Engage toddlers, preschool and kindergarten kids this summer with ocean books. Learn about sea life, marine conservation and life skills with these great reads!
This list of ocean books for toddlers, preschool and kindergarten kids includes a variety of topics and protagonists to engage young readers.
It’s a great reading list to continue reading this summer and a good companion activity if you are planning an outing to the beach or aquarium.
For young readers who love to read a whole series of books, I included a couple in the list as well.
A lot of these books can be checked out from your local library or purchased on Amazon. I have linked them down below for your convenience.
And as a bonus, scroll to the bottom to download the FREE Ocean Coloring Sheets Printable for Kids.
50 Ocean Books for Toddlers, Preschool and Kindergarten Kids
I Am Jellyfish by Ruth Paul
One of our favorite marine life books, we picked this one up during our trip to New Zealand. Fantastic illustrations and glows in the dark! The story of a Jellyfish who teaches a swordfish a lesson!
Little Hector and The Big Idea by Ruth Paul
Another one of our favorites. Little Hector and his marine friends come up with a novel idea on how to get trash out of the ocean.
Pout Pout Fish Series by Deborah Diesen and Dan Hanna
My son just loves the Pout-Pout Fish Series and has most of these books memorized. From dealing with attitude, relationships, bullying and first day of school, this series covers a lot of life skills. Some books in the series are also available in Spanish.
Narwhal and Jelly Series by Ben Clanton
A light-hearted series of two unlikely ocean friends and their adventures in the sea.
Mister Seahorse by Eric Carle
The story of nurturing fathers of the ocean that care for the eggs until they hatch. Beautifully and colorfully illustrated.
A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle
A great book about growing up and facing new life challenges. This book is written in a more mature voice, a great bridge from children’s books to older literature.
I’m Not a Fish by Peter Raymundo
A cute book about names and identity. Great way to introduce different species of ocean creatures to a young reader.
The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson
A story about two unlikely friends who venture out on a big adventure.
Over in the Ocean: In the Coral Reef by Marianne Berkes
A beautiful and colorful book that integrates marine life and counting and can be sung and clapped to for a more rounded sensory experience. Used in many classrooms and story times.
On My Beach by Sarah Gillingham
For young readers who enjoy die-cut pages and finger puppets, the story of crab and the love of family.
In My Ocean by Sarah Gillingham
Similar to On My Beach, the simple and short story of a dolphin and his home.
Wish For A Fish: All About Sea Creatures by Bonnie Worth
A good old tale by the Cat in the Hat when he goes to the ocean to visit a Fish.
Deep in The Ocean by Lucille Brunellière
Beautifully illustrated with small print, this book is about the harrowing journey of a scientific team that gets caught in a violent storm and is dragged miles from its course. Great for young readers who are ready for longer books and more thrilling stories.
A Whale of a Tale!: All About Porpoises, Dolphins, and Whales by Bonnie Worth
Another Cat in the Hat tale of exploration of 20 different cetaceans.
Squid and Octopus by Tao Nyeu
A tale of friendship during good and hard times. 4 stories in one book about a squid and an octopus.
Commotion in the Ocean by Giles Andreae
A great book to teach rhymes and poems involving ocean creatures.
Nerdy Babies: Ocean by Emmy Kastner
Need an introductory book about oceans for toddlers, this book is cute and to the point. Full of facts and cute illustrations.
Guess Who Ocean Friends by Josie Shepherd
A peekaboo book with flaps to delight young readers. Full of rhymes and surprises.
Hello World: Ocean Life by Jill McDonald
Hello World: Ocean Life introduces facts about marine life in a simple and colorful way.
Moby-Dick: BabyLit Ocean Primer Book by Jennifer Adams
Want to introduce your little ones to classic literature? This book is the gateway to teaching the language of the sea.
Way Down Deep in The Deep Blue Sea by Jan Peck
A super cute rhyming book for early readers. Toddlers will love the rhythm and repetition of this book.
I’m The Biggest Thing in The Ocean by Kevin Sherry
A confident squid and a funny story that will have toddlers and preschoolers laughing.
What Lives in A Shell? by Kathleen Zoehfeld
An exploration of a variety of animals who make shells their homes.
What’s It Like to Be a Fish? by Wendy Pfeffer
A non-fiction book that has been named Best Children’s Science Book of the Year by Science Books & Films.
Tickly Octopus by Ruth Galloway
The story of an octopus who likes to tickle his friends and creates big trouble when he causes a clam to loose its pearl.
How to Hide an Octopus and Other Sea Creatures by Ruth Heller
A fascinating exploration of sea creatures who use camouflage in the ocean.
