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The Ocean and Fish: Books For Kids

This list of the best kids books about the ocean is sure to include a new favorite for the voracious young reader in your life! From The Pout-Pout Fish Cleans Up the Ocean to Dolphins!: Strange and Wonderful there's something here for everyone's tastes. Do you have a favorite book about the ocean? Let us know!

The Pout-Pout Fish Cleans Up the Ocean book
#1
The Pout-Pout Fish Cleans Up the Ocean
Written by Deborah Diesen and 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.

Hello, World! Ocean Life book
#2
Hello, World! Ocean Life
Written and illustrated by Jill McDonald
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

All young children love to play in the waves at the beach. Now here’s a Hello, World! board book that teaches them all about oceans and the creatures and plants that live there.

Down Down Down in the Sea book
#3
Down Down Down in the Sea
Written by Jonathan Litton and illustrated by Maxime Lebrun
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Join Turtle as he dives deeper and deeper into the ocean - what surprise will he find at the bottom? With flaps to lift and peek-through holes, there's lots to spot, count and discover along the way.

Pout-Pout Fish: Haunted House book
#4
Pout-Pout Fish: Haunted House
Written by Deborah Diesen and illustrated by Dan Hanna, 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.

Slide-N-Seek Ocean book
#5
Slide-N-Seek Ocean
Written and illustrated by David Miles
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Explore a new and exciting way to learn about creatures that live in the ocean with this Slide-N-Reveal book. You'll see colorful images appear before your very eyes with the turn of a wheel. Learn fun facts about each creature and discover hidden images throughout each page. Kids will love this fun and interactive format and learn about beautiful creatures along the way.

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

Nerdy Babies: Ocean book
#10
Nerdy Babies: Ocean
Written and 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!

The Sea Book book
#11
The Sea Book
Written and illustrated by Charlotte Milner
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

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.

The Ocean Alphabet Board Book book
#12
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.

10 Reasons to Love... a Whale book
#13
10 Reasons to Love... a Whale
Written by Catherine Barr and illustrated by Hanako Clulow
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

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.

A Whale's World book
#14
A Whale's World
Written by Ian McAllister and illustrated by Nicholas Read
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

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.

  1. Poor Little Guy - What do you do when you’re so tiny that the bigger ocean creatures think you might even taste adorable? An itsy-bitsy, glasses-wearing fish is minding his own business when a playful (and hungry) octopus snatches him right up. Luckily, this poor little guy is not quite as innocent as he seems…and he has a BIG surprise up his sleeve!

  2. Fish Everywhere - Best-selling illustrator Britta Teckentrup explores the world of fish in a sumptuously illustrated nonfiction book. There are fish everywhere! Some of them live in fresh water, some of them live under ice, and some even live in the desert. Fish Everywhere is the first in a series of nonfiction books from Britta Teckentrup. Young readers will learn where in the world all sorts of animals can be found and all the weird and wonderful things that they never imagined were true. This is nonfiction with spark and personality from a much-loved illustrator.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

Jonah and the Big Fish book
#19
Jonah and the Big Fish
Written by Katherine Scully and illustrated by Simona Sanfilippo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

God asks Jonah to go to Nineveh to deliver a message. What happens when he disobeys him? Why is Jonah thrown into the stormy sea? Read about Jonah's adventure and find out how he ends up inside a big fish! These beautifully illustrated classic Bible stories are perfect for reading together as well as reading alone. The most popular stories from the Old Testament are retold in easy-to-read language and provide a perfect introduction into the Bible. The series allows children to become familiar with colorful stories from the Old Testament using the familiar picture story format. Whilst the language is simple and easy to understand, the detailed illustrations support the text and provide ideal opportunities for spotting things and for further discussion.

Count with Little Fish book
#20
Count with Little Fish
Written and illustrated by Lucy Cousins
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

First there s just one fish Little Fish under the sea. But not for long: here come two fin-fin fish, three counting fish, and four flying fish. And can you imagine who else? Shy fish and scary fish, tiny fish and funny fish.

Song of the Deep book
#21
Song of the Deep
Written and illustrated by Brian Hastings
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

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

Fish Wish book
#22
Fish Wish
Written and illustrated by Bob Barner
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

An underwater fantasy comes to life in this board book with colorful cut-paper art that will spark the imagination of young readers. If I were a fish . . . A daydreaming child imagines himself under the sea, where turtles glide by and a cloud of jellyfish float above. The boy gets to play with sea horses, shrimp, and crabs, swim through octopus tentacles and squid ink, and goes to sleep tucked among a dazzling school of starfish. Vibrant collage illustrations depict a whimsical world of ocean life.

The Pout-Pout Fish Halloween Faces book
#23
The Pout-Pout Fish Halloween Faces
Written by Deborah Diesen and illustrated by Dan Hanna
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-4

Boo! Little guppies will delight in seeing the Pout-Pout Fish try on different Halloween costumes, from a caped superhero to a grinning ghost to a cheery-cheery mummy. With googly eyes and a different costume on every spread, this addition to the Pout-Pout Fish novelty collection is sure to turn little pouts into big smiles!

  1. How to Catch a Mermaid - Last week I saw a mermaid. It's not something I'd pretend! I'd really like to catch her so she could be my friend. But how to catch a mermaid? You don't learn this in school. We'll need to build a gentle trap and start near the tide pool. Many claim to have caught a mermaid, but can YOU? Perfect for summer, the newest title in the New York Times bestselling How to Catch series will have children and parents excited to see if these characters can actually pull of catching a mermaid!

  2. Dolphins!: Strange and Wonderful - The latest installment in the popular Strange and Wonderful series is an accessible and comprehensive introduction to dolphin species from all over the globe. Filled with fascinating facts and detailed, illuminating artwork, this nonfiction picture book acquaints young readers with dolphin species from around the world—from the well-known bottlenose dolphin to the several species of “blackfish” (including orcas) that most people believe are whales. Author Laurence Pringle’s clear, informative text describes dolphins’ habitats, physiology, communication, intelligence, parenting, eating habits, and much more. The book also discusses conservation and how dolphins can be protected from hunting, pollution, and other threats. Accompanied by Meryl Henderson’s beautiful paintings, this is a perfect STEM title and a great choice for children interested in marine life. The book includes a glossary, index, and further resources.

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