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Water: Books For Kids

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

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to water. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about water.

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 water, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Froggy Learns to Swim to popular sellers like A Long Walk to Water to some of our favorite hidden gems like Jabari Jumps.

We hope this list of kids books about water can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.

Top 10 Books About Water

#1
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Jabari Jumps
Written & illustrated by Gaia Cornwall
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Working up the courage to take a big, important leap is hard, but Jabari is almost absolutely ready to make a giant splash. Jabari is definitely ready to jump off the diving board. He’s finished his swimming lessons and passed his swim test, and he’s a great jumper, so he’s not scared at all. “Looks easy,” says Jabari, watching the other kids take their turns. But when his dad squeezes his hand, Jabari squeezes back. He needs to figure out what kind of special jump to do anyway, and he should probably do some stretches before climbing up onto the diving board. In a sweetly appealing tale of overcoming your fears, newcomer Gaia Cornwall captures a moment between a patient and encouraging father and a determined little boy you can’t help but root for.
#2
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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.
#3
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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!
#4
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The Whale in My Swimming Pool
Written & illustrated by Joyce Wan
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6
One sunny day, a little boy heads outside for a swim, but his pool is already taken . . . There's a big whale in the water and it's not budging! The boy tries everything to get the whale to leave. Nothing seems to work. Not fetch. Not tag. Not even offering his allowance. What's a boy to do? Luckily, he comes up with the perfect solution: he decides to chill out on a spray of water over the whale's spout. This colorful whale of a tale from the talented Joyce Wan is sure to inspire giggles from little guppies!
#5
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Over and Under the Pond
Written by Kate Messner & 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.
#6
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Lottie & Walter
Written & illustrated by Anna Walker
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
An original, compelling, and visually stunning treatment of a common childhood predicament: overcoming a fear of the water. Lottie goes to swim lessons every Saturday, but she never gets in the water. That’s because she is convinced there is a shark in the pool, a shark that wants to eat her and only her. But then Walter appears. Walter likes singing and reading books and bubble baths, and his favorite food is fish sticks, just like Lottie. When Saturday rolls around again, Lottie is no more ready to jump in the pool than she was before. Or is she? Sometimes it just takes a special friend to find the courage that was inside you all along.
#7
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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.
#8
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Paper World: Planet Earth
Written & illustrated by Bomboland
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
This guide to our planet shows paper being engineered like never before. Paper World: Planet Earth uses ingenious paper cutouts to reveal the amazing details of our planet, from bubbling volcanoes to rushing rivers to the boiling hot interior of the Earth. With detailed art by studio Bomboland, a fact-filled text, and flaps and die-cuts on every spread, this one-of-a-kind novelty book will appeal to readers of all ages.
#9
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Shark Nate-O
Written by Becky Cattie and Tara Luebbe & illustrated by Daniel Duncan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Nate loves sharks. He reads shark books every day, watches sharks on TV, and talks about them nonstop. He even likes to pretend he's a shark wherever he goes! However, there is one small problem. . . . Nate can't swim. When his older brother points this out, Nate works hard to overcome his fears and learn how to blow bubbles, use a kickboard, and finally swim without help, as quickly and as gracefully as a shark. Will he be able to beat his brother in a swim tryout and get his bite back? Kids will love this jawsome book complete with vibrant and whimsical art and a list of shark facts in the back!
#10
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Bear Came Along
Written by Richard T. Morris & illustrated by LeUyen Pham
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-6
**A cheerful and action-packed adventure about the importance of friendship and community from a successful author and illustrator duo!** Once there was a river flowing through a forest. The river didn't know it was capable of adventures until a big bear came along. But adventures aren't any fun by yourself, and so enters Froggy, Turtles, Beaver, Racoons, and Duck. These very different animals take off downstream, but they didn't know they needed one another until thankfully, the river came along. This hilarious picture book and heartfelt message celebrates the joy and fun that's in store when you embark together on a ride of a lifetime.
Table of Contents
Scroll to books about Water and...

