adventure will keep you informed and entertained!

#10
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Ocean Meets Sky
Written by Terry Fan & illustrated by Eric Fan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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

Table of Contents
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Books About The Ocean and The Beach

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Sandcastle That Lola Built
Written by Megan Maynor & 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?

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The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles
Written by Michelle Cuevas & 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.

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Who's Hiding at the Beach?
Written by Nosy Crow & 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.

Honorable Mentions
Sea Star Wishes book
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Here Comes Ocean book
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Wave book
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Beach Babies Wear Shades book
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  1. Sea Star Wishes - 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Wave - In this evocative wordless book, internationally acclaimed artist Suzy Lee tells the story of a little girl’s day at the beach. Stunning in their simplicity, Lee’s illustrations, in just two shades of watercolor, create a vibrant story full of joy and laughter.

  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

Books About The Ocean and Feelings And Emotions

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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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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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Pout-Pout Fish: Haunted House
Written by Deborah Diesen & illustrated by Dan Hanna and Deborah Diesen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

It’s time for Halloween, and Mr. Fish is nervous about visiting a haunted house with his friends—but he just may be surprised that it’s not all so scary! At an affordable price point, and with two pages of stickers, this new format is fun and accessible for Mr. Fish’s fans and newcomers alike.

Honorable Mentions
Shine! book
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Always Remember book
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Little Fish and Mommy book
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The Pout-Pout Fish in the Big-Big Dark book
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  1. Shine! - 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.

  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. Little Fish and Mommy - Join Little Fish and Mommy Fish for a special day as they play beneath the waves. Little Fish loves Mommy Fish very much, and young readers are invited along on a special adventure with them under the sea. Bouncy rhyming text follows the two from one page to the next as Mommy Fish teaches Little Fish to swim, blow big bubbles, and say hello to all their friends. Fun, fish-shaped, and perfect for Mother’s Day, this board book celebrates a singular bond with vibrant colors and playful scenes.

  4. 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.

Books About The Ocean and Mammals

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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.

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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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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.

Honorable Mentions
Slide-N-Seek Ocean book
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Together book
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10 Reasons to Love... a Whale book
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The Turning book
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  1. Slide-N-Seek Ocean - 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.

  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. 10 Reasons to Love... a Whale - Blue whales are incredible creatures! Did you know they are the largest animal on earth? Or that they sing songs across the ocean? Discover ten reasons why whales are amazing and five ways you can show they love them in this gorgeous picture book. A must for any young animal enthusiast and a fantastic introduction to environmental issues.

  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?

Books About The Ocean and Explorers

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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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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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Garcia and Colette Go Exploring
Written by Hannah Barnaby & illustrated by Andrew Joyner
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Exploring outer space and the ocean is exciting, but what if you left something very important at home?

Best friends Garcia and Colette are eager to go exploring, only they can’t agree on where to go. Garcia loves everything about space (Stars! Planets!)­ and Colette is obsessed with the sea (Waves! Fish!).

Staying home is not an option, so they each get busy. Garcia builds a rocket ship that’s snazzy and silver. Colette’s shiny submarine is perfect for deep-sea dives. And they wish each other well on their travels.

It turns out the Milky Way really is amazing and the ocean floor is truly spectacular, but Garcia and Colette both realize they left something very important back home.

Exploring your favorite place can be terrific, but maybe the company is more important than the destination.

Honorable Mentions
Flying Deep Climb Inside Deep Sea Submersible ALVIN book
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Little Explorers: Under the Sea book
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The Sinking of the Vasa book
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Great White Shark Adventure book
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  1. Flying Deep Climb Inside Deep Sea Submersible ALVIN - Climb aboard Alvin, the famous deep-sea submersible credited with helping to find the Titanic, and take a trip two miles down to the bottom of the ocean. Experience a day in the life of an Alvin pilot, diving two miles down to explore the seafloor, collect samples, and conduct research. Along the way, discover what one wears, eats, and talks about during a typical eight-hour trip in a underwater craft, and find out more about the animals that live deep in our oceans. In expressive, poetic language and gorgeous illustrations, the mysteries of the deep sea are revealed. Backmatter includes an author’s note about researching this book, a glossary, and suggested further reading.

  2. Little Explorers: Under the Sea - Introducing the next book in the LITTLE EXPLORERS series, an interactive nonfiction series for curious youngsters. With more than 30 flaps, UNDER THE SEA provides little ones with hands-on fun! UNDER THE SEA is a lively introduction to all types of sea creatures, where children can lift the flaps to learn about all types of amazing animals and the environment they live in. Young readers will be amazed as they find out all about the coral reef, open ocean, endangered animals, shipwrecks, and much much more! This book features over 30 sturdy flaps to lift, along with charming, kid-friendly artwork that introduces new concepts and vocabulary in a simple and accessible way.

  3. The Sinking of the Vasa - Newbery Medalist Freedman explores the mystery of the sinking of the great Swedish warship, the “Vasa, “ on her maiden voyage in 1628, and her resurrection from the seas centuries later. Full color.

  4. 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.

Want to see books about explorers?

Books About The Ocean and Siblings

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Day at the Beach
Written & 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.

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Hello Lighthouse
Written & illustrated by Sophie Blackall
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A lavish new picture book from Caldecott-winner Sophie Blackall that will transport readers to the seaside in timeless, nautical splendor! Watch the days and seasons pass as the wind blows, the fog rolls in, and icebergs drift by. Outside, there is water all around. Inside, the daily life of a lighthouse keeper and his family unfolds as the keeper boils water for tea, lights the lamp’s wick, and writes every detail in his logbook. Step back in time and through the door of this iconic lighthouse into a cozy dollhouse-like interior with the extraordinary award-winning artist Sophie Blackall.

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Hello
Written & illustrated by Fiona Woodcock
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A brother and sister enjoy a brilliant day full of spills, thrills, and silly adventures in this playful story comprised only of words that contain a double L (such as spills, thrills, and silly)! The spare, engaging text works as an interactive read-aloud, and the stunning illustrations invite repeated readings. A great choice for family sharing, language arts teachers, emerging readers, and storytime fun! Hello! Are you ready for a brilliant day? There are plenty of spills and thrills as a brother and a sister collide in bumper cars, ride roller coasters, toss beach balls, and act silly in the chilly ocean water, where they meet a jellyfish! This playful concept and story book is ideal for new readers, who will love following along as a brother and sister enjoy a day full of adventure and unexpected surprises. Author-illustrator Fiona Woodcock’s spare text uses only words with double L’s, an important concept for early literacy. Parents and educators will appreciate the way each word is cleverly woven into eye-catching illustrations, from rabbit ears to a child’s boots. Fans of Kevin Henkes’s Egg and Fiona Woodcock’s acclaimed debut Look will love the playful tone and pace.

