Help kids learn about the ocean and all the amazing animals that live under the sea with these fun-to-read ocean books for preschoolers. We have found so many fun ocean books for kids from toddler, preschool, pre-k, kindergarten, first graders, and more!
Ocean Books for Preschoolers
The ocean is full of remarkable creatures and beautiful scenery, so there are tons of great children’s stories that take place in the ocean. This list of ocean books for preschoolers features both fiction and nonfiction books about fish, sharks, whales, turtles, and more!
Ocean books for kids
Curious George Discovers the Ocean by H.A. Rey follows the beloved monkey character as he joins a mission in a submarine to find a satellite that fell into the ocean. While the story explores what George sees under water, the sidebars include facts and photographs about ocean life and exploration.
Commotion in the Ocean by Giles Andreae and David Wojtowycz is a collection of peppy poems introducing kids to ocean creatures. The poems are accompanied by brightly colored cartoon illustrations.
Hello World! Ocean Life by Jill McDonald is a brightly colored board book that teaches little ones about life in the ocean through simple text and vibrant illustrations. There are facts about ocean creatures woven through the illustrations too.
Over in the Ocean: In a Coral Reef by Marianne Berkes and Jeanette Canyon introduces kids to baby animals and the habitats of sea creatures through a peppy rhyming text. Kids will love exploring the colorful illustrations and singing along with the repeating refrains.
Pout-Pout Fish Cleans Up the Ocean by Deborah Diesen joins Mr. Fish and his friends as they work together to clean up the ocean. The rhyming text is paired with illustrations highlighting the adorable sea creature characters.
Ocean! Waves for All by Stacy McAnulty and David Litchfield is part of the “Our Universe” series. This entry explores the formation and history of the ocean from the perspective of the Ocean. The illustrations show the ocean with a friendly face, and feature brightly colored sea creatures.
The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister teaches kids an important lesson about friendship and pride. The rainbow fish is the most beautiful fish in the ocean, but his pride makes it hard for him to make friends. Will he learn how to change his behavior and get along with other fish?
Alba and the Ocean Cleanup by Lara Hawthorne follows a fish named Alba who loves to collect precious objects she finds on the ocean floor. But she soon discovers that most of what she is seeing in the ocean is now trash. Is it too late to save the ocean?
A Dolphin’s Wish by Trevor McCurdle and Cinzia Battistel shares a story told from a father dolphin to his child as they explore what is happening with plastic in the ocean and how it hurts sea life. The rhyming text and detailed illustrations will inspire young readers to do their part to save the oceans.
Good Night Ocean by Mark Jasper and Harvey Stevenson this peaceful bedtime book greets sea creatures through a simple soothing text and sweet illustrations. As the book proceeds, the illustrations take the ocean from morning to night, lulling the ocean and the reader to sleep.
Ocean: A Peek Through Picture Book by Britta Teckentrup is a beautiful book that explores life in the ocean through colorful illustrations with peek through holes cut into the pages. Kids will love exploring the detailed, colorful illustrations, and peeking through to the next page.
Baby Beluga by Raffi and Ashley Wolff is an illustrated version of the popular Raffi song about a little beluga whale and his day in the sea. Kids will love singing along with the peppy song.
The Magic School Bus on the Ocean Floor by Joanna Cole and Bruce Degan joins Ms. Frizzle and her class as they take the Magic School Bus on a trip under the ocean, exploring sea life and writing reports about their findings. The illustrations include lots of speech bubbles, as well as hand written essays and diagrams.
How to Hide an Octopus and Other Sea Creatures by Ruth Heller uses a simple rhyming text to introduce readers to sea creatures that have the ability to camouflage. Young readers will enjoy searching the detailed illustrations to find the hidden creatures.
If I Were a Whale by Shelley Gill and Erik Brooks teaches readers about different types of whales and their habitats through a simple rhyming text and beautiful watercolor illustrations.
I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry follows a giant squid as he makes his way around the ocean comparing himself to other smaller sea creatures. The vibrantly colored illustrations show different kinds of sea life, and highlight the adorable cartoon squid.
ABC Oceans from the American Museum of Natural History is a large, colorful board book that pairs each letter of the alphabet with a sea creature. The simple text offers interesting facts, while each creature is highlighted in a clear, colorful photograph.
National Geographic Kids Look & Learn: Ocean Creatures by National Geographic Kids is an eye-catching introduction to sea life for young readers. The easy to read text and brightly colored photographs are sure to engage little ones.
National Geographic Kids First Big Book of the Ocean by Catherine Hughes is an easy to read reference book for young readers that uses simple text, beautiful photographs, and brightly colored fonts and backgrounds to encourage little ones to explore life under the sea.
National Geographic Readers: In the Ocean by Jennifer Szymanski is an early reader that uses an easy to read text and clear photographs to teach beginning readers about the ocean. The book is broken down into chapters, outlined in the table of contents at the front of the book.
Ranger Rick: I Wish I Was a Sea Turtle by Jennifer Bove is an early reader that asks kids to imagine life as a sea turtle. The text is easy to read, and the back of the book includes more information about sea turtles, and definitions of new vocabulary found in the book.