Books About Water and Swimming

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Jabari Jumps
Written & illustrated by Gaia Cornwall
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Working up the courage to take a big, important leap is hard, but Jabari is almost absolutely ready to make a giant splash. Jabari is definitely ready to jump off the diving board. He’s finished his swimming lessons and passed his swim test, and he’s a great jumper, so he’s not scared at all. “Looks easy,” says Jabari, watching the other kids take their turns. But when his dad squeezes his hand, Jabari squeezes back. He needs to figure out what kind of special jump to do anyway, and he should probably do some stretches before climbing up onto the diving board. In a sweetly appealing tale of overcoming your fears, newcomer Gaia Cornwall captures a moment between a patient and encouraging father and a determined little boy you can’t help but root for.
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The Whale in My Swimming Pool
Written & illustrated by Joyce Wan
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6
One sunny day, a little boy heads outside for a swim, but his pool is already taken . . . There's a big whale in the water and it's not budging! The boy tries everything to get the whale to leave. Nothing seems to work. Not fetch. Not tag. Not even offering his allowance. What's a boy to do? Luckily, he comes up with the perfect solution: he decides to chill out on a spray of water over the whale's spout. This colorful whale of a tale from the talented Joyce Wan is sure to inspire giggles from little guppies!
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Shark Nate-O
Written by Becky Cattie and Tara Luebbe & illustrated by Daniel Duncan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Nate loves sharks. He reads shark books every day, watches sharks on TV, and talks about them nonstop. He even likes to pretend he's a shark wherever he goes! However, there is one small problem. . . . Nate can't swim. When his older brother points this out, Nate works hard to overcome his fears and learn how to blow bubbles, use a kickboard, and finally swim without help, as quickly and as gracefully as a shark. Will he be able to beat his brother in a swim tryout and get his bite back? Kids will love this jawsome book complete with vibrant and whimsical art and a list of shark facts in the back!
Honorable Mentions
How to Train with a T. Rex and Win 8 Gold Medals book
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Maisy's Pool book
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Fruits in Suits book
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Ruby & Rufus book
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  1. How to Train with a T. Rex and Win 8 Gold Medals - With his record-breaking eight gold medals won for swimming in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Phelps became an international sensation. In this picture book, Phelps explains the mind-boggling statistics of his years of training in terms young kids can understand. Full color.

  2. Maisy's Pool - Maisy’s fun and familiar world reflects the lively adventures young children have every day. In Maisy’s Pool, Maisy and her friends splash in a wading pool. As always, toddlers, preschoolers, and parents will find the ordinary extraordinary with Maisy!

  3. Fruits in Suits - Have you ever seen a banana in a bikini? Or a tangerine in trunks? What about grapes in goggles? In this uproarious follow-up to Vegetables in Underwear, kids will learn that there are many kinds of suits—including suits for swimming, surfing, sunbathing, and scuba diving. But can you wear a business suit to the beach? Fruits in Suitshas the same irreverent silliness as Vegetables in Underwearand shows just how much fun swimsuits can be—and how important it is to hold on to them when you jump into the water!

  4. Ruby & Rufus - In this preschool tale from the world of Gossie & Friends, water-loving goslings Ruby and Rufus play on the pond come rain, sleet, snow, or shine! Ruby and Rufus play at the pond every day. They swim in the rain. They swim when it’s windy. Nothing can stop this inseparable pair from doing what they love—until one day, the pond turns to ICE! Could it be that a frozen pond is twice as nice? Ruby & Rufus features the perfectly pitched storytelling and adorable illustrations so beloved by fans of Olivier Dunrea’s Gossie&Friends series.

Books About Water 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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Over and Under the Pond
Written by Kate Messner & 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.
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Hey, Water!
Written & 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
The Ocean book
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Nerdy Babies: Ocean book
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Baby Oceanographer book
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A First Book of the Sea book
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  1. The Ocean - 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.

  2. Nerdy Babies: Ocean - 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!

  3. Baby Oceanographer - Baby Scientist is an adorable board book series that brings fun, accessible science concepts to baby’s world using simple language, recognizable settings, and vibrant art. Read them all with your baby scientist! Baby Oceanographer explores the oceans. With his snorkel and mask, he looks at the animals and plants under the sea. What creatures are found deep down? Are waves in the ocean like waves in the bathtub? Find out with Baby Oceanographer! Don’t miss the other books in this series, including Baby Astronaut!

  4. 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.