Honorable Mentions
Jules vs. the Ocean book
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Storm Whale book
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Hello book
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  1. Jules vs. the Ocean - From the creator of Not Quite Narwhal comes a story about a young girl determined to impress her older sister by building elaborate sandcastles, even if that means standing up to the ocean and its smash-happy waves! Jules is going to build the biggest, the fanciest, and the most excellent sandcastle. Her sister will be so impressed. But the ocean has other plans. Jules keeps building bigger, fancier, and more excellent castles, and waves keep smashing them. And when the ocean takes her bucket, that is the final straw. Jules is going to take a stand! From beloved storyteller Jessie Sima comes the tongue-in-cheek story of the sand, the sea, and sisterhood—told with her signature warmth, timeless humor, and delightfully playful illustrations.

  2. 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.

  3. Hello - HELLO! Welcome, all! This book tells the story of a tall sister and her small brother and their thrilling, rollicking adventures near the sea. What makes it swell? Well, it’s jolly and silly and full of words that contain the letter pair LL. BRILLIANT!

Want to see books about siblings?

Books About The Ocean and Environmental Science And Ecosystems

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Let's Dive: Into the Ocean
Written by Timothy Knapman & illustrated by Wesley Robins
board book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

Search, find, and swim under the sea with this nonfiction adventure! Dive deep into the ocean in a fun, layered seek-and-find! Visit a colorful coral reef, explore shipwreck, and swim to the deepest parts of the ocean with this nonfiction treasure. Turn the pages and learn all about different ocean habitats as you search for fun surprises on every spread. This interactive undersea adventure will keep you informed and entertained!

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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!

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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.

Honorable Mentions
The Ocean in Your Bathtub book
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Many: the Diversity of Life on Earth book
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Sea Creatures book
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Coral Reefs (New & Updated Edition) book
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  1. The Ocean in Your Bathtub - “The Earth’s five oceans and its water cycle connect all of us in important and unexpected ways”—

  2. Many: the Diversity of Life on Earth - The more we study the world around us, the more living things we discover every day. The planet is full of millions of species of plants, birds, animals, and microbes, and every single one including us is part of a big, beautiful, complicated pattern. When humans interfere with parts of the pattern, by polluting the air and oceans, taking too much from the sea, and cutting down too many forests, animals and plants begin to disappear. What sort of world would it be if it went from having many types of living things to having just one?

  3. Sea Creatures - FIRST EXPLORERS: With cool things to push, pull, and slide on the cover and every spread for interactive fun, this chunky board book gives children their first enticing taste of nonfiction! Swim through coral reefs, rock pools, and deep blue seas to see what lives in and near the ocean! As kids push, pull, and slide their way through the pages, they’ll encounter some amazing creatures: scuttling crabs, tentacled jellyfish, slippery eels, and penguins, seals, and giant whales that like icy-cold water. From pretty starfish to fierce sharks and octopuses, each one is fantastic.

  4. Coral Reefs (New & Updated Edition) - What is life like in a coral reef? What do corals eat? Why are corals more colorful at nighttime? Learn about some of the most beautiful locations in the natural world Marine biologists believe coral reefs existed 400 million years ago, when dinosaurs roamed the earth. Today this active environment is home to about 20,000 kinds of brilliantly colored corals, plants, and animals—more sea creatures than are found anywhere else in the world. The Great Barrier Reef in Australia is so large that astronauts can see it from outer space! Children in early elementary grades will enjoy Gibbon’s informative text and clear, detailed illustrations on this journey into the unique lives of coral reefs.

Books About The Ocean 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!

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The Pout-Pout Fish and the Bully-Bully Shark
Written by Deborah Diesen & illustrated by Dan Hanna
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Mr. Fish finds the courage to speak up for his friends when a shark comes to the park and bullies them.

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Sea Creatures from the Sky
Written & illustrated by Ricardo Cortes
picture book
Recommend Ages: 1-7

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.

Honorable Mentions
Dude! book
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How to Survive as a Shark book
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Fishin': Impossible book
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Chomp: A Shark Romp book
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  1. Dude! - The author of Nerdy Berdy and Creepy Carrots! teams up with the Caldecott–winning illustrator behind The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend to create the hilarious, gnarly summer adventure picture book, Dude! Dude! You have to read this book. It’s totally about this platypus and this beaver who are friends. They want to go surfing but dude, there’s this shark who’s in the ocean, too. But don’t worry. This shark approaches and you’ll never guess what happens.

  2. How to Survive as a Shark - Ahoy, me mateys! Upset your Mom swam away after you were born? Cry me an ocean. You’ve got ME to show you the ropes! Well, at least until I get a craving for baby shark. Swim along and I’ll teach you how to hunt using all six senses (a whole sense more than a human), why you can NEVER stop moving (blimey, no - not even to sleep!), and what your most dangerous threat is (here’s a hint: those sneaky landlubbers don’t even live in our waters!). Aye, me hearties, learning How to Survive as a Shark is not as easy as it sounds! How to Survive as a Shark provides a unique take on fish science that will entertain and educate in and out of the classroom. Full of opportunities for extended learning, this book includes fun facts hidden throughout the hilarious illustrated story – and after, a glossary of important terms and some real photos of great white sharks. If you’ve ever wondered how to think and swim like a shark, and you like to laugh while you learn, this book is for you!

  3. Fishin': Impossible - Harry does some deep sea detective work while investigating the fishy disappearance of his worst enemy in this eighth Shark School (mis)adventure. Harry Hammer’s all-time favorite TV show is Mike Hammerhead, Shark Detective. The fin-tastic detective never fails to solve under-the-sea ‘who-dunnits’ and now Harry has found himself in similar water when he investigates the disappearance of his worst enemy Rick Reef. Has his nemesis gone missing or gone fishing?!

  4. Chomp: A Shark Romp - Dive in to the depths of the ocean to discover different species of sharks in this nonfiction picture book with simple text and illustrations. Many different kinds of sharks are swimming below the ocean’s surface. Some sharks are gentle, and some sharks are fierce. Some are awake in the day, and some are awake at night. Some eat almost anything, and some are very picky. You may not be able to visit their watery world, but you can always visit them up close at the aquarium. Simple text and bold illustrations take young explorers on a deep dive through the ocean full of sharks. Don’t Miss More from Michael Paul in Roar: A Dinosaur Tour!

Want to see books about sharks?

Books About The Ocean and First Concepts

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O Is for Ocean
Written by Ashley Marie Mireles & illustrated by Volha Kaliaha
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

A is for anemone B is for barracuda C is for clown fish . . .

With F for the flounder, K for kelp, and T for tide pool, going from A to Z has never been more fun! Take an alphabetized voyage under the sea and discover the plants, animals, and places that make the ocean so amazing!