Hooray For Fish! by Lucy Cousins
This book is colorful and so cute. It explores sea creatures and preschool concepts of opposites, shapes and positions. This book is also available in Spanish.
Where Is Little Fish? by Lucy Cousins
Another book by Lucy Cousins, this one is full of flaps for a fun hide and seek game.
Big Book of the Ocean by Catherine Hughes
A non-fiction book by National Geographic, this book is perfect for kindergarten kids who love interesting facts.
Crab Cake: Turning the Tide Together by Andrea Tsurumi
A story of civic engagement and community power.
The Big Book of the Blue by Yuval Zommer
Over 50 pages of facts about marine life, conservation and the oceans. A big hit for kids who crave new information.
Big Book of Big Sea Creatures by Minna Lacey
An Usborne Big Book of Sea Creatures. Non-fiction with lots of illustrations, facts and big fold outs.
Save the Ocean by Bethany Stah
A mermaid and sea turtle’s journey to recycle and save the ocean.
I’ll Follow The Moon by Stephanie Tara
This book donates to charity to save turtles with every copy sold. The tale of how turtles hatch and follow the moon into the ocean to begin their lives.
1001 Things to Spot in the Sea by Katie Daynes
This book combines marine life with counting to engage readers in math as well. Great for observation skills as the reader is asked to spot certain things in each page and count them.
Follow the Moon Home by Phillippe Cousteau and Deborah Hopkinson
Inspire the next generation of environmentalists with the story of a kid who finds herself in a new place and brings her community together to save turtles in the coast of South Carolina.
Poky, the Turtle Patrol by Diana Kanan
Another book of a turtle’s journey to the sea after hatching and the confusing information it receives from other animals. This book donates to the Volusia/Flagler Turtle Patrol.
A Swim Through The Sea by Kristin Joy Pratt
An alphabetical book for toddlers who are beginning to learn letters.
One Tiny Turtle by Nicola Davies
This book explores the journey and lifecycle of loggerhead turtles.
Steve, Terror of the Seas by Megan Brewis
Steve is not big or scary, but other sea creatures are terrified of him.
Spencer and Vincent, the Jellyfish Brothers by Tony Johnston
A beautiful tale of brotherly love, this book takes you on a journey when jellyfish brothers become separated in the sea. Great for kids that have siblings.
Wendell the Narwhal by Emily Dove
The story of a narwhal who can’t make music but wants to join the symphony of the seas.
The Berenstain Bears Under the Sea by Mike Berenstain
I was first introduced to the Berenstain Bears when I started homeschooling and have enjoyed the non-fiction information the author weaves into storytelling. In this underwater adventure, the family meets several ocean creatures.
Under the Sea by Anna Milbourne
An international exploration of sea creatures of various shores and deepest parts of the ocean.
Shine! by Patrick McDonnell
The story of a starfish who wishes she could shine like the stars in the sky and finding the true beauty of her own home and herself.
Smiley Shark by Ruth Galloway
A series about a smiley shark that tries to make friends, but terrifies every sea creature with his smile and how he becomes a hero when they need him.
Pepper the Parrotfish by Stephanie Enser
A portion of this book goes to marine conservation. It looks into what makes the parrotfish special. Spoiler alert: parrotfish poop makes the sand for our beaches.
Octopus Alone by Divya Srinivasan
A great story to encourage kids that are shy to make friends.
One Day On Our Blue Planet: In the Ocean by Ella Bailey
A mom and calf dolphin who explore the pacific ocean and all the creatures that live there.
The Lost Narwhal by Tori McGee
A narwhal is adopted by a pod of beluga whales when he gets lost. Based on a true story.
Sea Life Sticker, Activities and Coloring Books for Kids
In addition to these great ocean books for toddlers, preschool and kindergarten kids, why not incorporate sea life into fine motor skills with stickers, activities and coloring books?
- National Geographic Kids Ocean Animals Sticker Activity Book: Over 1,000 Stickers!
- Paint by Sticker Kids: Under the Sea
- In the Ocean: My Nature Sticker Activity Book
- Lonely Planet Let’s Explore: Ocean
- Melissa & Doug Reusable Sticker Activity Pad – Under The Sea
What are your favorite ocean books or activities for kids?
If you enjoyed this list of Ocean Books for Toddlers, Preschool and Kindergarten Kids, you might also enjoy these other posts on homeschooling and books for kids:
- Favorite Books for Babies and Toddlers
- Timberdoodle Curriculum Preview for Preschool and Kindergarten
- Amazon Haul for Homeschool