Books About Water and Nature

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Paper World: Planet Earth
Written & illustrated by Bomboland
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
This guide to our planet shows paper being engineered like never before. Paper World: Planet Earth uses ingenious paper cutouts to reveal the amazing details of our planet, from bubbling volcanoes to rushing rivers to the boiling hot interior of the Earth. With detailed art by studio Bomboland, a fact-filled text, and flaps and die-cuts on every spread, this one-of-a-kind novelty book will appeal to readers of all ages.
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Rivers: A Visual History from River to Sea
Written & illustrated by Peter Goes
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-12
This breathtaking journey along the most important rivers in the world takes us from the Nile to the Amazon, the Mekong Delta to the Mississippi, the Murray to the Waikato. Our seas and rivers tell a compelling story about our planet. Through tracking the life source of people, animals and the land itself, Peter Goes brings alive our history and our lives today. Each illustration includes major events and historical figures connected with its river, but also favorite stories and icons. This absorbing, playful book shows who we are, how we live and the myths we weave around our people and places.
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The Rhythm of the Rain
Written & illustrated by Grahame Baker-Smith
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-3
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
Honorable Mentions
A Mirror to Nature book
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Chomp: A Shark Romp book
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Animal Babies in the River! book
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Basil the Bear Cub book
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  1. A Mirror to Nature - In this nature-inspired poetry picture book, contemplative poems and photos about water combine allowing young readers to see the world in new ways. Nature’s beauty is captured in twelve thoughtful poems and breathtaking pictures in this winner of the John Burroughs Nature Books for Young Readers Award. Watery reflections provide an appropriate backdrop for author Jane Yolen’s musings on nature, such as a raccoon swimming with his reflected self, the water-jagged legs of a snowy egret, and the double danger of a hungry alligator at the edge of a swamp. Jason Stemple’s photographs offer whimsical peeks at the natural world we rarely chance to see. This artistic collaboration gives a unique opportunity to think about the world.

  2. 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!

  3. Animal Babies in the River! - What’s a baby otter called? Or a baby duck? In this collection of river creatures and their young, Julia Groves’ distinctive art style captures each animal’s unique beauty.

  4. Basil the Bear Cub - When Basil the bear cub falls into the river, it is up to the superfairies to rescue him before he gets swept over the waterfall.

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How about books about nature?

Books About Water and Fish

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Hello, World! Ocean Life
Written & illustrated by Jill McDonald
board 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.
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Down, Down, Down
Written & illustrated by Steve Jenkins
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
Provides a top-to-bottom look at the ocean, from birds and waves to thermal vents and ooze.
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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.
Honorable Mentions
Down Down Down in the Sea book
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Ocean book
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Water Sings Blue book
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Way Down Below Deep book
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  1. Down Down Down in the Sea - 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Water Sings Blue - 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.

  4. 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.

Want to see books about fish?

Books About Water and The Ocean

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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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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.
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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.
Honorable Mentions
The Sea Book book
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Coral Reefs (New & Updated Edition) book
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Ocean Emporium book
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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Ocean Emporium - With a nod to the Victorian-era fascination with natural history collections and drawings, young readers will be awed by this compendium of ocean creatures and will learn how creatures great and small are interconnected in this mysterious ecosystem. From plankton and krill, to corals and crabs, to sea dragons and squids and swordfish and more! The oceans are teeming with life! Find out fascinating facts about these animals and how they survive deep beneath the waves.

Books About Water and Friendship

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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.
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Splish, Splash, Ducky!
Written & illustrated by Lucy Cousins
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5
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.
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Pablo and Birdy
Written by Alison McGhee & illustrated by Ana Juan
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
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.
Honorable Mentions
Kylie the Kitten book
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Silver Batal and the Water Dragon Races book
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Gooseberry Park and the Master Plan book
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Frog and Beaver book
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  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. 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.

  3. Gooseberry Park and the Master Plan - Stumpy, Murray, Gwendolyn, and Kona recruit Herman the crow and 200 owls to help with their Master Plan to assist the animals of Gooseberry Park that are in trouble because of a months-long drought.

  4. Frog and Beaver - A new neighbor with huge plans turns life upside down for animals who live on the river in a charming ecological fable from Simon James. Frog and his friends live happily together on the river. At least they do until Beaver comes along. Beaver is determined to build the biggest and best dam anyone has ever seen, and he doesn’t stop to think about what that will mean for everyone else’s homes. Frog tries to tell Beaver that his dam is getting too big, but Beaver just won’t listen. Before long, Beaver’s dam is so huge that it stops all the water in the river, and Frog and his friends must move upstream. But diverted water also needs somewhere to go, and soon Beaver will learn that only one force is stronger than a mighty river — friendship.