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1, 2, 3 Sea Creatures
Written & illustrated by Toko Hosoya
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-5

Beautiful, hand-drawn illustrations of sea creatures help teach the 1,2,3s in a fun and unforgettable way. This charming picture book is sure to engage early learners in counting and picture recognition skills until the very last page! The book also comes with a poster displaying the silly sea creatures matched with their corresponding numbers!

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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
My First 100 Ocean Words book
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Peek-a-Baby: Ocean book
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The Seashore Book book
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Seagrass Dreams book
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  1. My First 100 Ocean Words -

  2. 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.

  3. The Seashore Book - 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.

  4. Seagrass Dreams - Learn to count as you discover a host of marine animals that make their home in seagrass. Seagrass Dreams is a unique counting book and introduction to marine life that stars animals who make their home in seagrass. While learning to count from 1 to 11, meet a host of marine animals, such as the great barracuda, yellow stingray, bucktooth parrotfish, and chocolate chip sea star. Find out each animal’s name, scientific name, natural habitat, and more! Seagrass Dreams features gorgeous illustrations, adding a colorful and engaging element to this delightful book. Seagrass Dreams closes with a list of the common species of seagrass, their scientific names, and where each can be found.

Books About The Ocean and Ecology

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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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Manfish
Written by Jennifer Berne & illustrated by Eric Puybaret
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Poetic text and full color paintings combine to create a portrait of the internationally known oceanographer as a curious little boy whose love of the ocean inspired him to grow up to become a champion of the seas.

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The Mess That We Made
Written by Michelle Lord & illustrated by Julia Blattman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

The Mess That We Made explores the environmental impact of trash and plastic on the ocean and marine life, and it inspires kids to do their part to combat pollution. Simple, rhythmic wording builds to a crescendo (“This is the mess that we made. These are the fish that swim in the mess that we made.”) and the vibrant digital artwork captures the disaster that is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Children can imagine themselves as one of the four multi-ethnic occupants of the little boat surrounded by swirling plastic in the middle of the ocean, witnessing the cycle of destruction and the harm it causes to plants, animals, and humans. The first half of the book portrays the growing magnitude of the issue, and the second half rallies children and adults to make the necessary changes to save our oceans, before it is too late. Facts about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, ocean pollution, and how kids can help are included in the back matter.

Honorable Mentions
A First Book of the Sea book
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The Sea Book book
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A Whale's World book
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The Coral Kingdom book
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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. A Whale's World - A Whale’s World follows a pod of spy-hopping orcas as they explore the ecosystems of the Great Bear Sea while hunting for their next meal. Past rocky shores and through kelp forests,they observe foraging wolves, hungry grizzly bears, curious black bears, graceful fin whales, splashing porpoises,slippery seals and other members of the Pacific coastal food web.The book gives readers a fun introduction to the many ways that marine and land animals interact with their environments and with each other.

  4. The Coral Kingdom - From brightly coloured corals to shimmering shoals of fish, the diversity of life on a coral reef is celebrated in this visually stunning picture book with a strong ecological message about the need to protect this most precious of environments. Through gentle rhyme and intricately etched artwork, it explores the life cycle, diversity and colour of the coral reef ecosystem, as well as the threats the reef faces and what we can do to save it. With each page packed full of delightful sea creatures to discover and enjoy, this is a lyrical and engaging way to learn about the life cycle of a coral reef.

Want to see books about ecology?

Books About The Ocean and Culture

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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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Billy Stuart and the Sea of a Thousand Dangers
Written by Alain M. Bergeron & illustrated by Sampar
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

What was supposed to be a relaxing ocean crossing for Billy Stuart and his friends after their adventures on the island of Crete quickly transforms into a veritable odyssey. A violent storm throws them off their maritime course and leads to a downpour of events with potentially tragic consequences: mutiny, vicious monster attacks, siren songs and more. The dire situation doesn’t get any better when they finally make it to shore. A thousand dangers make the Zintrepids’ every waking moment seem like a nightmare. And is Billy Stuart still on the trail of his grandfather, the explorer Virgil Stuart who has traveled through time? Or are the Zintrepids forever lost in an unknown age and strange place?

This is the third book in the Billy Stuart series.

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The Little Mermaid
Written by Hannah Eliot & illustrated by Nivea Ortiz
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

A classic fairy tale gets a fresh twist in this vibrant Caribbean spin on the Little Mermaid! The Little Mermaid longs to know about the world above the ocean. When she’s finally old enough to visit, she falls in love with a prince! A sea witch agrees to give the mermaid a potion that will make her human—but the spell will be broken if the prince doesn’t love her too! Set in the Caribbean, with beautiful illustrations by Puerto Rican illustrator Nivea Ortiz, this fifth book in the Once Upon a World series is the same beloved fairy tale but it’s totally reimagined. Once Upon a World offers a multicultural take on the fairy tales we all know and love. Because these tales are for everyone, everywhere.

Honorable Mentions
Wild Orca book
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Journey of the Pale Bear book
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Anna Hibiscus book
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Trapped!  A Whale's Rescue book
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  1. Wild Orca - 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.

  2. Journey of the Pale Bear - A runaway boy befriends a polar bear that’s being transported from Norway to London in this lyrical and timeless adventure story about freedom, captivity, and finding a family. The polar bear is a royal bear, a gift from the King of Norway to the King of England. The first time Arthur encounters the bear, he is shoved in her cage as payback for stealing food. Restless and deadly, the bear terrifies him. Yet, strangely, she doesn’t harm him—though she has attacked anyone else who comes near. That makes Arthur valuable to the doctor in charge of getting the bear safely to London. So Arthur, who has run away from home, finds himself taking care of a polar bear on a ship to England. Tasked with feeding and cleaning up after the bear, Arthur’s fears slowly lessen as he begins to feel a connection to this bear, who like him, has been cut off from her family. But the journey holds many dangers, and Arthur knows his own freedom—perhaps even his life—depends on keeping the bear from harm. When pirates attack and the ship founders, Arthur must make a choice—does he do everything he can to save himself, or does he help the bear to find freedom? Based on the real story of a polar bear that lived in the Tower of London, this timeless adventure story is also a touching account of the bond between a boy and a bear.

  3. Anna Hibiscus - Anna Hibiscus lives in Africa. Amazing Africa. She lives with her whole family in a wonderful house. There is always somebody to laugh or play with. She loves to splash in the sea with her cousins and have parties with her aunties. But more than anything else in the world, Anna Hibiscus would love to see snow.

  4. Trapped! A Whale's Rescue - In the icy waters of the Pacific, a massive humpback whale unexpectedly finds herself tangled in a net abandoned by fishermen. When a rescue boat and a convoy of divers arrive to help the struggling humpback, a realistic and moving encounter bridges the human and aquatic worlds.

Want to see books about culture?

