Here’s a fun little fact about yours truly… I used to be a sailor. Like a true, legit, swab the deck, climb the rigging, night watch, salty sailor, on 100-200 foot wooden ships. I even did an entire semester at sea in high school, which was the most incredible experience.
Ever since then, I’ve had a deep connection with the ocean. It’s is an amazing learning resource full of valuable nuggets of both fun and education. To help you explore this fun topic, I’ve put together a list of the top 30 kids books about the ocean.
In this list of kids books about the ocean, you will find a little bit of everything, for every age group on this list. From snapping crabs to the gentle giants of the sea, kids will be able to explore everything the ocean has to offer without dipping a toe in the salty water.
One fun tidbit I noticed while compiling this list is that there are wonderful books about the ocean that are based on both facts, fairy tales, and there are even Cat in the Hat ocean themed books! To help find your new favorite books, the list is separated into 3 different sections.
Let’s get this reading adventure started!
Top 30 Kids Books About the Ocean
Fun Fish Tails & Other Ocean Books
You will find some treasured stories in these ocean books. From mermaids, crabs, and pouting fish… you will learn some great lessons and have some laughs as well. Gather around, it’s story time!
1. The Pout Pout Fish: With some rhyming words and a storyline about where your attitude can take you, this ocean book will soon become a family favorite.
2. The Mermaid: An adorable spin on Goldilocks and the Three Bears only this time, we follow the woes of a mermaid!
3. Let’s Explore the Ocean: Pick up this ocean workbook for some hands on fun. It has puzzles, games, stickers, and more.
4. The Snail and the Whale: An adorable story about an unlikely pair, a snail, and a whale. When the snail realizes what a good friend the whale is to him, he soon finds out that he holds just as much value to the whale!
5. Follow the Moon Home: A great tale about a girl who helps the freshly hatched baby turtles find their way to the ocean. This book is a great way to get kids to start caring about their environment. The storyline shows us that a person can always help, no matter how small they might be.
6. Clark the Shark: A cute book about a shark who is very excited about life! Through the rhyming words, we learn that his enthusiasm may be too much when his friends start to turn away. But don’t worry! Clark soon learns how to use his inside voice.
7. Octopus’s Garden: This one is for all of you music lovers out there. Based on the classic Beatles’ song, this book comes with colorful illustrations, beautiful text, and a cd for you to listen along!
8. A House for a Hermit Crab: As the hermit crab grows, he needs to find a bigger house to live. At first, he is scared! Change is scary, but that is just because it is part of the unknown. Kids will relate to this hermit crab if they have experienced change, such as starting a new school or moving to a new home. Through the adventure of the hermit crab trying to find a bigger shell, kids will learn that change isn’t that scary at all.
9. Dark Day in the Deep Sea: If you have grade school aged kids, this chapter book about the ocean is perfect. It is part of the Magic Tree House series, and does not disappoint.
10. Swimmy: A tale of courage, friendship, and some creative thinking. The perfect way to build up a little bit of courage to have the strength to conquer any scary situation.
11. Flotsam: This story is about a young scientist who goes on a mission to find anything that has floated in the ocean. When he discovers an underwater camera that is covered in barnacles, he also discovers a secret. And it’s all his to keep.
12. How to Hide an Octopus: Go on a hunt for sea creatures as they hide amongst the ocean floor, coral, and even the water! Who knew these amazing animals can actually change the color of their scales!
13. Surfer Chick: When Chick wants to learn how to be the best surfer, just like her dad, she discovers it’s a lot harder than it looks! But after practicing for a bit, she learns how to do cool tricks just like her dad! Surf on little Chick!
Ocean Books Filled with Facts
14. Ocean: This book has the best pictures of sea creatures. It is full of images that actually move! From fish, squid, and more, kids are able to see these real life sea animals in action. Thanks to a form of a hologram, the reader can control the speed at which these creatures move just by turning the page. It is also full of facts about the sea creatures life cycle.
