The ocean is full of fascinating creatures and animals, and with World Ocean Day coming up, there is no better chance to teach your kids all about ocean life.
Spanning from fiction all the way to non-fiction memoirs, this list of children's books all about the ocean and sea that surrounds us will keep your young readers entertained throughout all Ocean Day lockdown celebrations.
Deep In The Ocean by Lucie Brunelliere
Suitable for: 1+
Following a submarine that gets thrown off-course by an unexpected storm, Deep In The Ocean will take readers of all ages on a journey through the ocean - from the glittering surface to the deep dark abyss, there are colourful, fascinating animals to discover and the mysterious deep waters to explore. This board book has tonnes of wonderful illustrations that will entrance your littlest children, and lyrical writing for the slightly older children to enjoy.
A Small Blue Whale by Beth Ferry & Lisa Mundorff
Suitable for: 3+
A small, blue whale swims alone in the ocean, waiting for a friend of his very own. When he comes across a quiet pink cloud, he thinks he's found the one. Until he gets into a spot of trouble and ends up being rescued by a group of penguins. This heartwarming story of friendship and love told in a picture book format will surely teach your children about the sea creatures who live in our oceans, and all about the importance of finding a friend.
Mister Seahorse by Eric Carle
Suitable for: 3+
While you might know Eric Carle for his famous picture book The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Mister Seahorse is one of his other picture books all about Seahorses and other male ocean animals and fish who carry their babies. This is a stunning book, and one of the more entertaining ones that details the life cycle of some sea creatures. Whilst this beautifully illustrated book is technically fiction, there are loads of interesting things for your kids to learn.
Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean's Most Fearless Scientist by Jess Keating
Suitable for: 3+
Upon her first visit to an aquarium at age 9, Eugenie Clark developed an unexpected passion for sharks. This love of hers then developed into her studies, as she set out to dispel dangerous myths about these beautiful ocean animals. Eugenie's scientific contributions to the studies of the sharks who live in our ocean earned her the nickname 'Shark Lady'. Shark Lady is a great place to start for children who want to discover more biographies, as it's told in a picture book format it is easy for younger kids to consume and understand as all the adventure and excitement of Eugenie's life is uncovered.
The Tail of Emily Windsnap by Liz Kessler
Suitable for: 8+
There are two things Emily has always known: she's always lived on a boat, and her mother wants to keep her as far away from the water as possible. What she wasn't expecting, however, was for her to sprout a tail during her very first swimming lesson. Suddenly Emily's whole life is flipped upside down, and she has to get used to her new life amongst the coral reef. It's one of the best ocean books for kids who love a bit of magic sprinkled into everything they do, and as well as telling tales about mythological ocean creatures, it's just a whole load of fun.
Atlas of Ocean Adventures by Emily Hawkins
Suitable for: 8+
Go on a journey through the deep blue sea with this natural history lesson disguised as an adventure book. With these stunning illustrations, you'll get to meet leatherback turtles, sea otters, and even walruses as well as learn all sorts of cool facts about all kinds of ocean animals with the delightful and concise captions that are dispersed throughout. This atlas is one of the best ocean books for kids that find might find it difficult to consume information in large chunks of text, the snappy facts and drawings make for an easy and accessible way for all children to learn, gain an interest in science, and satiate their curiosity.
Ariki and the Giant Shark by Nicola Davies
Suitable for: 8+
Found washed up on turtle island as a toddler, Ariki has always known she belongs to the sea. She spends her days playing with all the animals who live in the ocean, but when she spots a group of sharks circling the shore stopping the fishermen from doing their jobs, can Ariki manage to save the day and the island? Ariki's world is a paradise unlike any other, and kids are sure to fall under the spell of this new book series.
Deeplight by Frances Hardinge
Suitable for: 14+
A fantasy novel rife with sea monsters, sea-faring pirates and mythological-style deities - Deeplight is a thrilling book about friendship, adventure, sacrifice and the lengths people are willing to go for the ones they love. Whilst this is maybe not as educational as some of the other books on this list, it is a captivating read about the dark sides of the ocean in this beautifully written fantasy world.
The Silent World by Jacques-Yves Cousteau
Suitable for: 15+
A memoir of the man who invented scuba diving, this is one of the best books for kids who are a little bit older. The thrilling tale of Jacques' adventures in the sea are memorialised in this fascinating book all about Cousteau and Dumas' time as 'menfish'.
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
Suitable for: 16+
Moby Dick, one of the most famous ocean books ever written, is the story of a madman and his war against the sea itself. But more than this, it's an inquiry into faith, character and the nature of perception. This is definitely one for older children to read, as it might be a little more difficult to get through, but it is one of the most influential works in literature.
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