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Books About Water and Social Themes

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Lottie & Walter
Written & illustrated by Anna Walker
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
An original, compelling, and visually stunning treatment of a common childhood predicament: overcoming a fear of the water. Lottie goes to swim lessons every Saturday, but she never gets in the water. That’s because she is convinced there is a shark in the pool, a shark that wants to eat her and only her. But then Walter appears. Walter likes singing and reading books and bubble baths, and his favorite food is fish sticks, just like Lottie. When Saturday rolls around again, Lottie is no more ready to jump in the pool than she was before. Or is she? Sometimes it just takes a special friend to find the courage that was inside you all along.
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River Friendly, River Wild
Written by Jane Kurtz & 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.
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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
Soaked! book
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I'm a Duck book
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1, 2, 3, Jump! book
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  1. Soaked! - A Hula-Hooping moose, a badger with a bumblebee umbrella, a rabbit in a cashmere sweater, and a very wet bear star in this unpredictable and laugh-out-loud picture book in which having fun gets the best of a grumpy bear. It looks like a wet and dreary day for Bear and his trio of friends. How could he possibly have fun when he is soaked? But Badger, Rabbit, and Moose don’t seem to mind. In fact, Moose can still hula hoop! And it looks like so much fun. Might Bear like to try? Here is a story that shows that fun is not dependent on sunshine and blue skies. In fact, it might be more fun to be soaked!

  2. 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!

  3. 1, 2, 3, Jump! - First swimming lessons can be exciting and terrifying, but this joyful and imaginative guide shows young readers how to conquer the pool. From what to wear (a bathing suit, of course!) to what to expect (no, your teacher will not be a mermaid), 3, 2, 1 Jump! covers the what if’s and how to’s of getting in the pool for the first time. There’s a lot to worry about (Can I be sucked into the filter?) and even more to be excited about (When can I wear flippers?), and our narrator has thought of everything. By the time she’s ready, you to will want to jump in!

Books About Water and The Environment

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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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We Are Water Protectors
Written by Carole Lindstrom & illustrated by Michaela Goade
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
Inspired by the many Indigenous-led movements across North America, Carole Lindstrom's bold and lyrical picture book We Are Water Protectors issues an urgent rallying cry to safeguarding the Earth’s water from harm and corruption. Water is the first medicine. It affects and connects us all . . . When a black snake threatens to destroy the Earth And poison her people’s water, one young water protector Takes a stand to defend Earth’s most sacred resource.
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The Ocean in Your Bathtub
Written by Seth Fishman & illustrated by Isabel Greenberg
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
"The Earth's five oceans and its water cycle connect all of us in important and unexpected ways"--
Honorable Mentions
A Dolphin's Wish book
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Penguins Don't Wear Sweaters! book
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Splish Splash! book
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Lily's Water Woes book
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  1. A Dolphin's Wish - 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.

  2. 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.

  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. Lily's Water Woes - The second installment of the Wild Fairies series, Lily’s Water Woes, follows wild fairy (and mermaid) Lily, who is feeling left out. While her fairy friends get to travel to beautiful beaches and lush forests, Lily is always stuck at home, unable to be away from the water for very long. Her froggy pal, Splash, tries his best to cheer her up, but Lily still wishes she could stay out late and play like the other fairies. Wanting to help their friend, the fairies come together to build an awesome surprise for Lily that just might make it easier for her to travel beyond her small pond. The Wild Fairies series features a group of magical fairy friends who love playing and learning in the beautiful and bountiful forest they call home. With their reliable sidekick critters alongside, Daisy, Thistle, Heather, Celosia, Poppy, Dahlia, Indigo, and Lily care for the natural world around them using their unique and diverse set of special skills. Infused with ecology, botany, and magic, the wild fairies’ whimsical adventures will inspire in kids a sense of wonder and curiosity for nature, as well as inform them about the wildflowers and critters behind the fairies through young-reader friendly nonfiction pages in the back of each book.

Books About Water and Boats, Ships And Underwater Vehicles

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Row, Row, Row Your Boat in Oregon
Written by Forrest Everett & 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!
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Sea Glass Summer
Written by Michelle Hout & illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
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.
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Exploring the Deep, Dark Sea
Written & illustrated by Gail Gibbons
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
The surface of the moon is more familiar to us than the deep sea of our own planet. Many oceanographers are trying to change that. To explore the deep sea, they climb into submersibles and employ ROVs to find out more about the ocean and ocean floor. Gail Gibbons invites readers along for a journey to the deep sea, explaining the technology for exploration and the kinds of animals found at different sea levels.
Honorable Mentions
Deep in the Ocean book
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Ready, Set, Sail! 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. Ready, Set, Sail! - Join these sailors as they explore the sea during a fun day of sailing in this follow-up to Ready, Set, Build! Shout your orders loud and fast. “Hoist the mainsail up the mast!” Grab your life vest, hold on to your compass, and get ready for a day full of sailing fun with a playful tiger and turtle! Follow these salty sailors as they raise their anchor, cast off, and explore the sea in their little sloop. And after a long day of sailing, they gather and tell tales of all the things they’ve seen!

