96+ Children's Books About The ocean

Updated Jan. 19, 2019
The Pout-Pout Fish book
#1
The Pout-Pout Fish
Written by Deborah Diesen and 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!

The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles book
#2
The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles
Written by Michelle Cuevas and illustrated by Erin E. Stead
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

"The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles has a job of the utmost importance. It is his task to open any bottle found at sea and make sure that the message is delivered. He loves his job, although he always wishes that one of the letters would someday be addressed to him. Then one day he finds a bottle with the most intriguing note inside, and no name attached. As he devotes himself to the mystery, he ends up finding what his heart wanted all along."

1, 2, 3 Sea Creatures book
#3
1, 2, 3 Sea Creatures
Written and 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!

Inky's Amazing Escape book
#4
Inky's Amazing Escape
Written by Sy Montgomery and 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.

Shine! book
#5
Shine!
Written by Patrick McDonnell and illustrated by Naoko Stoop
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

A shining new picture book about learning to appreciate the wonders in your world and within yourself, by New York Times bestselling author Patrick McDonnell and Naoko Stoop, creator of Red Knit Cap Girl, a New York Times Best Illustrated book Hoshi the sea star looks up in the sky and sees the stars shining. She wishes that she too could be in the sky amongst the brilliant stars--and as she imagines how much better it would be up in the air, she fails to appreciate the beautiful world that surrounds her underwater. It takes Hoshi's friends, old and new, to help her realize that her shine comes from within. With gorgeous illustrations depicting colorful underwater life, Shine! teaches about the wonders that can be found inside ourselves. Naoko's gorgeous use of plywood as the canvas for her work offers the perfect texture and pattern to evoke waves and sea currents in the underwater scenes.

The Pout-Pout Fish and the Bully-Bully Shark book
#6
The Pout-Pout Fish and the Bully-Bully Shark
Written by Deborah Diesen and 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.

Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea book
#7
Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea
Written by Robert Burleigh and illustrated by Raul Colon
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.

Peekaboo! In the Ocean! book
#8
Peekaboo! In the Ocean!
Written and illustrated by Cocoretto
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

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

Boats for Papa book
#9
Boats for Papa
Written and 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.

The Ocean Alphabet Board Book book
#10
The Ocean Alphabet Board Book
Written and illustrated by Jerry Pallotta
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-5

Introduces the letters A to Z by describing fish and other creatures living in the North Atlantic Ocean. On board pages.

Read the Book, Lemmings! book
#11
Read the Book, Lemmings!
Written by Ame Dyckman and 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!

Moby-Dick book
#12
Moby-Dick
Written by Jennifer Adams and 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.

Blue Boat book
#13
Blue Boat
Written by Kersten Hamilton and illustrated by Valeria Petrone
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

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."

Inky's Great Escape book
#14
Inky's Great Escape
Written by Casey Lyall and illustrated by Sebastià Serra
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10

Inky, worn out from his exciting life in the ocean, has retired to the aquarium. There he quietly regales his tank mate Blotchy with tales of his past adventures. Then Blotchy dares Inky to make one more daring escape. Will Inky succeed?

Waiting for High Tide book
#15
Waiting for High Tide
Written and illustrated by Nikki McClure
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

For one young boy, it's a perfect summer day to spend at the beach with his family. He scours the high tide line for treasures, listens to the swizzling sound of barnacles, and practices walking the plank. But mostly he waits for high tide. Then he'll be able to swim and dive off the log raft his family is building. While he waits, sea birds and other creatures mirror the family's behaviors: building and hunting, wading and eating. At long last the tide arrives, and human and animal alike savor the water. Another beautiful ode to life lived in harmony with nature, and by the labor of one's own hands, from an artist of great warmth and clarity.

The Mermaid book
#16
The Mermaid
Written and illustrated by Jan Brett
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

Good Night Sea Shore book
#17
Good Night Sea Shore
Written and illustrated by Mark Jasper, Adam Gamble
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

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

Who Saw Turtle? book
#18
Who Saw Turtle?
Written by Ros Moriarty and illustrated by Balarinji Studio
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

"Did the whale with the slapping, splashing tail see Turtle? Maybe it was the fish with the glittery, shimmering scales? Follow the amazing migration of Turtle through the seas and oceans as she returns home to lay her eggs"--Cover.

The Turning book
#19
The Turning
Written by Emily Whitman
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

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?

Rufus Goes to Sea book
#20
Rufus Goes to Sea
Written by Kim T Griswell and illustrated by Valeri Gorbachev
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

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

Ladybug Girl at the Beach book
#21
Ladybug Girl at the Beach
Written by Jacky Davis and illustrated by David Soman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

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

Mister Seahorse book
#22
Mister Seahorse
Written and illustrated by Eric Carle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

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

A Pirate's Night Before Christmas book
#23
A Pirate's Night Before Christmas
Written by Philip Yates and 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.

Sea Creatures book
#24
Sea Creatures
Written and illustrated by Chorkung Kung
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

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.

Many: the Diversity of Life on Earth book
#25
Many: the Diversity of Life on Earth
Written by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Emily Sutton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

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?

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected]!