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The Ocean and Pirates: 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 Rufus Goes to Sea to Pirate Chicken: All Hens on Deck there's something here for everyone's tastes. Do you have a favorite book about the ocean? Let us know!

Rufus Goes to Sea book
#1
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.

Give Me Back My Bones! book
#2
Give Me Back My Bones!
Written by Kim Norman and illustrated by Bob Kolar
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

Emily Windsnap and the Pirate Prince book
#3
Emily Windsnap and the Pirate Prince
Written by Liz Kessler and illustrated by Erin Farley
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

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?

A Pirate's Night Before Christmas book
#4
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.

Race to the Bottom of the Sea book
#5
Race to the Bottom of the Sea
Written and illustrated by Lindsay Eagar
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

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?

  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. Treasure Island (Puffin Pixels) - 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 . .

  4. Pirate Chicken: All Hens on Deck - 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?

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