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Water: Books For Kids

This list of the best kids books about water is sure to include a new favorite for the voracious young reader in your life! From Over and Under the Pond to Ready, Set, Sail! there's something here for everyone's tastes. Do you have a favorite book about water? Let us know!

Top 10 Water Books

Over and Under the Pond book
#1
Over and Under the Pond
Written by Kate Messner and illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

In this gorgeous companion to the acclaimed Over and Under the Snow and Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt, Kate Messner and Christopher Silas Neal bring to life a secret underwater world. In this book, readers will discover the plants and animals that make up the rich, interconnected ecosystem of a mountain pond. Over the pond, the water is a mirror, reflecting the sky. But under the pond is a hidden world of minnows darting, beavers diving, tadpoles growing. These and many other secrets are waiting to be discovered...over and under the pond.

Bath! Bath! Bath! book
#2
Bath! Bath! Bath!
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Bath time is fun! fun! fun! in this playful board book! Today we had such fun! fun! fun! But now the day is done! done! done! After a fun-filled day, it's time to go home and take a bath! From washing tiny toes and your little nose to making rubber ducky go quack! quack! quack!, bath time is fun! fun! fun! The rhyming text makes this the perfect read-along story to get little ones excited for bath time.

Hello, World! Ocean Life book
#3
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
#4
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.

Row, Row, Row Your Boat in Oregon book
#5
Row, Row, Row Your Boat in Oregon
Written by Forrest Everett and illustrated by Mary Sergeeva
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

Row, row, row your boat . . . in Oregon! The sights and scenery of Oregon spring to life in this adorable twist on the favorite children's song. Each die-cut page of the layered board book reveals an imaginary boat sailing past Mount Hood, the Tillamook factory, Sea Lion Caves, coastal lighthouses, and more! A delightful children's introduction to the iconic places of Oregon, and when you're done with your journey? Row, row, row your boat back around thebend. If you love Oregon, sing the song again!

Water Land book
#6
Water Land
Written and illustrated by Christy Hale
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

This unique information book for the very young switches between bodies of water and corresponding land masses with the simple turn of a page. Full color.

The Water Princess book
#7
The Water Princess
Written by Georgie Badiel, Susan Verde and illustrated by Peter H Reynolds
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Based on supermodel Georgie Badiel’s childhood, a young girl dreams of bringing clean drinking water to her African village With its wide sky and warm earth, Princess Gie Gie’s kingdom is a beautiful land. But clean drinking water is scarce in her small African village. And try as she might, Gie Gie cannot bring the water closer; she cannot make it run clearer. Every morning, she rises before the sun to make the long journey to the well. Instead of a crown, she wears a heavy pot on her head to collect the water. After the voyage home, after boiling the water to drink and clean with, Gie Gie thinks of the trip that tomorrow will bring. And she dreams. She dreams of a day when her village will have cool, crystal-clear water of its own. Inspired by the childhood of African–born model Georgie Badiel, acclaimed author Susan Verde and award-winning author/illustrator Peter H. Reynolds have come together to tell this moving story. As a child in Burkina Faso, Georgie and the other girls in her village had to walk for miles each day to collect water. This vibrant, engaging picture book sheds light on this struggle that continues all over the world today, instilling hope for a future when all children will have access to clean drinking water.

River Friendly, River Wild book
#8
River Friendly, River Wild
Written by Jane Kurtz and illustrated by Neil Brennan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

This winter was snowy, this spring brought a terrible blizzard, and now the river is rising. Sandbags don't stop it, the dikes don't stop it, and late one night sirens warn everyone to evacuate. A girl and her family don't expect to be gone more than a couple of days, so they leave their cat and race for shelter with only a suitcase each. But as days stretch into weeks they worry: Is the cat safe? Will they have a home to return to? And how will their lives be changed? In searing, personal poems, Jane Kurtz explores what it's like to struggle through a flood and pull your life together afterward. Inspired by Kurtz's own flood experience, this tale is realistic and unforgettable. Not just a moving story of one girl's courage, River Friendly, River Wild is a tribute to everyone who's ever faced great loss.

The Biggest Kiss book
#9
The Biggest Kiss
Written by Joanna Walsh and illustrated by Judi Abbot, Joanna Walsh
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

There’s a kiss here for everyone in this warm and cozy Classic Board Book edition of The Biggest Kiss! Do worms kiss underground, with the soil all around? Do fish kiss like this—splosh, splash, splish? Everyone needs kisses, so what could be better than a book that’s full of them? With darling animals on every page and irresistible text that begs to be read aloud, parents and grandparents will love sharing this collection of affection with the youngest of readers.

