40 Children’s Books about Ocean Animals

Over the past few weeks we have been learning all about the ocean! Here is a collection of 40 children’s books about ocean animals that includes both fiction and nonfiction selections!

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40 Children's Books about Ocean Animals~ Buggy and Buddy

I love providing book sets related to current themes we’re studying or topics the kids are showing an interest in. Over the last few weeks we’ve been learning all about the ocean. We played with our rocky shore small world and went on a scavenger hunt at the beach!

In addition to doing lots of fun ocean activities, we’ve also been reading all kinds of ocean and sea life themed books. Here is a collection of ocean animal books for you to use as a resource for your own ocean unit. The collection includes both fiction and nonfiction to help aid children in making connections between texts, to themselves,  and to the world around them! (This post contains affiliate links.)


40 Children’s Books about Ocean Animals 

Children's books about tide pools

Tide Pools

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

Ocean Soup: A Book of Tide Pool Poems by Stephen R. Swinburne

Seashells, Crabs and Sea Stars: Take-Along Guide by Christiane Kump Tibbitts

Children's Books about Crabs


A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle

Crab Moon by Ruth Horowitz

Grasper: A Young Crab’s Discovery by Owen Paul Lewis

Is This a House for Hermit Crab? by Megan Mcdonald


Children's Books about Sea Otters

Sea Otters

What if There Were No Sea Otters? by Suzanne Slade

A Lot of Otters by Barbara Helen Berger


Children's Books about Sea Turtles

Sea Turtles

National Geographic Readers: Sea Turtles by Laura Marsh

Sea Turtles by Gail Gibbons

One Tiny Turtle: Read and Wonder by Nicola Davies

I’ll Follow the Moon by Stephanie Lisa Tara


Children's Books about Dolphins


Dolphins by Sylvia M. James

National Geographic Readers: Dolphins

Winter’s Tail: How One Little Dolphin Learned to Swim Again by Craig Hatkoff

Eight Dolphins of Katrina: A True Tale of Survival by Janet Wyman Coleman

Children's Books about Whales


Whales by Gail Gibbons

National Geographic Readers: Great Migrations Whales

The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson

If You Want to See a Whale by Julie Fogliano

Humphrey the Lost Whale by Wendy Tokuda

The Wild Whale Watch (The Magic School Bus Chapter Book) by Eva Moore

The Whales by Cynthia Rylant

Pedro’s Whale by Paula Kluth Ph.D


Children's Books about Sharks


Shark (DK Eyewitness Book)

National Geographic Kids Everything Sharks

Hark! A Shark! All About Sharks (Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library)

The Everything Kids’ Shark Book 

The Three Little Fish and the Big Bad Shark by Will Grace

Shark vs. Train by Chris Barton

Little Shark: Finger Puppet Book

Octopus Books


An Octopus is Amazing by Patricia Lauber

Squid and Octopus: Friends for Always by Tao Nyeu

My Octopus Arms by Keith Baker


Children's Books about Ocean Animals

General Sea Life

National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of the Ocean

National Geographic Readers: Weird Sea Creatures by Laura Marsh

Oceans: Dolphins, Sharks, Penguins and More! by Johnna Rizzo

A Swim Through the Sea by Kristin Joy Pratt

Commotion in the Ocean by Giles Andreae

 Do you have a favorite ocean themed book that didn’t make our list?



40 Children's Books about Ocean Animals- Books for kids about sea life divided by topic- including tide pools, crabs, sea otters, sea turtles, dolphins, whales and sharks! ~ BuggyandBuddy.com


  1. A section on coral reefs, Gail Gibbons has a great book, My son who is marine science obsessed found a gem a second hand called Rainbows Landing (he was three, now nine and still LOVES) Life in a coral reef, Eric Carle’s Mr. Seahorse and for whales you must read Big Blue, Shelley Gill. I so need to learn how to make these book lists. I have tons! Thanks for sharing I love to add.

    • Oh, how could I forget Mr. Seahorse?! Love it! And coral reefs is a GREAT suggestion- I can’t wait to check out your suggestions. Thank you so much for adding to the list!

  2. Jeanine says:

    Whale book – Following Papa’s Song by Gianna Morino (2014). A baby whale makes his first migration. Beautiful illustrations!

  3. Great to see Commotion in the Ocean, that’s a real favourite here 🙂
    We also love The Storm Whale by Benji Davies and Big Blue Whale by Nicola Davies and Nick Maland.


  1. […] together book sets on current topics the kids are showing an interest in. Here’s some great children’s books about sea life. I’ve organized the list by sea animal and included both fiction and nonfiction […]

  2. […] this simple tide pool science experiment. (And be sure not to miss our rocky shore small world and ocean themed book set- more fun ways to learn about ocean life!) This post contains affiliate links. Thank you so much […]

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  4. […] Kids are always fascinated by the ocean and sea life. Learning about sea creatures often initiates all kinds of curious questions and intrigue from children. (If you’re looking for some good literature resources for learning about the ocean, be sure to check out Ocean Animals Book List.) […]

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