Explore My World: Coral Reefs by Jill Esbaum is an engaging nonfiction book that takes readers on a deep dive into coral reefs and the animals that make their homes there. The text is broken up into small paragraphs, making it easy for young readers to understand, and the accompanying photographs are sure to grab their attention.
Oceans by Johnna Rizzo is a nonfiction picture book that introduces readers to 30 different sea creatures and the habitats that they call home. The beautiful photographs and fun facts sprinkled throughout make this a great book for introducing ocean life to little ones.
Whales by Jennifer Szymanski is an early reader that introduces beginning readers to whales through very simple text, large, colorful illustrations, and text features including a vocabulary tree.
Jump into Science: Coral Reefs by Sylvia Earle is an engaging book that explores coral reefs and the sea creatures that live in them. The text touches on the formation of reefs, what they need to survive, the animals who live in reefs or near them, and more.
Ocean Activities for Kids
Looking for more ocean activities for kids? You will love these clever, free resources and ideas:
- Ocean Color by Number Worksheets
- Shark Preschool Name Activity
- FUN Ocean I Spy Printables
- Ocean Simple Coloring Pages
- Pearl Color Matching activity
- Try this Watercolor and Crayon Ocean Craft
- Ocean Printable Count & Trace for prek / k
- Whale Reader is a fun ocean printables for kids to read, color and learn about these ocean giants
- Cupcake Liner Octopus Craft
- O is for Ocean Weekly Theme for Prek / K
- Ocean Number Do a Dot Printables to work on Counting to 10
- Tons of ideas for a weeks worth of fun learning with an Ocean Theme
- Octopus Color Matching Craft
- HUGE pack of Ocean Worksheets for practicing a variety of skills with toddler, preschool, and kindergarten age students
- 50 Amazing Ocean Crafts for Kids
Don’t miss the other animal studies we’ve created!
- All About Whales
- All About Pinnipeds (seals, sea lions, walrus)
- All About Herps (sea turtles, sea snakes, aquatic frogs, toads, salamander)
- All About Fish, Sharks, and Rays
- All About Mollusks, Crustaceans, & Cephalopods (crabs, lobsters, octopus, bivalves, clams)
- All About Echinoderms & Cnidarians (Jellyfish, Sea Stars, Sand Dollars, Coral)
- Continents and Oceans Printables, Ocean Themed Handwriting, Ocean Printables
- Huge Ocean Unit (250+ pages)
- Disolving Seashell Activities – a Summer Science Experiment
- Free Beach Worksheets for Preschoolers, kindergartners, and grade 1
- FREE Ocean Coloring Pages
- Super Simple Sand Slime
- Fun to play with Ocean Slime
- Huge Ocean Unit (250+ pages)
- Ocean Color by Number Worksheets
- Crack the Code Worksheets with ocean themed pages
- Under the Sea Lego Challenge Printables
- more ocean activities for kids
- Sandcastle Subtraction Craft
- Fun Sandcastle Letter Matching – Summer Activities for Kindergarten
- Hands-on Sandcastle Colour Matching Activities
- Sandcastle Letter tracing Activity
- Summer Sandcastle Count and Trace Numbers 1-10 Printable Activity
- Sandcastle Number Playdough Mats to count and trace
- Summer STEAM – Sandcastle engineering with tp rolls
- Ice Cream Sandcastle Summer Snack Idea
- Sand Bucket & Shovel Letter Matching – Summer Activities for Kindergarten
- Sand Volcano – EASY Summer Science Experiment for Kids
- Beach Summer Experiment with a Density Tower
Preschool Book Lists
If you are looking for more fun-to-read preschool book lists with picture books picked out for your preschoolers, don’t miss these great picks:
- Construction Books for Preschoolers
- 100th Day fo School Books for kids
- Best Snowman Books for toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergartners
- Fun-to-Read Penguin Books for Preschoolers
- Romping and Roaring Dinosaur Books for kids
- Cute Preschool Shape Books
- Apple Books for Preschoolers that are perfect for September
- Check out these summer books for preschoolers
- Creepy, Crawly Books about Insects for Preschoolers
- Discover lots of Color Books for Preschool kids
- Hop on over to read these silly Frog Books for Preschool
- These Easter Books for Preschoolers are sure to be new favorites
- Celebrate the arrival of spring with these spring books for preschoolers
- Preschool Books about Family you’ll love reading
- So many lovely flower books for preschoolers
- Silly and Fun Animal Books for Preschoolers
- In February you’ll love reading these Valentine Books for Preschool
- Not-so-chilly Winter Books for Preschoolers
- Perfect for the holidays Christmas Books for preschoolers
- Make some friends in these cute Farm Books for Preschool
- Teach kids to give thanks with these inspiring Thanksgiving Books for Preschoolers
- Enjoy Autumn cuddling up reading one of these fall books for preschoolers
Plus don’t miss our MANY preschool worksheets, fun alphabet printables, hands-on preschool math, clever ideas to learn colors, complete preschool themes, lots of playdoh mats, cute preschool crafts, and fantastic preschool books on our Preschool Play and Learn website.