Best Children's Books About Water

45 Children's Books About Water

Updated Jan. 19, 2019
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.

The Biggest Kiss book
#2
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.

The Water Princess book
#3
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.

Animal Babies in the River! book
#4
Animal Babies in the River!
Written and illustrated by Julia Groves
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

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.

Llama Llama Sand and Sun book
#5
Llama Llama Sand and Sun
Written and illustrated by Anna Dewdney
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

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!

Ladybug Girl at the Beach book
#6
Ladybug Girl at the Beach
Written by Jacky Davis and illustrated by David Soman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

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

Pablo  and  Birdy book
#7
Pablo and Birdy
Written by Alison McGhee and 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.

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.

Splish, Splash, Ducky! book
#9
Splish, Splash, Ducky!
Written and 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.

Speedboat Splash! book
#10
Speedboat Splash!
Written by Alan Copeland and illustrated by Rhys Jefferys
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Grab hold of this book that lets you steer a speedboat through the water! Let's head toward that island over there. Oops! Look out for that water-skier! Quick-steer right to avoid him! Climb aboard and push off from the dock-it's time to go on a speedboat ride! Kids will love using the die-cut handles in this board book to control the speedboat and steer through high seas traffic, around wildlife, through a storm, and more!

Ready, Set, Sail! book
#11
Ready, Set, Sail!
Written by Meg Fleming and illustrated by Luke Flowers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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!

Penguins Don't Wear Sweaters! book
#12
Penguins Don't Wear Sweaters!
Written by Marikka Tamura and illustrated by Daniel Rieley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

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.

Gooseberry Park and the Master Plan book
#13
Gooseberry Park and the Master Plan
Written by Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Arthur Howard, Cynthia Rylant
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

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.

A Bucket of Blessings book
#14
A Bucket of Blessings
Written by Surishtha Sehgal, Kabir Sehgal and illustrated by Jing Jing Tsong
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

Frog and Beaver book
#15
Frog and Beaver
Written and illustrated by Simon James
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

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.

Big Brown Bear's Birthday Surprise book
#16
Big Brown Bear's Birthday Surprise
Written by David McPhail
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

It’s his birthday and Big Brown Bear doesn’t even know it until his friend Rat fills him in during a picnic by the river. Everything goes swimmingly until an empty boat passes by and Big Brown Bear jumps in! Beginning readers will enjoy the watery ride in this sweet story full of sunshine, splashes, cucumber sandwiches, and friendship.

Too Much Rain book
#17
Too Much Rain
Written by Fran Manushkin and illustrated by Tammy Lyon
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

When heavy rain causes flooding, Katie Woo and her parents spend the night in a shelter.

Water Land book
#18
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.

Basil the Bear Cub book
#19
Basil the Bear Cub
Written and illustrated by Janey Louise Jones
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

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.

I'm a Duck book
#20
I'm a Duck
Written by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Will Hillenbrand
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

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!

Freddie Ramos Makes a Splash book
#21
Freddie Ramos Makes a Splash
Written by Jacqueline Jules and illustrated by Miguel Benitez
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

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.

Swimming with Sharks book
#22
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."

Kylie the Kitten book
#23
Kylie the Kitten
Written by Lily Small
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

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

Bears in the Bath book
#24
Bears in the Bath
Written by Shirley Parenteau and illustrated by David Walker
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

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.

Fish book
#25
Fish
Written and illustrated by Liam Francis Walsh
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

A boy and his dog embark on a fishing journey.Their first catch of the day: a big fat letter F.Their second? A slippery I. After an epic journey beneath the lake's surface, they find what they came for - a FISH, along with some unanticipated menace from a few other letters. This clever, wordless picture book, by a popular New Yorker cartoonist, is filled with charm and heart and will have no problem swimming its way into the hearts of young readers.

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected] with your book and list suggestion.