Books About The Ocean and Transportation

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I'll Catch You If You Fall
Written by Mark Sperring & illustrated by Layn Marlow
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In the spirit of Someday and Guess How Much I Love You comes a lyrical and endearing picture book about the people in our lives who are always there to look out for us. Who will keep the boy safe? “I will,” said his mother. “I will hold him close… and never let him lean too far.” Big or small, near or far, we all need someone to watch over us. This touching picture book is a reassuring tale about a journey and the people who are with us as we travel through life. It is for anyone who has wondered, Who will keep me safe? and for anyone who has answered, I will.

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Yellow Submarine
Written by The Beatles & illustrated by Heinz Edelmann
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

A whole new generation will be climbing aboard this sunny, psychedelic storybook, while nostalgic Beatles fans of all ages will be clamoring for a ticket to ride. Once upon a time (or maybe twice), some 80,000 leagues beneath the sea, there lay a colorful land of song and laughter called Pepperland, where Sergeant Pepper’s Band was always playing your song — until the Blue Meanies burst on the scene and chased all the music and magic away. So began the classic 1968 film Yellow Submarine, inspired by a song and hailed as an avant-garde amalgam of pop art, Beatles music, and highly innovative animation. Now that film’s dazzling images — and its lighthearted, witty tale — is showcased in a glorious picture book sure to be savored by fans and readers of all ages.

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South
Written & illustrated by Daniel Duncan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

When a lonely fisherman finds an injured bird on his boat, he nurtures it back to health and—since the bird can no longer migrate with its family—charts a course to head south for the winter. Together, the two form a special friendship and enjoy life at sea until both the healing process and the journey must come to an end. In the tradition of the classic Amos & Boris, South is a story about making new friends and the bittersweet process of saying good-bye to the ones we love. It beautifully depicts the power of new beginnings and the freedom in coming home.

Honorable Mentions
Twenty  Thousand  Leagues  Under  the  Sea book
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The Real Boat book
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  1. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea - Jules Verne’s early sci-fi novel is a timeless masterpiece that predicted the invention of the submarine. This stunningly illustrated retelling introduces young readers to the enigmatic Captain Nemo and takes them along on a fantastic voyage on board the Nautilus. Artist Francesca Rossi vividly captures the ocean’s depths and the amazing creatures that live there, bringing children right into the heart of the adventure.

  2. The Real Boat - When a paper boat learns about the ocean, he is determined to go there so he can be a real boat. On his journey he meets all sorts of friends, from the strong little tugboat to the glittering ocean liner. But he also learns that the real ocean is huge and deep and full of dangers. A lyrical text and magical illustrations combine to create a modern fable with an important message about striving for what you want and escaping your comfort zone.

Books About The Ocean and Whales

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Moby-Dick
Written by Jennifer Adams & illustrated by Alison Oliver
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

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.

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Squishy Squashy Whale
Written & illustrated by Jenny Copper
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

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!

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Ocean
Written by Heather Alexander & illustrated by Andres Lozano
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

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.

Honorable Mentions
Rainbow Fish and the Big Blue Whale book
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Way Down Below Deep book
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Baby Beluga book
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A Book about Whales book
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  1. Rainbow Fish and the Big Blue Whale - 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.

  2. Way Down Below Deep - 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.

  3. Baby Beluga - Presents the illustrated text to the song about the little white whale who swims wild and free.

  4. A Book about Whales - Acting as a first book of whales, A Book About Whales teaches young readers everything they need to know about the largest mammals on earth: how they have evolved over millions of years, what and how they eat, their migration patterns, and more! Andrea Antinori’s whimsical black-and-white illustrations bring their underwater world to life. The book discusses a variety of whales one by one so readers learn to tell the differences between a blue whale and a humpback whale, among others, and what makes each of these whales unique. Packed with facts and playful in tone, this book is a must-have for young and curious nature lovers. It includes a bibliography and index.

Books About The Ocean and The Environment

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What a Waste
Written & illustrated by Jess French
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Everything you need to know about what we’re doing to our environment, good and bad, from pollution and litter to renewable energy and plastic recycling. This environmental book will teach young ecologists about how our actions affect planet Earth. Discover shocking facts about the waste we produce and where it goes. Did you know that every single plastic toothbrush ever made still exists? Or that there’s a floating mass of garbage twice the size of Texas drifting around the Pacific Ocean? It’s not all bad news though. As well as explaining where we’re going wrong, What a Waste shows what we’re doing right! Discover plans already in motion to save our seas, how countries are implementing schemes that are having a positive impact, and how your waste can be turned into something useful. Every small change helps our planet!

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Ocean! Waves for All
Written by Stacy McAnulty & illustrated by David Litchfield
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From writer Stacy McAnulty and illustrator David Litchfield, Ocean! Waves for All is a light-hearted nonfiction picture book about the formation and history of the ocean, told from the perspective of the ocean itself.

Dude. Ocean is incredible. Atlantic, Pacific, Artic, Indian, Southern―it’s all excellent Ocean! Not part of any nation, his waves are for all. And under those waves, man, he holds so many secrets. With characteristic humor and charm, Stacy McAnulty channels the voice of Ocean in this next “autobiography” in the Our Universe series. Rich with kid-friendly facts and beautifully brought to life by David Litchfield, this is an equally charming and irresistible companion to Earth! My First 4.54 Billion Years; Sun! One in a Billion; and Moon! Earth’s Best Friend.

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A Dolphin's Wish
Written by Trevor McCurdie & illustrated by Cinzia Battistel
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

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.

Honorable Mentions
Deep in the Ocean book
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Ocean Motions book
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  1. 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.

  2. Ocean Motions - Adorable ocean creatures sway, jiggle and play, glide, flip, and dive in this beautiful board book from indie collage artist Kate Endle and children’s music star Caspar Babypants. Toddlers will love this colorful board book about ocean creatures, featuring beautiful and playful collage art by indie artist Kate Endle and the clever word play of Seattle songwriter Caspar Babypants. Walruses warmly wave! Sea turtles tip and flip. River otters race through the ripples. Belugas blow bubbles.

Books About The Ocean and Family

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

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

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Swashby and the Sea
Written by Beth Ferry & illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal
board book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

From New York Times best-selling author Beth Ferry and Caldecott Honor winner Juana Martinez-Neal comes a sweet-and-salty friendship story perfect for pirate-lovers and fans of The Night Gardener.

Captain Swashby loves the sea, his oldest friend. And he loves his life by the sea just as it is: salty and sandy and serene.

One day, much to Swashby’s chagrin, a young girl and her granny commandeer the empty house next door. All Swashby wants is for his new neighbors to GO AWAY and take their ruckus with them.

When Swashby begins to leave notes in the sand for his noisy neighbors, however, the beach interferes with the messages that are getting across. Could it be that the captain’s oldest friend, the sea, knows what Swashby needs even better than he knows himself?