Books About Water and Science And Nature

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Water Land
Written & 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.
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Big Whales, Small World
Written by Mark Leiren-Young
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-2
In _Big Whales, Small World_ you will meet whales from around the world. This rhyming photographic board book visits the oceans of places like New Zealand, Russia and South America. Writer, filmmaker and orca activist Mark Leiren-Young introduces young readers to blue whales bigger than dinosaurs and tiny vaquitas who swim close to shores.
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The Little Raindrop
Written by Joanna Gray & illustrated by Dubravka Kolanovic
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
Originally published in the United Kingdom by Top That! Publishing, 2013.
Honorable Mentions
John Muir Wrestles a Waterfall book
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How to Spy on a Shark book
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  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. How to Spy on a Shark - Spend a day at sea tracking sharks—with the help of a robot! Join a team of marine biologists as they head out in their boat to study mako sharks. Simple, entertaining text and bright, accurate illustrations bring science and technology to life, and additional pages of facts about sharks follow the story. This book is bound to make a splash with young minds!

Books About Water and Culture

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The Water Princess
Written by Susan Verde and Georgie Badiel & 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.
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Minegoo Mniku
Written & 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.
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Nibi is Water
Written by Joanne Robertson
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-2
A first conversation about the importance of Nibi―which means water in Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe)―and our role to thank, respect, love, and protect it. Babies and toddlers can follow Nibi as it rains and snows, splashes or rows, drips and sips. Written from an Anishinaabe water protector’s perspective, the book is in dual language―English and Anishinaabemowin.
Honorable Mentions
Trapped!  A Whale's Rescue book
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A Bucket of Blessings book
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  1. 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.

  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.

Want to see books about culture?

Books About Water and Action And Adventure

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The Magic School Bus At The Waterworks
Written by Joanna Cole & illustrated by Bruce Degen
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
The classic title that started the award-winning series! Join Ms. Frizzle and her students as they follow the trail of water, from its sky-high source to the school bathroom sink on this wet and wild fieldtrip. After parking the school bus on a cloud and shrinking to raindrop size, Ms. Frizzle's class gets to see the waterworks from the water's point of view.
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A Long Walk to Water
Written & illustrated by Linda Sue Park
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-12
The New York Times bestseller A Long Walk to Water begins as two stories, told in alternating sections, about two eleven-year-olds in Sudan, a girl in 2008 and a boy in 1985. The girl, Nya, is fetching water from a pond that is two hours’ walk from her home: she makes two trips to the pond every day. The boy, Salva, becomes one of the "lost boys" of Sudan, refugees who cover the African continent on foot as they search for their families and for a safe place to stay. Enduring every hardship from loneliness to attack by armed rebels to contact with killer lions and crocodiles, Salva is a survivor, and his story goes on to intersect with Nya’s in an astonishing and moving way.
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Flying Deep Climb Inside Deep Sea Submersible ALVIN
Written by Michelle A. Cusolito & illustrated by Nicole Wong
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9
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.
Honorable Mentions
Freddie Ramos Makes a Splash book
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20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: a Puzzle Adventure book
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Nya's Long Walk: A Step at a Time book
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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Nya's Long Walk: A Step at a Time - In this picture book companion to the bestseller A Long Walk to Water, a young South Sudanese girl goes on a journey that requires determination, persistence, and compassion. Young Nya takes little sister Akeer along on the two-hour walk to fetch water for the family. But Akeer becomes too ill to walk, and Nya faces the impossible: her sister and the full water vessel together are too heavy to carry. As she struggles, she discovers that if she manages to take one step, then another, she can reach home and Mama’s care. Bold, impressionistic paintings by Caldecott and Coretta Scott King Honor winner Brian Pinkney evoke the dry, barren landscape and the tenderness between the two sisters. An afterword discusses the process of providing clean water in South Sudan, reducing waterborne illness.

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