Whether you are doing an Ocean Animal Unit Study with your kids, are just wanting to learn more about the wonderful world under the sea, I’ve got a fantastic list of awesome ocean books for kids to get you started.
From interesting sea creatures, to finding shells and sea glass along the beach, there are tons of different ocean topics to explore.
Since we live pretty close to the Pacific Ocean, and we are blessed to make frequent trips there, we like to explore these ocean topics with our kids.
With that being said, here are some of our favorite ocean books for kids:
Awesome Ocean Books for Kids
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Sea Glass Summer by Michelle Houts
Thomas visits his grandma and becomes enamored with sea glass and the story that each piece holds. We enjoyed this book and liked that it left us wondering about all the stories and mysteries that the ocean holds.
Shark Lady by Jess Keating
This story is about the zoologist, Eugenie Clark, who devoted her life to learning all about sharks. I liked that this book inspired us to admire these fascinating creatures in a new light.
The Big Book of Blue by Yuval Zommer
If you are looking for a nonfiction book about the ocean for kids, this is a good one. It has tons of interesting ocean facts, and the illustrations are very colorful and inviting.
A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle
Hermit crab grows out of this shell and has to find a new one. Along the way he makes lots of new ocean friends. This was a fun little ocean book that highlighted friendship.
The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson
The is a cute, rhyming story about an unlikely friendship between a snail and a whale and how they learn to help each other in spite of their size difference.
The Magic School Bus on the Ocean Floor by Joanna Cole
This is another fun Magic School Bus Adventure. This time, Ms. Frizzle takes her class into the ocean depths where they discover all kinds fascinating plants and animals.
Here Comes the Ocean by Meg Fleming
There is very little text in this ocean book but the illustrations are charming and are wonderful for younger kids. I liked the rhyming words and the sensory cues given in this book.
My Ocean is Blue by Darren Lebeuf
This is a fun and easy-read ocean book. The girl and her mom spend the day at the beach showing us all that fascinating things about her ocean. I like all the opposites that she points out.
The Little Blue Cottage by Kelly Jordan
While the cottage and the girl are the main feature of this book, I loved the sea side setting and the beach elements. (This would also be a wonderful book to talk about seasons and change.)
The Sea Mammal Alphabet Book by Jerry Pollatta
Check out a different sea mammal for each letter of the alphabet! While I found the writing a little lack-luster, the illustrations were great and the text was informative.
The Blue Whale by Jenni Desmond
Learn all about blue whales with this ocean book for kids. It’s nonfiction but it is good at engaging kids and holding their attention. Lots of great information about these large and amazing creatures.
Swimmy by Leo Lionni
Swimmy, the brave fish, helps his friends overcome some of their fears as they navigate the ocean deep. This is wonderful resources for talking about schools of fish and also the prey/predator relationships in the ocean.
If I Were a Whale by Shelley Gill
This is a board book, but don’t that that deter you. This is such a great little book about whales! I like that it has some great rhyming and that it features whales from the Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic oceans.
The Brilliant Deep by Kate Messner
If you are looking for childrens books about ocean conversation, this book is for you. This is the story of Ken Nedimyer the founder of the Coral Restoration Foundation, who worked to preserve coral reefs. A nice read, and gives opportunity to talk about taking care of nature, particularly the ocean.
Ocean Meets Sky by Terry Fan
The boy in this fantasy story goes on a journey to find a magical place that his grandpa had told him about where the ocean meets the sky. With a creative combination of ships and hot air balloons, the illustrations in this book are captivating. This was not our favorite storyline, but we enjoyed it none the less.
In the Sea by David Elliot
This is a delightful collection of little rhymes for things found in the sea. I loved the simple poetic verses and bright colored illustrations. (Great ocean book for preschool and kindergarten age.)
On Kiki’s Reef by Carol Manor
Kiki is a green sea turtle who lives in a colorful, coral reef habitat. As you read, you follow her life and how she grows and thrives in her environment. This is a neat and informative book about the turtle life cycle and about coral reefs.
Ocean Books for Preschool
Out of the list above, here are our picks of best ocean books for preschool. These ocean books are short but still do a good job of teaching. Note: The titles in this list are linked to a couple of my favorite discount online book sites: thriftbooks.com and abeBooks.com.
Best Ocean Books for Preschool:
- If I Were a Whale by Shelley Gill
- My Ocean is Blue by Darren Lebeuf
- Here Comes the Ocean by Meg Fleming
- A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle
- The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson
- I’ll Follow the Moon by Stephanie Lisa Tara
Best Ocean Books for Kindergarten
Looking for some ocean-themed books for kindergarten? If so, here are our favorite ocean books for kindergarten from the list above.
These ocean books are still short but have a little more content than the ocean books for preschool choices. Note: The books in this list are also linked thriftbooks.com and abeBooks.com which are a couple of my favorite thrifty book sites.
Best Ocean Books for Kindergarten:
- Swimmy by Leo Lionni
- The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson
- The Big Book of Blue by Yuval Zommer
- The Blue Whale by Jenni Desmond
- The Magic School Bus on the Ocean Floor by Joanna Cole
- Shark Lady by Jess Keating
- In the Sea by David Elliot
- On Kiki’s Reef by Carol Manor
Get the Printable Ocean Animals Unit
All of these awesome ocean books for kids would be a wonderful addition to our Ocean Animals Unit Study. This Ocean Animal unit study features 12 ocean animals while building science, math, literacy, and handwriting skills. The activities are geared toward preschool through 2nd grade and would be perfect for homeschool or classroom use! Check out the Printable Ocean Unit Bundle on Etsy!