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Mister Seahorse
Written & 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.

Honorable Mentions
The Pennypackers Go on Vacation book
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Beach Day book
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  1. The Pennypackers Go on Vacation - Charlie Pennypacker is finally going somewhere. Mrs. Pennypacker has wrestled money for a vacation from Mr. Pennypacker’s tightfisted grip and the family is on their way to a Disney cruise. An eleven- story luxury cruise liner sporting a 212-foot waterslide and an all-night buffet awaits. So he thinks. It’s not long before Charlie discovers he will be cruising on a dilapidated fishing boat, the Disney characters are fake, there’s no waterslide, the food is only eggs, his enemy Gunter Hwang has been brought along for thirty dollars a day and the captain is on the run from sinister men in dark suits. It’s a Caribbean game of cat and mouse involving wits, interrogations, a hidden room, emergency departures, races against time and clever deceptions. Charlie finds the sort of adventure he’d always dreamed of. And a whole lot of adventure he’d never dreamed of.

  2. Beach Day - 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.

Books About The Ocean and Adventure And Adventurers

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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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Captain Jack and the Pirates
Written by Peter Bently & illustrated by Helen Oxenbury
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

The boys from King Jack and the Dragon are back in this swashbuckling pirate adventure with pictures by the New York Times bestselling illustrator of Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes

Jack, Zack, and Caspar are building a ship—on the beach, out of sand. When they set sail on their imaginary adventure, Jack spies an enemy pirate ship nearby. They chase after the pirates, but a storm wrecks their ship and sweeps them up on a desert island. The island isn’t totally deserted, though—their pirate enemies are there too. Just as the boys discover the pirates’ treasure (an array of delicious desserts), the pirates (their parents) capture them. But these pirates are friendly—they’re willing to share the treasure, and they throw in some ice cream just for good measure!

Perfect for storytime read-alouds, this picture book is just right for fans of Three Bears in a Boat, How I Became a Pirate, and We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.

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Edison
Written by Torben Kuhlmann
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Award-winning illustrator Torben Kuhlmann’s stunning new book transports readers to new depths where imagination lights the way! A long time ago, one mouse learned to fly, another landed on the moon…what will happen in the next Mouse adventure? From the creator of Lindbergh—The Tale of a Flying Mouse and Armstrong, comes Edison—The Mystery of the Missing Mouse Treasure. When two unlikely friends build a vessel capable of taking them to the bottom of the ocean find a missing treasure—the truth turns out to be far more amazing.

Honorable Mentions
In the Deep Blue Sea book
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Race to the Bottom of the Sea book
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City of Islands book
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The Voyage to Magical North book
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  1. In the Deep Blue Sea - New York Times–bestselling authors Bill Nye the Science Guy and Gregory Mone take middle-grade readers on a scientific adventure in Book 2 of the exciting new Jack and the Geniuses series. The series combines real-world science along with a mysterious adventure that will leave kids guessing until the end, making the books ideal for STEM education. In the second installment, In the Deep Blue Sea, Jack, his genius siblings Ava and Matt, and inventor Dr. Hank Witherspoon travel to the Hawaiian island home of Ashley Hawking, a technology billionaire. Hawking and engineer Rosa Morris have built a revolutionary electricity plant that harvests energy from the deep ocean, but someone has been sabotaging the project. In their search for the culprit, Jack and crew navigate an unusual world of characters and suspects, including Hawking and her obnoxiously intelligent son, Steven; a family of surfers who accuse the billionaire of trespassing on sacred land; an ex–Navy SEAL with a fondness for cat photos; and a cigar-chomping man who calls himself the Air-Conditioning King of Hawaii. Readers will learn about the mysteries of the deep ocean, the scientific process, and the potential of green energy as Jack and his brilliant siblings use all their brainpower to survive. Integrating real science facts with humor and suspense and featuring a multiethnic cast of boy and girl characters, this engaging series is an irresistible combination for middle-grade readers. With easy-to-read language presented in a fun and accessible way, these books are great for both inquisitive kids and reluctant readers. In the Deep Blue Sea: Jack and the Geniuses Book 2 includes information about the science discussed and used to solve the mystery, as well as a cool project that kids can do at home or in the classroom.

  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. City of Islands - A dark and riveting middle grade fantasy from the critically acclaimed Kali Wallace about an archipelago of magical islands and one girl’s dangerous discovery on the ocean floor. Perfect for fans of Holly Black and Kate Milford. In a foggy archipelago called the City of Islands, twelve-year-old Mara has always been fascinated by the magic that drifts on the air as songs. But as a servant for the powerful Lady of the Tides, Mara must earn her keep by searching for magical treasures deep in the murky ocean. Then Mara finds the skeletons of strange hybrid creatures that haven’t existed in the city for centuries—all humming with a powerful spell-song. Convinced her discovery will earn her the opportunity to study magic, Mara shares them with the Lady. But instead of a reward, the Lady gives Mara a new challenge: to sneak into the island fortress, the Winter Blade. Now Mara must dive deeper than ever before to survive her mission. The chilling truths that Mara uncovers along the way, about her past as well as about the secrets of her beloved city, are more dangerous—and magical—than she ever imagined.

  4. The Voyage to Magical North - Twelve-year-old Brine Seaborne is a girl with a past—if only she could remember what it is. Found alone in a rowboat as a child, clutching a shard of the rare starshell needed for spell-casting, she’s spent the past years keeping house for an irritable magician and his obnoxious apprentice, Peter. When Brine and Peter get themselves into a load of trouble and flee, they blunder into the path of the legendary pirate ship the Onion. Before you can say “pieces of eight,” they’re up to their necks in the pirates’ quest to find Magical North, a place so shrouded in secrets and myth that most people don’t even think it exists. If Brine is lucky, she’ll find her place in the world. And if she’s unlucky, everyone on the ship will be eaten by sea monsters. It could really go either way.

Books About The Ocean and Mermaids

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Merbaby's Lullaby
Written by Jane Yolen & illustrated by Elizabeth O. Dulemba
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

From New York Times bestselling author Jane Yolen comes a lilting lullaby from the bottom of the sea. Hush, foam rocker, sleep, wave breaker. Close your eyes and dream, tide breaker. A hush-filled bedtime rhyme for parents to share with their newborns, Merbaby’s Lullaby is an underwater cradlesong written by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Elizabeth O. Dulemba. Join a mermaid as she helps her merbaby to sleep, rocking with the gentle waves, singing with the whispering whales, and settling in with sea stars lighting the way to sweet dreams.