15. Super Shark Encyclopedia: This is a great gem from DK Eyewitness Books that has a ton of information on over 80 types of sharks and other sea creatures. Perfect for kiddos who are enamored by sharks.
16. National Geographic Ocean Animals Activity Book: There are hours of learning packed into this ocean books. Kids can learn through puzzles, games, and other activities.
17. National Geographic Weird Sea Creatures: Discover the really weird and interesting world of sea creatures in this Nat Geo favorite. There are some incredible pictures of the anglerfish in this ocean book.
18. Mister Seahorse: This is the perfect book for toddlers and preschoolers. It highlights the amazing birth of baby seahorses. With colorful illustrations and facts, even our youngest kiddos can enjoy books about the ocean.
19. Good Night Ocean: This book has a little bit of knowledge on all the sea creatures. From turtles, eels, and even penguins, you will learn a little bit about everything that swims in the sea. You might also like to read, Good Night Beach.
20. Wild Oceans: This stunning pop-up book covers sea creatures that lurk in different areas of the ocean. Kids can get a sneak peek into the monsters of midnight, tides of life, and more.
21. Over in the Ocean In a Coral Reef: This artistic and educational book about the ocean is a must have for your kid’s library. The illustrations are pictures of sculptures made out of polymer clay. These images capture your kid’s attention, and on top of that, there are a ton of ideas for curriculum that allows you to branch off and explore all the wonders of the ocean.
22. All the Way to the Ocean: Use this book to teach kids about taking care of the ocean, even if they do not live near the sea. With the help of Isaac and James, two best friends, they share the effect their actions have on the ocean, lakes, and streams.
23. Super Simple Ocean Projects: Take your ocean adventure to the next level with this book that is full of projects…. and guess what? They are all about the ocean. You’ll sure to find a favorite for everyone in this book from making a tide pool to creating an Arctic glacier.
24. The Magic School Bus on the Ocean Floor: With an updated science version of the adventures of Ms. Frizzle, kids can still enjoy her fabulous adventures.
25. Shark Lady: Meet Eugenie Clark in this true story of the shark lady. During a time when sharks were thought of mean creatures, Eugenie set out to study these incredible gentle giants. Follow her story of determination all while learning about sharks.
26. If Sharks Disappear: This is another great ocean book that looks at the importance of sharks within the food chain. It points out the very important role sharks play within this chain as well as what would happen to the ocean if sharks disappear.
Cat in the Hat Ocean Books
As part of the Cat in the Hat Learning Library, there are some themed ocean books that are beyond perfect for this list. Use the love of the Cat in the Hat to your advantage and get kids learning about all these incredible sea creatures!
27. A Whale of a Tale: Have your kids ever asked how whales stay warm? Or how do they eat without any teeth? This book will answer all those questions and more!
28. Hark! A Shark!: Did you know that sharks do not have any bones? This book is full of fun facts about every kind of shark. You’ll learn a little about different species, from the great white shark to the whale shark.
29. Wish for a Fish!: This Cat in the Hat tale covers a bunch of sea creatures. It will help kids explore all the wonders of the ocean with one of their all time favorite characters!
30. Clam I Am: I think this is one of my favorite Cat in the Hat ocean books…. it might have something to do with the fact that it is all about the beach and I adore the beach.
Ocean Book Bookplates
To make these books even more special, I created a few bookplates for you to use as a way to personalize these incredibly fun ocean books. You can use these Sticker Sheets to print the bookplates and adhere them to the inside of the book. Or, use any paper of your choice, and a glue stick to glue them onto the page.
These are perfect for any occasion, just because, birthday gifts, and other holiday gifts. Simply click on this image, then send to your printer!
Credit for the clipart goes to Prettygrafik Design.
Books are always a great gift choice because they can be opened again and again. Print out the bookplates and add a fun bookmark to your gift! It is sure to be treasured for years to come.
Ocean Coloring Book
To add a little more fun to the list, I created an Ocean Coloring Book for you to print out and color! There are 7 pages of sea creatures. Hopefully, this will keep your kiddos occupied for a bit!
What are your favorite ocean books? Share them with me in the comments!