Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to whales. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about whales.
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.
When it comes to children’s stories about whales, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Amos & Boris to popular sellers like The Snail And the Whale to some of our favorite hidden gems like To the Sea.
We hope this list of kids books about whales 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.
The Fisherman & the Whale - Jessica Lanan’s dreamy and dramatic watercolor paintings bring to life a wordless story about wonder in the natural world. A fisherman takes his son for a trip out on the water. When they encounter a whale entangled at sea, they realize a connection that transcends the animal kingdom.
Yellow Kayak - A child and his beloved best friend go on a grand sea adventure in this magical picture book by the author and artist who created If I Had a Little Dream. You just never know what a new day will hold if you are brave enough to find out. On one quiet afternoon, a boy and his special friend’s unexpected adventure bring joy and excitement and sights never imagined. And the best part of any adventure is returning home with stories to tell and you best friend at your side.
The Storm Whale in Winter - In this sequel to The Storm Whale, the boy, Noi, is caught in a storm at sea and his whale friend comes to his rescue. When Noi’s dad sails out on one last fishing trip before winter, Noi waits for him at home. But as the storm worsens and his dad does not return, Noi decides to go looking for his dad. But the storm is powerful and dangerous, and soon Noi, too, is stuck in the icy sea. When it seems that all hope is lost, a friend comes to help Noi and his father. Poignant and evocative, this is a beautiful celebration of friendship and family, and the special bond between a father and son.
Squishy Squashy Whale - Squish and squash the whale as you read the rhyming story and discover all the things that Whale loves to do. Perfect for interactive play, for shared reading or for reading alone, these delightful, touchable books are full of fun!
The Boy and the Whale - A boy and his father discover a whale tangled in their only fishing net. Is the whale dead? While the man worries about losing their net, the boy worries about the whale. He remembers the fear he felt when, caught in a net himself in childhood, he almost drowned before being rescued by his father. When the whale blinks an enormous eye, the boy knows that he has to try to save the creature, no matter how dangerous doing so may be. Expressive and perfectly paced, this powerful story, The Boy and the Whale, by Caldecott Medal–winner Mordicai Gerstein was inspired in part by a real-life video of a whale’s rescue, and the creature’s joyful dance through the waves after being freed.
Wild Orca - Mia, her family, and friends gather in the San Juan Islands for Orca Sing, hoping that 105-year-old Granny, the oldest orca, will return with the pods she watches over. Includes facts about Granny and orcas.
Rainbow Fish and the Big Blue Whale - An adorable Rainbow Fish board book! It’s a whale of a tale in which a terrible misunderstanding escalates, putting Rainbow Fish and his friends in great danger, and Rainbow Fish must try to make peace with a big blue whale to save them all from disaster. When a big blue whale comes to live near their reef, there is a misunderstanding between him and Rainbow Fish and his friends that leaves everyone very unhappy and hungry.
Lloyd Finds His Whalesong - Lloyd can’t sing. The rhythm of the whalesong guides the whales through danger and connects them to each other. But Lloyd is too quiet to join in. If he can’t sing, how can he be a part of the pod? Then one day he finds a magical, mysterious object with supersonic seaweed strings! This could be his chance to be part of the song. He practices and practices, nervously preparing to show the other whales. But before he can perform for them, a disruptive, noisy boat approaches and scatters the pod. Lloyd’s powerful new instrument may be the only thing that can reunite them―if he can find the courage to share his unique song. This inspiring and whimsical tale about celebrating your differences and finding your voice is complemented by bright and endearing illustrations that sparkle with quiet magic.
Baby Beluga - Presents the illustrated text to the song about the little white whale who swims wild and free.
10 Reasons to Love... a Whale - Blue whales are incredible creatures! Did you know they are the largest animal on earth? Or that they sing songs across the ocean? Discover ten reasons why whales are amazing and five ways you can show they love them in this gorgeous picture book. A must for any young animal enthusiast and a fantastic introduction to environmental issues.
Amos & Boris - Amos the mouse and Boris the whale: a devoted pair of friends with nothing at all in common, except good hearts and a willingness to help their fellow mammal. They meet after Amos sets out to sea in his homemade boat, the Rodent, and soon finds himself in extreme need of rescue. Enter Boris. But there will come a day, long after Boris has gone back to a life of whaling about and Amos has gone back to his life of mousing around, when the tiny mouse must find a way to rescue the great whale. The tender yet comical story of this friendship is recorded in text and pictures that are a model of rich simplicity. Here, with apparent ease and concealed virtuosity, Caldecott medalist William Steig brings two winning heroes to life. Amos & Boris is a 1971 New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book of the Year, Notable Children’s Book of the Year, and Outstanding Book of the Year.
Storm Whale - A captivating and beautifully illustrated story about three sisters who nd a stranded whale on the beach. Bleak was the day and the wind whipped down when I and my sisters walked to town . . . With a powerful, poetic text, wonderful to read aloud, and illustrations full of life and movement, this picture book about three sisters finding a stranded whale celebrates the majesty and vulnerability of nature and our place in it.
A Book about Whales - Acting as a first book of whales, A Book About Whales teaches young readers everything they need to know about the largest mammals on earth: how they have evolved over millions of years, what and how they eat, their migration patterns, and more! Andrea Antinori’s whimsical black-and-white illustrations bring their underwater world to life. The book discusses a variety of whales one by one so readers learn to tell the differences between a blue whale and a humpback whale, among others, and what makes each of these whales unique. Packed with facts and playful in tone, this book is a must-have for young and curious nature lovers. It includes a bibliography and index.
A Whale in Paris - A hopeful and heroic girl befriends a small, lost whale during World War II and together they embark on a journey to liberate France and find their families in this charming debut novel.
Whale in a Fishbowl - Wednesday is a whale who lives in a fishbowl smack dab in the middle of a city—it’s the only home she’s ever known. Cars whizz around her and people hurry past; even the sun and moon circle above. But if she leaps high enough out of her bowl, Wednesday can see it: a calm bit of blue off in the distance. When a girl in a paisley dress tells Wednesday “You belong in the sea,” the whale starts to wonder, what is the sea? Readers will cheer—and get all choked up— when, one day, Wednesday leaps higher than ever before and sets in motion a breathtaking chain of events that will carry her to her rightful home. Touching, and ultimately uplifting, here is a story about a lonely creature longing to be free—and longing to find someone just like her.
Puffin Peter - Kids will delight in this witty story of mistaken identity from acclaimed author-illustrator Petr Horácek. Peter and Paul are puffins and the best of friends. But one day Peter gets lost in a terrible storm, and Paul is nowhere to be found. With the help of a big blue whale, Peter sets out, determined to find his pal. What the pair discovers is that many other birds match the description Peter gives of Paul, but none are quite like his friend. With gorgeous collage artwork and a lighthearted touch, this fun read-aloud tale will both amuse and enlighten.
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