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Fairy Chase
Written by Debbie Dadey & illustrated by Tatevik Avakyan
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

With the help of her fintastic friends, Echo investigates whether or not fairies really DO exist in this sparkling Mermaid Tales adventure. Echo is excited when her Aunt Crabella and Uncle Leopold visit, especially since Aunt Crabella always has amazing stories about all of her many ocean travels. But when Aunt Crabella tells Echo about the Hairy Fairy—a fairy that visits mermaids while they sleep and purposely tangles their hair—Echo is all set to catch the fairy in the act. Shelly and Kiki tell Echo that fairies aren’t real, but Aunt Crabella says she believes they are. And what’s the harm in believing? When Echo can’t seem to catch the Hairy Fairy, she becomes determined to figure out if fairies really do exist! She teams up with Shelly and Kiki and makes “Fairy Juice” (via a recipe from Rocky Ridge) in order to go on a fairy hunt on Trident City’s majestic Sperm Whale Mountain. But what will they find on their fairy hunt? Will all of Echo’s magical fairy dreams come true?

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Goodnight Lagoon
Written by Lisa Ann Scott & illustrated by Paco Sordo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

Honorable Mentions
The Ocean Calls: A Mermaid Haenyeo Story book
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Emily Windsnap and the Pirate Prince book
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Bad Mermaids: On the Rocks book
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Ready, Set, Goal! book
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  1. The Ocean Calls: A Mermaid Haenyeo Story - 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. Emily Windsnap and the Pirate Prince - Emily Windsnap ends up surrounded by pirates — and on a life-changing adventure — in the eighth installment of the New York Times best-selling series. Traveling home by cruise ship should be a relaxing break after Emily’s latest adventure, but things take a turn when the ship is overtaken by a pirate king and his crew. After the pirates collect everyone’s riches, they steal something even more valuable: Aaron. The pirate king’s eldest son takes Aaron captive, forcing him to help guide the pirates to the mythical Trident’s Treasure. So Emily dives into action and joins the younger son’s crew in hopes of saving Aaron. But while experiencing life on the waves, Emily is surprised to find herself not only enjoying the pirate life, but actually bonding with the crew — especially Sam, the pirate king’s son. Between helping Sam unravel riddles to beat his brother to the treasure and making sure that her friends are safe, Emily realizes that she needs to be true to herself. Will she cast aside her mermaid life to join her new friends, or will she find a way to follow her own path?

  3. Bad Mermaids: On the Rocks - Smart, daring mermaid trio Beattie, Mimi and Zelda, along with Steve the talking seahorse, may have saved the Hidden Lagoon from danger once . . . But now they’re trapped aboard a spooky ship called the Merry Mary, which is heading for the legendary (and super fashionable) Crocodile Kingdom. Can they avoid a crab-tastrophe and swim against the tide to get back home? Meanwhile, on land, an ice-cream seller and gadget expert named Paris Silkensocks has uncovered a plot to destroy the mermaid world. Will she will be able to find and warn the mermaids of the impending danger before it’s too late? This second book in a hilarious paper-over-board series that?s The Little Mermaid meets My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish is filled with delightful black-and-white illustrations.

  4. Ready, Set, Goal! - Shelly Siren and Trident Academy’s Shell Wars team travel to the city of Atlantis for the championship game in this sparkling new adventure. Illustrations. 5 1/8 x 7 5/8.

Want to see books about mermaids?

Books About The Ocean and Travel

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Teacup
Written by Rebecca Young & illustrated by Matt Ottley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A boy must leave his home and find another. He brings with him a teacup full of earth from the place where he grew up, and sets off to sea. Some days, the journey is peaceful, and the skies are cloudless and bright. Some days, storms threaten to overturn his boat. And some days, the smallest amount of hope grows into something glorious. At last, the boy finds land, but it doesn’t feel complete . . . until another traveler joins him, bearing the seed to build a new home.

With lyrical text and gorgeous artwork, this poignant picture book is perfect for discussing all of life’s toughest challenges—a big move, a divorce, long-distance separation, or even the current refugee crisis—in a way that’s reassuring and inspiring for children and adults alike.

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Lifeboat 12
Written by Susan Hood
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-13

In the tradition of The War That Saved My Life and Stella By Starlight, this poignant novel in verse based on true events tells the story of a boy’s harrowing experience on a lifeboat after surviving a torpedo attack during World War II. With Nazis bombing London every night, it’s time for thirteen-year-old Ken to escape. He suspects his stepmother is glad to see him go, but his dad says he’s one of the lucky ones—one of ninety boys and girls to ship out aboard the SS City of Benares to safety in Canada. Life aboard the luxury ship is grand—nine-course meals, new friends, and a life far from the bombs, rations, and his stepmum’s glare. And after five days at sea, the ship’s officers announce that they’re out of danger. They’re wrong. Late that night, an explosion hurls Ken from his bunk. They’ve been hit. Torpedoed! The Benares is sinking fast. Terrified, Ken scrambles aboard Lifeboat 12 with five other boys. Will they get away? Will they survive? Award-winning author Susan Hood brings this little-known World War II story to life in a riveting novel of courage, hope, and compassion. Based on true events and real people, Lifeboat 12 is about believing in one another, knowing that only by banding together will we have any chance to survive.

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The Antlered Ship
Written by Dashka Slater & illustrated by Eric Fan and Terry Fan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

An inquisitive fox named Marco and a bored flock of pigeons join the crew of deer Captain Sylvia, setting sail in her antlered ship in search of a wonderful island and finding friendship on the way.

Honorable Mentions
The Rhythm of the Rain book
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Sunker's Deep book
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Everything Goes: By Sea book
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Life of Pi book
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  1. The Rhythm of the Rain - Issac plays in his favorite pool on the mountainside. As rain starts to fall, he empties his little jar of water into the pool and races the sparkling streams as they tumble over waterfalls, rush through swollen rivers, and burst out into the vast open sea. Where will my little jar of water go now? Issac wonders. From the tiniest raindrop to the deepest ocean, this breathtaking celebration of the water cycle captures the remarkable movement of water across the earth in all its majesty

  2. Sunker's Deep - Action, adventure, and mystery surround the Sunkers, a band of children who live in a submarine, as they try to survive a war in Book Two of the Icebreaker Trilogy . Sharkey is a Sunker - he was born on a fortunate tide, and everyone in the giant submersible Rampart knows it. He’s a hero, a future admiral, beloved by the ancestors. The trouble is his life is based on a lie. He’s been a fake hero for years, but when tragedy strikes, he must become a real one. And he has no idea how to go about it.Meanwhile, on land, Petrel, Fin, and the crew of the Oyster are on a mission to defeat the Devouts and bring lost knowledge back into the world, a mission they have no idea how to carry out. This second installment of the Icebreaker trilogy features action, adventure, and a world that is perhaps not so different from our own.

