The world needs more ocean advocates… now, and also in the future. That’s why I believe it’s incredibly important to not just lead by example and take action ourselves – but to also bring up children with stories from the ocean. That way, we can gently guide them to become future stewards of the Earth.
That is one of the reasons why I wrote a children’s book called Notch, the Rescued Dolphin; but of course, that is not the only book that opens up children to the world of underwater adventure and wonder!
Below are our team’s top picks for ocean books for kids that follow children on an adventure in and around the ocean. Let me know in the comments if you have recommendations for us to add!
Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean’s Most Fearless Scientist
Eugenie Clark, was an American ichthyologist: she devoted her life to the study of fish, and was better known as “The Shark Lady”. She conducted extensive research on shark behavior, she was a pioneer in the field of scuba diving for research purposes, and she used this research to promote marine conservation.
No wonder this awesome lady inspired a fabulous children’s book!
The book describes Eugenie’s life from the moment she fell in love with sharks, seeing 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.
Determined to prove them wrong, Eugenie devoted her life to learning about sharks. Through making countless discoveries, Eugenie taught the world that sharks were to be admired rather than feared and that women can do anything they set their minds to.
This inspiring story was written by zoologist Jess Keating, and centres around the theme of finding the strength to discover truths that others aren’t daring enough to see. It includes a timeline of Eugenie’s life and many fin-tastic shark facts!
“Shark Lady” was voted one of the best science picture books for children by the New York Times and Best Children’s Book of 2017 by Parents Magazine. Shark Lady is a must for kids – as well as their teachers and parents!
Ocean’s World: an Island Tale of Discovery and Adventure
Ocean and his little brother, Kingston, explore the beautiful island of Maui in search of a sunrise shell for their mom’s birthday gift. But with a rumbling volcano and so much to unearth, will the boys ever find the special shell?
Join Ocean and Kingston as they explore the ocean, discover wildlife, and learn fascinating marine facts in Ocean’s World, an action and adventure story for kids!
As Ocean and Kingston’s adventure unfolds, your kids will encounter many fun and educational surprises such as
- how high a dolphin can jump;
- how long it takes for a sea-turtle egg to hatch;
- different types of shells including the cone, cowrie, puka, and Triton’s trumpet; and
- types of animals in the ocean.
Whether they’re surfing the waves, scouring the beach, or snorkeling in the tide pools, Ocean and Kingston are determined to learn everything the island can teach them.
This book was written by Carlos PenaVega (known for his starring role in Big Time Rush) and Alexa PenaVega (rings a bell? She played Carmen in Spy Kids). It was inspired by their firstborn son, Ocean, and their home in Hawaii.
It’s ideal for kids 4-8 years old (especially if they’re also fans of Octonauts or Magic School Bus); it comes with a separate, free, Educator’s Guide on Kindle.
Manta Ray Dreams
What can be better than a book for children… featuring beautiful illustrations of manta rays?
This book by Nadine Rajeh is about a little girl who likes to imagine calming waves rocking her to sleep, while manta rays gracefully swim with her and protect her. It’s the perfect bedtime read for any small child who loves the ocean; and it’s also the perfect bedtime story for single dads raising little daughters on their own.
More Ocean Books for Kids
Looking for more educational books for children? Check out my earlier list of fact-filled books about the ocean and marine life, for children of all ages!