Minegoo Mniku book
#10
Minegoo Mniku
Written and illustrated by Sandra L Dodge
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The story of creation told from a Mi'kmaq point of view. Along time ago, the Great Spirit created the sky and all of the stars. Still, it wasn’t enough. He then made Minegoo, a place so beautiful it could have been kept among the stars. But instead, He decided to place Minegoo in the most beautiful spot on Earth. He summoned Kluskap and asked him to find this spot. After searching the whole world, Kluskap found the Shining Waters, the spot in the Gulf of St. Lawrence that would be home to the Mi’kmaq people created in his own image.

Books About Animals & Water

Over and Under the Pond book
#1
Over and Under the Pond
Written by Kate Messner and illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

In this gorgeous companion to the acclaimed Over and Under the Snow and Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt, Kate Messner and Christopher Silas Neal bring to life a secret underwater world. In this book, readers will discover the plants and animals that make up the rich, interconnected ecosystem of a mountain pond. Over the pond, the water is a mirror, reflecting the sky. But under the pond is a hidden world of minnows darting, beavers diving, tadpoles growing. These and many other secrets are waiting to be discovered...over and under the pond.

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.

Water Sings Blue book
#3
Water Sings Blue
Written by Kate Coombs and illustrated by Meilo So
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

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

Honorable Mentions
  1. 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.

  2. Splish Splash! - Dragonflies zip zip zip and frogs croakity croak while bare feet splish splash in this board book all about the sounds of the river. Each spread features a touch and feel element that creates the sound described in the text. With beautiful illustrations, interesting textures and fun sounds, this highly interactive format is certain to tickle the senses.

  3. The Seal Garden - When storms roar and orcas are on the prowl, it’s the seal gardens of the Great Bear Sea that provide safety and shelter to sea lions, otters, a variety of seals and other sea mammals. Ian McAllister’s glorious photographs reveal the beauty and mystery of this rarely seen place of refuge. This is the third book in the My Great Bear Rainforest series, following Wolf Island and A Bear’s Life.

  4. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: a Puzzle Adventure - A stylish and otherworldly underwater puzzle book Inspired by Jules Verne's iconic novel, this puzzle book is a treat for readers of all ages. Aleksandra Artymowska has created a volume bursting with wild creatures, strange landscapes, and mechanical contraptions that will take readers on an underwater adventure like no other. Each scene contains hidden symbols and keys to uncover, as well as a series of challenges guaranteed to fascinate and amaze.

Want to see even more books about water and animals?

How about books about animals?

Books About Fish & Water

Hello, World! Ocean Life book
#1
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
#2
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.

Water Sings Blue book
#3
Water Sings Blue
Written by Kate Coombs and illustrated by Meilo So
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

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

Honorable Mentions
  1. Swimming with Sharks - Before Eugenie Clark's groundbreaking research, most people thought sharks were vicious, blood-thirsty killers. From the first time she saw a shark in an aquarium, Japanese-American Eugenie was enthralled. Instead of frightening and ferocious eating machines, she saw sleek, graceful fish gliding through the water. After she became a scientist—an unexpected career path for a woman in the 1940s—she began taking research dives and training sharks, earning her the nickname "The Shark Lady."

  2. Splish Splash! - Dragonflies zip zip zip and frogs croakity croak while bare feet splish splash in this board book all about the sounds of the river. Each spread features a touch and feel element that creates the sound described in the text. With beautiful illustrations, interesting textures and fun sounds, this highly interactive format is certain to tickle the senses.

Want to see even more books about water and fish?

How about books about fish?

Books About Nature & Water

Hello, World! Ocean Life book
#1
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
#2
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.

River Friendly, River Wild book
#3
River Friendly, River Wild
Written by Jane Kurtz and illustrated by Neil Brennan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

This winter was snowy, this spring brought a terrible blizzard, and now the river is rising. Sandbags don't stop it, the dikes don't stop it, and late one night sirens warn everyone to evacuate. A girl and her family don't expect to be gone more than a couple of days, so they leave their cat and race for shelter with only a suitcase each. But as days stretch into weeks they worry: Is the cat safe? Will they have a home to return to? And how will their lives be changed? In searing, personal poems, Jane Kurtz explores what it's like to struggle through a flood and pull your life together afterward. Inspired by Kurtz's own flood experience, this tale is realistic and unforgettable. Not just a moving story of one girl's courage, River Friendly, River Wild is a tribute to everyone who's ever faced great loss.