  3. Everything Goes: By Sea - Everything Goes: By Sea, the third picture book in the Everything Goes series of picture books, board books, and I Can Reads, is a wonderful celebration of sailboats, submarines, and many other interesting sea vehicles. Featuring fun mini–story lines, seek-and-find activities, tons of hilarious details, and cool cutaways, Everything Goes: By Sea is an interactive book that provides hours of fun!

  4. Life of Pi - The son of a zookeeper, Pi Patel has an encyclopedic knowledge of animal behavior and a fervent love of stories. When Pi is sixteen, his family emigrates from India to North America aboard a Japanese cargo ship, along with their zoo animals bound for new homes. The ship sinks. Pi finds himself alone in a lifeboat, his only companions a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and Richard Parker, a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon the tiger has dispatched all but Pi, whose fear, knowledge, and cunning allow him to coexist with Richard Parker for 227 days while lost at sea. When they finally reach the coast of Mexico, Richard Parker flees to the jungle, never to be seen again. The Japanese authorities who interrogate Pi refuse to believe his story and press him to tell them “the truth.” After hours of coercion, Pi tells a second story, a story much less fantastical, much more conventional—but is it more true?

Want to see books about travel?

Books About The Ocean and Boats

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Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea
Written by Robert Burleigh & illustrated by Raúl Colón
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Filled with gorgeous illustrations by acclaimed artist Raúl Colón, this illustrated biography shares the story of female scientist, Marie Tharp, a pioneering woman scientist and the first person to ever successfully map the ocean floor.

Marie Tharp was always fascinated by the ocean. Taught to think big by her father who was a mapmaker, Marie wanted to do something no one had ever done before: map the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. Was it even possible? Not sure if she would succeed, Marie decided to give it a try.

Throughout history, others had tried and failed to measure the depths of the oceans. Sailors lowered weighted ropes to take measurements. Even today, scientists are trying to measure the depth by using echo sounder machines to track how long it would take a sound wave sent from a ship to the sea floor to come back. But for Marie, it was like piecing together an immense jigsaw puzzle.

Despite past failures and challenges—sometimes Marie would be turned away from a ship because having a woman on board was “bad luck”—Marie was determined to succeed. And she did, becoming the first person to chart the ocean floor, helping us better understand the planet we call home.

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Boats for Papa
Written & illustrated by Jessixa Bagley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Buckley and his Mama live in a cozy cabin by the ocean. He loves to carve boats, each one more beautiful than the last, out of the driftwood he finds on the beach nearby. He sends them out to see and if they don’t come back, he knows they’ve found their way to his papa, whom he misses very much.

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Prince Not-So Charming: Wild Wild Quest
Written by Roy L Hinuss
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

The sixth chapter book in the Prince Not-So Charming series features Prince Carlos going on a quest—and disaster is never far away. Prince Carlos Charles Charming tells a lot more jokes than your standard prince is probably supposed to. But he’s been working hard to live up to his princely expectations. That’s good, because the ultimate prince, Gilbert the Gallant, has gone missing! Carlos, his friend Pinky, and his pet dragon Smudge are assigned to go find Gilbert and complete his quest. But how can Carlos do what the oh-so-perfect Gilbert couldn’t? Especially when Smudge sets their boat on fire before they’ve gone very far? And every princely voyage involves a sea monster! Perfect for middle school readers and filled with adorable illustrations, Prince Not-So Charming: Wild Wild Quest shows how even princes struggle sometimes—but the only way to get through it is one step at a time. An Imprint Book

Honorable Mentions
Crossing on Time book
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If You Were a Kid Aboard the Titanic book
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  1. Crossing on Time - David Macaulay, creator of the international bestseller The Way Things Work, brings his signature curiosity and detailing to the story of the steamship in this meticulously researched and stunningly illustrated book. Prior to the 1800s, ships crossing the Atlantic Ocean relied on the wind in their sails to make their journeys. But invention of steam power ushered in a new era of transportation that would change ocean travel forever: the steamship. Award-winning author-illustrator David Macaulay guides readers through the fascinating history that culminated in the building of the most advanced—and last—of these steamships: the SS United States. This book artfully explores the design and construction of the ship and the life of its designer and engineer, William Francis Gibbs. Framed around the author’s own experience steaming across the Atlantic on the very same SS United States, Crossing on Time is a tour de force of the art of explanation and a touching and surprising childhood story.

  2. If You Were a Kid Aboard the Titanic - In 1912, the Titanic set off from England on its first voyage. Many people thought the ship was unsinkable, but they were soon proven wrong. Travel through time with William and Alice as they set sail aboard the Titanic in this exciting blend of fiction and nonfiction. You will see that life today is a lot different than it was in the past!

Want to see 16 more books about the ocean and boats ?

How about books about boats?

Books About The Ocean and Seas

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Stephen Biesty's Cross-Sections: Man-Of-War
Written by Richard Platt & illustrated by Stephen Biesty
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-11

The author of Incredible Cross-Sections takes a detailed look inside an eighteenth-century warship, providing fascinating facts about the ship and the people aboard it. BOMC Main.

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My Ocean Is Blue
Written by Darren Lebeuf & illustrated by Ashley Barron
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

“This is my ocean,” the young girl begins as she heads over the dunes with her mother. Then, as they pass the whole day at the seaside, she lyrically describes her ocean in simple, sensory detail. It’s both “slimy” and “sandy,” “sparkly” and “dull.” It has wonderful sounds, as it “splashes and crashes and echoes and squawks.” And it contains so many colors, from “rusted orange” to “runaway red,” “faded white” to “polished green.” Though “mostly it’s blue.” Nothing the girl experiences escapes her careful observation and appreciation. And at day’s end, she can’t wait for her next trip to the beach.

Author Darren Lebeuf, an award-winning photographer, uses spare text and a rhythmic style to create an evocative read-aloud. The vivid adjectives, both concrete and abstract, will inspire children to try to capture in words what they notice not only at the ocean, but in any natural setting. The bright, richly colored cut-paper collage illustrations by Ashley Barron add a captivating visual texture and depth to the story. The portrayal of a girl with a physical disability enjoying and actively participating in a day at the beach encourages all children to do the same in their own lives, while also offering a character education lesson in adaptability. This book has strong curriculum ties to primary nature units and life science lessons on oceans and the seaside, and it offers a perfect focus for nature-based education and outdoor classrooms.

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Mother Cary's Butter Knife
Written by Nicola Davies & illustrated by Anja Uhren
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11

A boy who falls in love with the sea. One in a series of short stories that explore the deeper, darker side of our connection with the natural world.

Inspired by ancient folk tales and a love of nature. Be ready to feel a little bit of magic, and perhaps a few shivers down the spine.

Honorable Mentions
Captain Barbosa and the Pirate Hat Chase book
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Whale in a Fishbowl book
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  1. Captain Barbosa and the Pirate Hat Chase - In this wordless graphic novel, Captain Barbosa sails the seven seas with his trusty shipmates: a fly, an alligator, and an elephant. A seagull steals his treasured hat, and Barbosa and his crew give chase through a nasty storm. When Barbosa reaches the seagull’s island, he finds the hat―along with a nest of baby seagulls―and decides even pirates can forgive and forget.

