Best Kids Books About Whales

15 Kids Books About Whales

Updated Jan. 18, 2019
The Storm Whale in Winter book
#1
The Storm Whale in Winter
Written and illustrated by Benji Davies
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

Whaley Whale book
#2
Whaley Whale
Written and illustrated by Chris Raschka
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Theme: Hide-and-Seek. It’s hard to be discreet when you’re a whale (. . . or a preschooler). With relatable obviousness, Whaley Whale engages in a lighthearted game of hide-and-seek with the reader. Is she on the table? . . . Is she behind the door? This methodical progression builds an anticipation that delights young readers, while the unmistakable foreshadowing keeps parents giggling along.

Whale in a Fishbowl book
#3
Whale in a Fishbowl
Written by Troy Howell and illustrated by Richard Jones
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

Heartbeat book
#4
Heartbeat
Written and illustrated by Evan Turk
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

This cinematic picture book from critically acclaimed author and illustrator Evan Turk follows the life of a baby whale from birth, to song, to silence, to a new song of compassion and hope for a brighter future. Two hearts, one song. A young whale and her mother sing together. Heartbeat. Then the mother is gone. One heart, one song. The young whale swims, alone and lonely, for days and years and decades... until one day a little girl hears her and joins her song. Together, they sing of hope for a brighter future. One world, one song, one heartbeat.

The Storm Whale book
#5
The Storm Whale
Written and illustrated by Benji Davies
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Every day, in a house by the sea, a little boy watches his father leave for work. One night, a storm washes a small whale onto the beach. The boy discovers the whale is a good listener, and the father discovers the boy is lonely. Together, they return the whale to the sea, and the boy realizes his father can be a good listener, too. Full color.

10 Reasons to Love... a Whale book
#6
10 Reasons to Love... a Whale
Written by Catherine Barr and illustrated by Hanako Clulow
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

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.

Ocean book
#7
Ocean
Written by Heather Alexander and illustrated by Andres Lozano
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

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.

Whale Child book
#8
Whale Child
Written and illustrated by Caroll Simpson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Whale Child tells the story of a little girl who is separated from her family and village after a natural disaster. Escaping the shoreline in a canoe, she is swept far out to sea but discovers that she is not alone. A gray whale is quietly guiding her to a secluded bay where many of her kind have gathered to welcome the new generation. Here, the gray whale gives birth to a daughter, and when the baby whale draws her first breath, she absorbs the spirit of the lost little girl. As one, the whale and the girl find their way back to the girl’s village, where the girl, now strengthened by the spirit of the whale, is reunited with her family.

A Whale's World book
#9
A Whale's World
Written by Ian McAllister and illustrated by Nicholas Read
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

A Whale’s World follows a pod of spy-hopping orcas as they explore the ecosystems of the Great Bear Sea while hunting for their next meal. Past rocky shores and through kelp forests,they observe foraging wolves, hungry grizzly bears, curious black bears, graceful fin whales, splashing porpoises,slippery seals and other members of the Pacific coastal food web.The book gives readers a fun introduction to the many ways that marine and land animals interact with their environments and with each other.

Trapped!  A Whale's Rescue book
#10
Trapped! A Whale's Rescue
Written by Robert Burleigh and illustrated by Wendell Minor
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

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.

Water Sings Blue book
#11
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.

Way Down Below Deep book
#12
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.

A Book about Whales book
#13
A Book about Whales
Written and illustrated by Andrea Antinori
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

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.

The Blue Whale book
#14
The Blue Whale
Written and illustrated by Jenni Desmond
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

An introduction to the world of the giant blue whale combines engaging facts with evocative illustrations that compare the whale's enormous size to objects in the everyday world.

Storm Whale book
#15
Storm Whale
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

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