Honorable Mentions
  1. 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.

  2. Sea Glass Summer - Author Michelle Houts and illustrator Bagram Ibatoulline explore the magic of one of the seaside's greatest wonders and the bonds that link us through time. One summer, a boy named Thomas visits his grandmother at her seaside cottage. She gives him a magnifying glass that once belonged to his grandfather, and with it Thomas explores the beach, turning grains of sand into rocks and dark clamshells into swirling mazes of black, gray, and white. When his grandmother shows him a piece of sea glass, Thomas is transfixed. That night he dreams of an old shipyard and the breaking of a bottle. Could the very piece of sea glass on his nightstand have come from that bottle? For the rest of the summer, he searches for more sea glass and hopes to have dreams that will reveal more of the sea's secrets. A stunning ode to stories and the seaside, this picture book invites readers to imagine the ocean of possibility that lives in every small or forgotten treasure.

  3. Splish Splash! - Dragonflies zip zip zip and frogs croakity croak while bare feet splish splash in this board book all about the sounds of the river. Each spread features a touch and feel element that creates the sound described in the text. With beautiful illustrations, interesting textures and fun sounds, this highly interactive format is certain to tickle the senses.

  4. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: a Puzzle Adventure - A stylish and otherworldly underwater puzzle book Inspired by Jules Verne's iconic novel, this puzzle book is a treat for readers of all ages. Aleksandra Artymowska has created a volume bursting with wild creatures, strange landscapes, and mechanical contraptions that will take readers on an underwater adventure like no other. Each scene contains hidden symbols and keys to uncover, as well as a series of challenges guaranteed to fascinate and amaze.

Want to see even more books about water and nature?

How about books about nature?

Books About Swimming & Water

Way Down Below Deep book
#1
Way Down Below Deep
Written by Nancy Raines Day and illustrated by David Sheldon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

Swimming with Sharks book
#2
Swimming with Sharks
Written by Heather Lang and illustrated by Jordi Solano
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Before Eugenie Clark's groundbreaking research, most people thought sharks were vicious, blood-thirsty killers. From the first time she saw a shark in an aquarium, Japanese-American Eugenie was enthralled. Instead of frightening and ferocious eating machines, she saw sleek, graceful fish gliding through the water. After she became a scientist—an unexpected career path for a woman in the 1940s—she began taking research dives and training sharks, earning her the nickname "The Shark Lady."

Hey, Water! book
#3
Hey, Water!
Written and illustrated by Antoinette Portis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Splash! A spunky little girl plays a spirited game of hide-and-seek with water, in this gorgeously illustrated nonfiction picture book.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Ladybug Girl at the Beach - 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!

  2. Freddie Ramos Makes a Splash - Freddie Ramos uses his super powers to give himself the courage to learn how to swim and to deal with a new neighbor who is a bully.

  3. Llama Llama Sand and Sun - Fun in the sun with Llama Llama! Read along with Llama Llama as he splashes in the waves and plays in the sand in this brand-new touch-and-feel board book!

  4. I'm a Duck - I cannot swim, and that is bad. A landlocked duck is very sad. One day, an egg rolled out of a nest and right into a deep pond. Now that egg is a little duck, and the water is still very scary. Jumping into the pond at all seems impossible, never mind swimming in a line with all his brothers. “You’re a duck, and ducks don’t sink,” Big Frog points out. Practicing in a puddle helps a little, while backrubs and snacks from his mother help a little more. Big Frog offers to hold his friend’s wing and dive in together, but our little duck knows that some challenges need to be faced alone. Even when they are very scary!

Want to see even more books about water and swimming?

How about books about swimming?

Bonus Recommendations

  1. Penguins Don't Wear Sweaters! - You may have seen the cute pictures of penguins wearing sweaters—but did you know why they were wearing them? Debut author Marikka Tamura answers this question in this colorful, kid-friendly book that is told simply and charmingly. Penguins love the sea. Happy in the dark blue water. But what is this? One day something is floating in the water. Dark. Gooey. Oily . . . When the penguins become coated in an oil spill, many Big Boots arrive. The humans want to help the cold, greasy penguins, so they knit sweaters to keep them warm. The Big Boots mean well, but . . . penguins don't wear sweaters! So after a good, soapy scrub, the penguins dive back into the deep blue sea, happily dressed only in their own penguin feathers.

