The mystery of the ocean world is deep — what’s lurking there, playing there, thriving there? Get children’s imaginations and connection to the environment going with these delightful books about sea animals.
This week I’m joining up with some fellow bloggers to create a rounded ocean unit study! This study unit is the perfect match for my boys. My oldest is absolutely fascinated by dolphins thanks to our many visits to Florida, and my youngest was probably a sea turtle in a former life because he connects with them so strongly.
In addition to offering a reading list of books about sea animals, I’ve teamed up with some fellow bloggers to offer you homeschool and in-class learning alphabet unit study resources. You can find these children’s books about sea animals at your local library or purchase through the affiliate links provided for your convenience.
Books about Sea Animals
Over in the Ocean: In a Coral Reef: Kids will sing, clap, and count their way among pufferfishthat puff, gruntfishthat grunt and seahorses that flutter, and begin to appreciate life in the ocean.And the art will inspire many a project. Plus there are several pages of extension ideas for curriculum and art projects as well as resources on the web and elsewhere.
A Swim Through the Sea: Praised by Jacques Cousteau, this book, illustrated and written by a16 year-old, is a classic introduction to the marine habitat. This 1994 alphabet and alliteration book continues to be a favorite of kids, parents, and teachers everywhere. It is truly an exceptional swim through an alphabet of sea creatures. Each page highlights a selected species with a full-color illustration and a paragraph of fascinating facts, surrounded by a frame full of extra creatures and vocabulary. It reaches a large age range because the large text is for young readers, while smaller text is for you or more advanced children. A 48-page teachers guide (sold separately) is a valuable educator companion.
National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of the Ocean: National Geographic Kids First Big Book of the Ocean is an adorable animal reference that includes the sea’s high-interest animals, such as dolphins, sharks, sea otters, and penguins, and introduces kids to some of its lesser-known creatures. More than 100 charming animal photos illustrate the profiles, with facts about the creatures’ sizes, diets, homes, and more. This book will quickly become a favorite at storytime, bedtime, and any other time.
A Hole in the Bottom of the Sea: Discover amazing and fascinating sea creatures in the hole in the bottom of the sea! Based on the traditional cumulative song, each verse introduces a new creature and its place in the food chain, with the shark chasing the eel, who chases the squid, who chases the snail. Enhanced CD includes videso animation and audio singalong.
In the Sea: The briny deep is home to an enormous variety of fascinating creatures, from the dainty sea horse to the fearsome shark, from the spiny sea urchin to the majestic blue whale. In striking woodcut illustrations, diverse creatures glide through blue and green waters, while succinct, witty poetry examines their behavior and interactions. In this companion volume to On the Farm and In the Wild, David Elliott and Holly Meade explore the depths of the ocean in a collection of poems sure to thrill budding oceanographers and landlubbers alike.
Oceans: Dolphins, sharks, penguins, and more!: Swim with sharks! Dive with dolphins! Stroll the beach with penguins! Young readers will joyfully immerse themselves in this awesome adventure at sea, in which stunning National Geographic photos reveal hidden worlds of action and beauty. We meet 30 favorite sea creatures and explore their watery homes: playful dolphins, mysterious sharks, graceful sea turtles, waddling penguins, and dozens of others. Kids will marvel at speedy swimmers on the hunt, and smile at cuddly scenes of animal families.
Commotion in the Ocean: The sequel to the best-selling “Rumble in the Jungle,” this delightful new collection of poems includes fun rhymes about the creatures who live in and around the ocean. Children will delight in the snappy poems and colorful illustrations about whales, walruses, penguins, polar bears, stingrays and sharks.
Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea: In a singsong text, a little boy describes his adventure into the deep blue sea. He plays peekaboo with a hermit crab and fences with a swordfish until he eventually discovers a pirate’s treasure chest, but he leaves most of it behind when he meets what’s on the next page–a shark. Still, he manages to bring a coin back up to his mother, who is waiting for him at the surface. The last page shows all of the animals left behind looking a little less intimidating as they float in the bathtub.
