Picture Books About the Ocean
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Is your little dreaming of the beach? Are you planning a beach vacation? If so, fill your book basket with these picture books about the ocean.
My favorite vacation spot is the ocean – second to Disney World, that is. So, really, my favorite relaxing vacation spot is the beach. We love putting our toes in the sand, searching for seashells, and splashing in the waves.
Books About the Ocean
Fill your book basket with a great collection of books about the ocean. Most of these books can be found at your local library or used bookstore.
If you have a hard time finding them, you can order them through my Amazon affiliate links by clicking the images below.
Beach Day – In this charming picture book, a cheerful family tumbles out of the car and onto the beach, ready for a perfect day. This book is a captivating introduction to the beach for young children and an irresistible gift for beach lovers of any age.
At the Beach – There’s so much to do at the beach! There are sand castles to build, seashells to gather, sandpipers to run with, and a picnic lunch to enjoy in the shade of a bright beach umbrella.
One Tiny Turtle – Far, far out at sea lives one of the world’s most mysterious creatures, the loggerhead turtle. For thirty years she swims the oceans, wandering thousands of miles as she searches for food. Then, one summer night, she lands on a beach to lay her eggs — the very same beach where she herself was born.
Jenny Jellyfish: A Tale of Wiggly Jellies – Amazing facts about moon jellies, animals with no heart, bones or brain.
Hello Ocean – Relive a day at the beach with this lovely book of memories. You can almost feel the salt spray on your face and smell the musky scent of ocean in the cool morning air. Remember how the sand squishes between your toes as the tide rushes to shore and taste the tang of the ocean on your lips.
Good Thing You’re Not an Octopus! – Follow one little boy through his day as he playfully considers how mealtime, bath time, nap time, and many other activities would be different if he were a bird, a tiger, or any number of baby animals.
Sea Horse: The Shyest Fish in the Sea – Dive into the warm ocean and swim around amid the coral and waving sea grass. Do you see an eye like a small black bead peering out at you? Linger for a while and discover the secrets of the sea horse – one of the shyest fish in the sea. Could there be a more intriguing creature of the sea?
Sea Turtles – The characteristics and lifestyles of the eight different kinds of sea turtles.
Starfish on the Beach – Suddenly Sandy stopped. She saw something that was bigger than a seashell. “Look, Momma,” said Sandy, “there are stars on the beach!” A mother and daughter’s day at the beach becomes a lesson in life as they discover starfish stranded on the beach and work to rescue them. Sandy and her mother discover that small acts of kindness can make a big difference, if only to one.
Star of the Sea: A Day in the Life of a Starfish – With the ocean her home, an ochre sea star hunts for her morning meal. She folds over her rays and grips the rocky shore with sticky feet as she feasts on shellfish. When she takes too long, the tide flows back without her and Sea Star becomes easy prey. But she is built to survive and eventually makes her way back to the sea, although with one less ray than before.
Jellyfish – Offering fascinating insight into life beneath the waves, this book follows a jellyfish through its day as it sleeps, eats, and moves.
An Octopus is Amazing – An introduction to one of the curiosities of the sea–the multi-tentacled, highly intelligent octopus.
Starfish – Starfish have arms, but no legs. They have feet, but no toes. Starfish aren’t fish, but they are living animals. Kids learn how starfish move, eat, and grow.
The Rainbow Fish – Rainbow Fish finds friendship and happiness when he learns to share.
A House for Hermit Crab – Join Hermit Crab as he learns an important lesson about growing up: For every friend and adventure left behind, there are new ones just ahead!
Mister Seahorse – When Mrs. Seahorse lays her eggs, she does it on Mr. Seahorse’s belly! She knows he will take good care of them. While he swims waiting for the eggs to hatch, he meets some other underwater fathers caring for their babies: Mr. Tilapia, who carries his babies in his mouth; Mr. Kurtus, who keeps his on his head; and Mr. Catfish, who is baby-sitting his young hatchlings.
The Three Little Fish and the Big Bad Shark – Mama tells her three little fish that it’s time to make their own homes. Jim builds his house of seaweed, but the big bad shark munches it up. Tim builds his house of sand, but the shark crunches it up. It’s smart Kim who sets up house in an old sunken ship!
How to Hide an Octopus – Go on a fascinating nature hunt to find the camouflaged octopus, crabs, brilliantly-painted tropical fish, and other wonderful sea creatures hidden in the pages of this book.
Wish for a Fish: All About Sea Creatures – Traveling down from the Sunny Zone to the Dark Zone to the Trench at the bottom, Captain Cat and his crew get up close and personal with the different life forms found at each level of the ocean. Along the way, they meet sharks, jellyfish, dolphins, manatees, whales, and sea cucumbers, to name just a few!
I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean – When a giant squid takes inventory of all of the creatures in the ocean, he realizes that he’s way bigger than most of them! Of course, there are bigger things lurking around . . . but maybe this giant squid with a giant touch of hubris doesn’t really care?
Seashells by the Seashore – Counting from one to twelve, Sue picks up shells–periwinkle, kittens paw, scallop–and carefully adds them to her bucket as a gift for Grandma. She and her friend identify the shells, and when they discover one that still has the mollusk living inside they put it back in the water–learning that shells are actually the (usually) abandoned homes of sea animals.
Commotion in the Ocean – Children will delight in the snappy poems and colorful illustrations about whales, walruses, penguins, polar bears, stingrays and sharks.
A Swim Through the Sea – Each page highlights a selected species with a full-color illustration and a paragraph of fascinating facts, surrounded by a frame full of extra creatures and vocabulary. It reaches a large age range because the large text is for young readers, while smaller text is for you or more advanced children.
Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea – Way down deep in the deep blue sea, there’s a lot to find. I guarantee! Come on! Be brave! Just follow me! And let’s explore the deep blue sea!
What Lives in a Shell? – A house is a home for you, a nest is a home for a bird, and a cave is a home for a bear. But for some animals a shell is a home. Snails and turtles and crabs and clams all have shells that act as their homes and protect them from harm.
The Ocean Alphabet Book – Do you know which deep sea creature scares away its enemies by spraying ink at them, or which fish has lights inside its mouth to attract food? Learn the answer to these questions and other fascinating details about ocean life in this engaging and informative book.
Poke-a-Dot! Who’s in the Ocean? – Out in the ocean where the big waves roar, tons of different creatures come out to explore. Kids can count them all as they read along with this bouncing rhyme.
Over in the Ocean in a Coral Reef – Kids will sing, clap, and count their way among puffer fish that puff, grunt fish that grunt and seahorses that flutter, and begin to appreciate life in the ocean.
Under the Sea – Simple text describes the animals that are found under the surface of the ocean, from the shallow coral reefs to the depths of the sea floor.
Duck & Goose Go to the Beach – Duck wants to go on an adventure. But Goose isn’t so sure. Together, the two best friends set off on a walk that takes them through the meadow, past a shady thicket, and over a distant hill, all the way to a place they’ve never been before—the beach!
Let’s Track What You’re Reading!
It’s fun to track what you read to your preschoolers throughout the school year. It’s even more fun to have your preschoolers track the books they enjoyed.
Parents and teachers can use the Reading Tracker to record the titles of each book they read as well as the date and number of pages.
Children can use the My Book Review page to track the books they listen to and then color a face to show whether they liked each book or not.
If you track what you read, you’ll be amazed at how many books you read each day and month!
More Ocean Animal Fun
Add some wooden sea animals to your pretend play area to inspire hours of imaginative play.
This ocean play set makes the perfect addition to your small world set ups and sensory bins.