Nonfiction Books About the Ocean

This collection of nonfiction books about the ocean is perfect for kids ages 3-10! Learn more about the ocean and the animals that live in it. 

As you begin planning your upcoming ocean activities for preschoolers, be sure to fill your shelves with nonfiction books about the ocean and books about ocean animals. Your preschoolers will love learning about sharks, fish, dolphins, and more. 

This collection of nonfiction books about the ocean is perfect for kids ages 3-10! Learn more about the ocean and the animals that live in it. 

nonfiction books about the ocean

Below, I’ve featured just a handful of the best nonfiction books about the ocean that will help your preschoolers learn about the ocean and ocean animals.

You should be able to find them at your local library or bookstore. If you can’t find them locally, you can click each image cover to purchase them on Amazon.

Teacher Created Materials - TIME For Kids Informational Text: Sea Life - Grade 1 - Guided Reading Level FOcean: A Visual EncyclopediaOceans: Dolphins, sharks, penguins, and more!


Sea Life – From tide pools to the ocean, the sea is filled with amazing life forms! Early readers will be engaged from beginning to end with informational text, vivid photos, and a picture glossary of marine animals.

Ocean: A Visual Encyclopedia – An engaging visual encyclopedia for kids, packed with stunning photography and amazing facts on every aspect of ocean life.

Oceans: Dolphins, Sharks, Penguins, and More! – Swim with sharks! Dive with dolphins! Stroll the beach with penguins! Young readers will joyfully immerse themselves in this awesome adventure at sea, in which stunning National Geographic photos reveal hidden worlds of action and beauty. 

National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of the Ocean (National Geographic Little Kids First Big Books)What Can Live in the Ocean? (First Step Nonfiction _ Animal Adaptations)Hello, World! Ocean Life


First Big Book of the Ocean National Geographic Kids First Big Book of the Ocean is an adorable animal reference that includes the sea’s high-interest animals, such as dolphins, sharks, sea otters, and penguins, and introduces kids to some of its lesser-known creatures. 

What Can Live in the Ocean? – Discover how adaptations make the ocean a perfect habitat for whales, lobsters, sea horses, and many, many more animals.

Hello, World! Ocean Life – All young children love to play in the waves at the beach. Now here’s a Hello, World! board book that teaches them all about oceans and the creatures and plants that live there.

Sharks and Other Deadly Ocean Creatures Visual EncyclopediaOcean Animals: Who's Who in the Deep BlueNational Geographic Readers: Sea Turtles


Sharks and Other Deadly Ocean Creatures Visual Encyclopedia – Dive into Sharks and Other Deadly Ocean Creatures Visual Encyclopedia to discover everything there is to know about the ocean’s biggest predators.

Ocean Animals: Who’s Who in the Deep Blue – From life in coral reefs, to sharks and rays, to sea birds, kids will meet incredible sea-based animals in action, including the blue tang fish and clownfish.

Sea Turtles – Who could resist celebrating sea turtles? They may seem like lazy ocean reptiles drifting with the oceans’ currents, but they are actually long-distance swimmers that spend their entire lives searching for food and a mate. What’s more, they come with their own built-in GPS, returning to the exact beach where they were born to lay their own eggs.

Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean's Most Fearless ScientistNational Geographic Kids Look and Learn: Ocean Creatures (Look & Learn)So Cool! Sharks


Shark Lady – Eugenie Clark fell in love with sharks from the first moment she saw them at the aquarium. She couldn’t imagine anything more exciting than studying these graceful creatures. But Eugenie quickly discovered that many people believed sharks to be ugly and scary―and they didn’t think women should be scientists

Ocean Creatures – Look at the beautiful creatures of the sea in this adorable board book featuring sea creatures kids will love. Paired with beautiful photos and approachable, colorful design, this board book is sure to inspire your child to want to learn more about the oceans.

So Cool! Sharks – Sharks are among the world’s top predators, but that’s just ONE reason why they are SO COOL. So who wouldn’t want to hang out with them to learn more! 

The Ultimate Book of Sharks (National Geographic Kids)National Geographic Readers: Weird Sea CreaturesThe Big Book of the Blue (The Big Book Series)


The Ultimate Book of Sharks – Learn how sharks live, how they eat, the challenges they face, and whether or not you are actually on the menu!

Weird Sea Creatures – Did you know that the deep-sea anglerfish has a glowing fishing rod attached to its body, or that the barreleye fish has a see-through head? See these wacky creatures and more in this brilliantly illustrated book that explores the strangest creatures under the sea.

Big Book of the Blue – The book opens by explaining how different types of animals are able to breathe and survive underwater, and the different families to which they belong. Subsequent pages are dedicated to specific creatures, including sea turtles, whales, sharks, stingrays, and seahorses, and show varied life in specific habitats, such as a coral reef or deep sea bed.  

Which of these picture books about the ocean will you read first?

Round Out Your Unit with These Activities:

So, you need something adorable, but it also needs to provide engaging and meaningful play, right? This super cute ocean felt board set is a wonderful quiet toy for your little mermaids and mermen, keeping them creatively playing with an open-ended, screen-free, imagination-building toy (with all sorts of early learning secretly tucked inside). 

Create your own underwater world with this mini version of our Ocean play dough kit! These make great party favors and are perfect for on the go!

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 These color by number ocean animals are great for practicing number recognition and color words as well as building fine motor muscles. 

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