  2. Vincent Comes Home - Jessixa Bagley, author and illustrator of Laundry Day, Before I Leave, and Boats For Papa (winner of the 2016 SCBWI Golden Kite Award for best picture book text) and Aaron Bagley (illustrator of Rocking Fatherhood) have been drawing and writing together since they met in art school more than a decade ago. What started off as a courtship of doodling in sketchbooks and belching in lockers soon turned into a marriage of doodling in sketchbooks and belching with their son. Their artistic partnership is a balanced collaboration of overlapping their individual styles and painting techniques—creating one cohesive language. Vincent Comes Home is their first picture book together. And much like Vincent, they have moved around a lot but their home has always been each other.

  3. Too Much Rain - When heavy rain causes flooding, Katie Woo and her parents spend the night in a shelter.

  4. Pablo and Birdy - A boy who drifted into the seaside town of Isla as a baby searches for answers about where he and his parrot came from in this “memorable, fantastical tale” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) from New York Times bestselling author Alison McGhee.The seaside town of Isla has many stories, the most notable being the legend of the Seafaring Parrot. Locals claim that the Seafarer remembers every sound, every whisper, cry, laugh, or snort ever uttered.But, though there have been rumored Seafarer sightings, no one has actually seen the bird before. Other stories surround a boy named Pablo, who had washed up on shore in a blow-up swimming pool as an infant with only a lavender parrot as a companion. Now, on the eve of his tenth birthday, the stories are repeated.

  1. Kylie the Kitten - Kylie's excitement over going to summer camp with her friends is threatened by her fear of the water. Includes activities.

  2. A Bucket of Blessings - A beautiful myth from India comes to life in this enchanting, New York Times bestselling picture book. Near a majestic mountain in a vast jungle with many mango trees, it has not rained for weeks and weeks. The village well and pond are dry. Monkey and his friends look everywhere for water, but they have no luck. And then Monkey remembers a story his mama used to tell him, a story about how peacocks can make it rain by dancing. So he sets out to see if the story is true… This little-known legend, told with dramatic rhythm and illustrated with the colors and textures of India, is sure to delight and inspire.

  3. Silver Batal and the Water Dragon Races - Silver’s dreams of becoming a legendary water dragon racer come true when she befriends a rare dragon that can swim and fly. Twelve-year-old Silver Batal calls the desert home, but her heart belongs to the waters. Although she’s expected to become a jeweler like her father, Silver harbors a secret and forbidden wish to race water dragons. Destiny comes calling when her friendship with a mysterious old woman leads her to Hiyyan, a baby dragon that can swim and fly. Risking everything, Silver, Hiyyan, and her resourceful cousin Brajon set off across the desert to join the legendary races in the royal city. But the road to Calidia is filled with danger, and the trio must band together as they encounter ferocious cave beasts, clever desert foxes, and cutthroat competition. Set in a vivid, Arab-inspired world filled with friendly and fearsome water dragons, K.D. Halbrook’s middle-grade fantasy adventure is perfect for fans of Tui T. Sutherland, Sayantani DasGupta, and Roshani Chokshi.

  4. Bears in the Bath - Splish! Splash! Sploosh! The adorable stars of Bears on Chairs and Bears in Beds are back, and they’re ready for bath time. Or are they? Water, soap, and sponge are there. The bath is ready. Where are the bears? The four little bears are grimy, dirty, and covered in mud! But when they see the bath and Big Brown Bear ready to scrub, they back away. "We don’t want a bath," they say. Will those grungy bears ever get in the tub? Whether bath time’s a favorite time of day or a fraught one, this fun-to-read rhyming story and the silly antics of impossibly cute bears will make a splash with toddlers and parents alike.

  1. John Muir Wrestles a Waterfall - The now iconic figure John Muir, while living at the base of Yosemite Falls in California, ventures up the trail from his cabin one night and has a harrowing waterfall adventure. Back matter roots the story in Muir’s life’s work as a conservationist and naturalist.

  2. Splish, Splash, Ducky! - Oh, goody, hooray! It’s raining today. When I’m feeling happy. I say quack, quack, quack. Ducky Duckling has so much fun in the rain! Readers will be happy to splish, splash, and paddle along with on Ducky's adventures with a frog and a worm, a bug and a slug, some swans and some fish. But what happens when the rain stops and Ducky feels sad? Can Dad save the day and bring sunshine back into those “quack, quack, quacks”? Revel in the rain with a little duckling and friends in a bright adventure from the creator of Maisy that kids will find just ducky.

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

Table of Contents
  1. Top 10 Water Books
  2. + animals (11)
  3. + fish (5)
  4. + nature (9)
  5. + swimming (8)
  6. Bonus (10)
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