  2. 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.

Want to see books about seas?

Books About The Ocean and Rescues And Rescuing

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The Storm Keeper’s Island
Written by Catherine Doyle
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Fionn Boyle comes from a long line of brave seafarers, people with the ocean behind their eyes. But he can’t help but fear the open sea. For years, Fionn’s mother has told him stories of Arranmore Island, a strange place that seems to haunt her. Fionn has always wondered about this mysterious island, and from the day he arrives he starts noticing things that can’t be explained. He can sense the island all around him, and it feels like the island is watching him, too. Once in a generation, Arranmore Island chooses a new Storm Keeper to wield its power and keep its magic safe from enemies. The time has come for his grandfather, a secretive and eccentric old man, to step down. But as Fionn and the other descendants of Arranmore’s most powerful families fight to become the island’s next champion, a more sinister magic is waking up, intent on rekindling a long-ago war and changing Fionn’s life and the island’s future forever.

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Read the Book, Lemmings!
Written by Ame Dyckman & illustrated by Zachariah OHora
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The team behind the New York Times bestselling Wolfie the Bunny and Horrible Bear! is back with with new Arctic characters in this hilarious learning-to-read adventure! Aboard the S.S. Cliff, First Mate Foxy reads an interesting fact: “Lemmings don’t jump off cliffs.” But Foxy can’t get the lemmings on the Cliff to read his book, too. They’re too busy jumping off. After a chilly third rescue, exasperated Foxy and grumbly polar bear Captain PB realize their naughty nautical crew isn’t being stubborn: The lemmings (Jumper, Me Too, and Ditto) can’t read. And until Foxy patiently teaches his lemmings to read the book, he can’t return to reading it, either!

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Ladybug Girl at the Beach
Written by Jacky Davis & 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!

Honorable Mentions
Blue Boat book
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Free the Lines book
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  1. Blue Boat - With the tremendous success of RED TRUCK in board book format and anticipation around YELLOW COPTER in board to match, we’re thrilled to complete the primary-colored series about vehicles who save the day by bringing BLUE BOAT into board, too! When a family on a sailing outing gets stuck in a surprise storm, there is only one boat tough enough to handle the rocking waves and howling winds: Blue Boat! Now even the youngest readers can cheer on this “rough, tough tugboat.”

  2. Free the Lines - A little sailing boat casts out his line to catch a fish in a busy, healthy ocean. But when a big, smoking trawler casts its mighty net, will any of the fish escape? Does the little sailing boat make the right choice? What do you think? This striking and artistic wordless picture book explores an environmental theme through simple linework, patterns and strong contrasts. A great way to spark conversations between parents and children about conservation and environmental issues.

Books About The Ocean and Octopuses

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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.

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Inky the Octopus
Written & illustrated by Erin Guendelsberger
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-10

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.

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Poor Little Guy
Written & illustrated by Elanna Allen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

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!

Honorable Mentions
Inky's Great Escape book
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The Mermaid book
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  1. Inky's Great Escape - 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?

  2. The Mermaid - A striking under-the-sea version of Goldilocks with bonus storytelling in the borders, as only Jan Brett could create. When Kiniro, a young mermaid, comes upon a gorgeous house made of seashells and coral, she is so curious that she goes inside. She’s thrilled to find a just-right breakfast, pretty little chair, and, best of all, a comfy bed that rocks in the current. But when the Octopus family returns home, they are not happy to find that someone has been eating their food and breaking their things. Baby has the biggest shock when she finds the mermaid asleep in her bed! Luckily, shock turns to happiness when Kiniro gives her a thoughtful gift before escaping from the twenty-four arms coming her way. Vibrant, intricate scenes of an underwater paradise transport this classic fairy tale to a magical setting inspired by the seas off the coast of Okinawa, Japan. Along with fun details that enrich the storytelling in Jan Brett’s trademark borders, this visual treat will enchant readers of all ages.

Want to see books about octopuses?

Books About The Ocean and Pirates

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A Pirate's Night Before Christmas
Written by Philip Yates & illustrated by Sebastià Serra
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

On a ship of mischievous brigands—who have visions of treasure chests dancing in their heads—Sir Peggedy, with his peg leg and hook arm, pays a visit to the child-friendly pirates along with his eight giant seahorses: Salty, Scurvy, Sinbad, Mollie, Cutthroat, Cross-Eyes, Roger, and Jolly.

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Treasure Island (Puffin Pixels)
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11

Embrace your inner geek with Puffin Pixels

Puffin Pixels is a collection of classics featuring pixelated, 8-bit video game cover artwork in the Minecraft style.

Following the demise of bloodthirsty buccaneer Captain Flint, young Jim Hawkins finds himself with the key to a fortune. For he has discovered a map that will lead him to the fabled Treasure Island. But a host of villains, wild beasts and deadly savages stand between him and the stash of gold. Not to mention the most infamous pirate ever to sail the high seas . .

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Pirate Chicken: All Hens on Deck
Written by Brain Yanish & illustrated by Jess Pauwels
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Lily is no ordinary chicken. She dreams of a life off the farm, where she can put her grand plans into action. Her wish is granted when pirates recruit her and her fellow chickens and whisks them away to the open seas. Soon, Lily has taken charge and becomes captain of an allchicken crew as the feared chicken pirate Redfoot. But when Lily faces a mutiny, will she change her ways, or be forced to squawk the plank?

Honorable Mentions
Give Me Back My Bones! book
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Rufus Goes to Sea book
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Come Away from the Water, Shirley book
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  1. Give Me Back My Bones! - A silly pirate skeleton seeks to put its bones back together in this rhyming romp beneath the waves. Cast a spyglass ‘round here while breakers curl and pound here. There’s treasure to be found here — I feel it in my bones! A stormy night at sea has uncovered some long-buried secrets and surprises. Is that the mast of a shipwreck? A faded pirate hat? And what’s that hiding in the sand? A mandible and a clavicle, phalanges and femurs, a tibia and a fibula — could there be a set of bones scattered across the ocean floor? And who might they belong to? A jaunty rhyme takes readers on an underwater scavenger hunt as a comical skeleton tries to put itself back together piece by piece. Make no bones about it: this rollicking read-aloud will have young ones learning anatomy without even realizing it.

  2. Rufus Goes to Sea - When school lets out for the summer, Rufus Leroy Williams III, a determined pig who loves to read, decides to become a pirate.

  3. Come Away from the Water, Shirley - While her parents bask in their beach chairs and utter familiar, though inappropriate, warnings, Shirley embarks on a series of thrilling, imaginative escapades

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