Sea Bones: Author and illustrator Bob Barner makes waves with his signature rhyming text and colorful illustrations in this lush picture book about the sea. Filled with incredible fishy facts about vertebrates, invertebrates, endoskeletons, and exoskeletons, plus an underwater informational chart, Sea Bones will make young readers want to dive right in! Plus, this is a fixed-format version of the book, which looks nearly identical to the print version.
Ocean Life From A to Z Book and DVD (Readers Book & DVD): Kids will love this innovative book and DVD package that lets them discover the fascinating underwater world – without ever getting wet! The entry for each letter focuses on the ocean-dwellers that begin with that letter. Kids will find fun facts and interesting tidbits as they pour over the amazing photographs. The 45-minute DVD showcases incredible footage that kids will want to watch over and over again.
The Ocean Alphabet Book (Jerry Pallotta’s Alphabet Books): Do you know which deep sea creature scares away its enemies by spraying ink at them, or which fish has lights inside its mouth to attract food? Learn the answer to these questions and other fascinating details about ocean life in this engaging and informative book. Young readers will delight in Jerry Pallotta’s words and Frank Mazzola, Jr’s illustrations on this alphabetical journey through the North Atlantic Ocean.
The Berenstain Bears Under the Sea: The Berenstain Bears dive under the ocean to discover life below the waves! The family meets flying fish, dolphins, sharks, and giant squid while getting a close-up look at undersea plants in this remarkable learning adventure. This 8×8 paperback picture book takes young readers on the trip of a lifetime with their favorite bear family.
National Geographic Readers: Weird Sea Creatures: Did you know that the deep-sea anglerfish has a glowing fishing rod attached to its body, or that the barreleye fish has a see-through head? See these wacky creatures and more in this brilliantly illustrated book that explores the strangest creatures under the sea. This level two reader uses easy-to-grasp language that will keep children intrigued and learning on every page.
Wish for a Fish: All About Sea Creatures (Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library): The Cat in the Hat, Sally, and Dick take an undersea voyage aboard the S.S. Undersea Glubber! Traveling down from the Sunny Zone to the Dark Zone to the Trench at the bottom, Captain Cat and his crew get up close and personal with the different life forms found at each level of the ocean. Along the way, they meet sharks, jellyfish, dolphins, manatees, whales, and sea cucumbers, to name just a few!
The Magic School Bus on the Ocean Floor: When Ms. Frizzle drives the Magic School Bus full speed ahead into the ocean, the class takes a submarine expedition that’s anything but ordinary. With a well-meaning lifeguard in tow, the class takes a deep breath and learns about hot water vents, coral reefs, plant and animal life on the ocean floor, and more!
Like these books about sea animals? Find even more engaging book lists for kids with more than 100 book-themed reading lists!
Ocean Animals Unit Study
In addition to offering recommendations of books about sea creatures, I’ve teamed up with some fellow bloggers to offer you homeschool and in-class ocean unit study resources to teach kids about the ocean! These unit study resources may contain affiliate links.
- Ocean Theme Preschool Classroom Lesson Plans
- Ocean Literacy
- Ocean Math
- Ocean Writing Journal Prompts
- Ocean Theme Home Preschool Lesson Plans
- Sea Turtle Life Cycle
For further ocean study unit resources and ideas, consider the following:
- Ocean Animals Letter Find Worksheets from 3 Boys and a Dog
- 10 Awesome Children’s Books about Ocean Animals from Crafty Mama in ME
- Dolphin Facts for Kids from Look! We’re Learning!
- Ocean Creatures Sight Word Puzzles from Simple Fun for Kids
- Jellyfish Discovery Bottle from Schooling a Monkey
- Picture Books about Ocean Animals from The Jenny Evolution
- Sea Turtle Unit from Bambini Travel
- Free Ocean Coloring Pages from Something 2 Offer
- Ocean Sticker Art – Erasable Wall Decal from Artsy Momma
- Ocean Animals Shadow Matching Cards from Preschool Powol Packets
- Meet the Real Ocean Animals in Finding Dory from FrogMom
- The Best Ocean Animals Preschool Fun from Natural Beach Living