Books About Sea Creatures

With these books about sea creatures, your family can dive into the ocean to see exciting marine life and amazing animals! The books on this list will help you teach your children about these creatures' important roles in the ocean. Whether your children dream of becoming scuba divers or just love exploring sea life, these books offer bright and vibrant glimpses into life in the deep blue waters. From the giant whales to the deep-sea anglerfish, each book is filled with beautiful illustrations, interesting facts, and engaging stories that will inspire young readers to learn more about the sea.

Ultimate Oceanpedia: The Most Complete Ocean Reference Ever Christina Wilsdon

This comprehensive “oceanpedia” is packed with photographs, diagrams, maps, and illustrations to guide children on the ultimate ocean adventure! The visuals are bright and detailed, perfect for curious kids. They’ll find several ocean creatures in the book: sharks, jellyfish, sea turtles, and more! They’ll also learn about other fascinating topics like marine ecosystems, coral reefs, and ocean conservation. Upper elementary kids can read this one on their own while younger children will enjoy paging through it with an adult.   

Children's Encyclopedia of Ocean Life: A Deep Dive into Our World's Oceans Claudia Martin

Here’s a visual encyclopedia that’s just the right size for kids 4-8 years old. The text is simple and the photographs are vibrant. Kids can read all about ocean creatures like clownfish, sea snakes, starfish, and sharks. Each two-page spread features one category of marine animals and calls out specific species in text bubbles. It’s a valuable reference book for little ones!

Ocean Anatomy Julia Rothman

This nonfiction book is the perfect reference book for kids! The illustrations are child-friendly without being cartoonish, which pairs well with all of the detailed information that’s in this book. Along with descriptions of several ocean organisms, the book discusses coral reefs, tidal zones, the behavior of the ocean tides, and environmental concerns. Elementary kids will enjoy paging through this one on their own or reading it together with an adult and discussing each topic.

The Snail and the Whale Julia Donaldson

A snail hitches a ride on the tail of a humpback whale in this sweet book. They’ll explore the ocean and see exciting creatures all over the world! Throughout the adventure, their friendship grows. When the humpback whale gets into a bit of trouble, the snail provides exactly what the whale needs to be saved. Like other books written by Julia Donaldson, this book has energetic rhymes and a story that will capture the attention of any child. Read it with elementary kids.

The Happy, Snappy Crab Gareth Lucas

This book is full of pop-up fun! The happy, snappy crab introduces his friends: speedy shark, tickly octopus, and others. The rhyming text rolls off the tongue, and the colorful pop-ups are sure to grab your toddler’s attention. It’s a great introduction to ocean creatures!

Everything Awesome About Sharks and Other Underwater Creatures Mike Lowery

Shark enthusiasts will love working their way through this 128-page information-packed book! The author takes an approach that’s between the style of a picture book and an encyclopedia to create a humorous, creative book that kids are sure to enjoy. The illustrations fit the style of a comic book, and a few pages even offer drawing instructions so kids can create their own ocean creatures. Confident readers can tackle this one on their own, and younger kids will love to go through it with an adult nearby.

Smart About Sharks Owen Davey

Forget what you know about sharks—this book is going to tell you the real story! This non-fiction resource features dozens of sharks and multiple topics like the diet, hunting, size, and biology of sharks. There’s also a brief discussion of risks to the shark population. Each page strikes the perfect balance of information and text. The paragraphs are short and the vintage-looking illustrations give this book a unique appearance. Great book for all kids who love sharks!

The Big Book of the Blue Yuval Zommer

This illustrated non-fiction book is just right for budding oceanographers. It covers more than a dozen different sea creatures like whales, crabs, tuna, pufferfish, and more. Plus, there are a few pages covering conservation issues like pollution and other threats to the oceans. The illustrations are cheerful and whimsical, perfect for preschoolers and young elementary kids.

Inky the Octopus Erin Guendelsberger

Inky the Octopus lived at the National Aquarium of New Zealand until, one day, he made his escape to the sea! This silly picture book recounts the adventures of Inky as he follows his dream of freedom. It’s actually based on a true story—you can read the details in the final pages. There are also a few pages dedicated to other odd octopuses and a bit of scientific information about these ocean creatures. Toddlers and elementary kids will love hearing about Inky’s courageous spirit!

In One Tidepool: Crabs, Snails, and Salty Tails Anthony Fredericks

A young girl peeks into the world of one tide pool. She sees a host of interesting creatures: sea anemones, sea stars, crabs, and more. Each page offers details about a creature in rhyming verse. Then, the text repeats and builds on the next page. The illustrations are colorful and offer a nice visual representation of the ecosystem. This one will hold the attention of preschoolers and young elementary kids.

An Anthology of Aquatic Life Sam Hume

This ocean encyclopedia describes more than 100 of the plant and animal life forms of the deep blue. It’s filled with fascinating facts and eye-catching illustrations. There are photographs, too, so kids can get an up-close look at these life forms in action. They’ll see everything from plankton to sea moss to alligators. Read this one with early elementary kids.

The Fascinating Ocean Book for Kids Bethanie and Josh Hestermann

This book is packed full of 500 ocean facts! If it’s under the water, it’s in this book! The authors have picked genuinely interesting facts about ocean topography, wildlife, exploration, and much more. Eye-catching photographs and illustrations fill the pages. This one is entertaining for both kids and adults!

Mister Seahorse Eric Carle

The process of hatching baby seahorses is a joint effort for Mr. and Mrs. Seahorse. In this book, Mr. Seahorse carries the eggs through the ocean. He meets a lionfish, a tilapia, and others who are also preparing to become daddies. Each page is vividly colorful and features Eric Carle’s signature style of illustrations. This is a great book for fathers to read with their young children, but it’s also a great book to use in teaching children about how marine creatures are different from humans.

Sea Turtles Gail Gibbons

This straightforward book describes the eight different types of sea turtles. There’s information about the turtles’ physical characteristics, senses, feeding habits, and life cycle. Kids will also learn about the challenges that sea turtles face as they grow, eat, travel, and breed. Illustrations throughout the book provide extra interest and details for kids. Read it with preschoolers and early elementary children.

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