Awesome Ocean Themed Books

It’s Shark Week and non-fiction picture book Wednesday. My girls have never been overly excited by sharks. Dolphins? Absolutely. Sharks? Not so much. Actually, J has been completely fascinated with marine biology for years, but more as a general study. So I wanted to put together a list of ocean themed books that actually made more sense for us. There is a little bit of something for everyone here.*

ocean collage

Picture Books and Flap books for the Younger Readers

0006657_secrets_of_the_seashore_300Shine-a-light Secrets of the Seashore – The Shine-A-Light books are amazing. Each page asks the child a question and you hold a the page up to a light (or shine a flashlight) and discover the secrets hidden withing. In this book, spot the tiny shrimps hiding in the sand, see a shy crab underneath a rock and watch a jewel-like anemone open its tentacles in this beautiful book of nature’s hidden habitats. Great for ages 4-8.shine a light inside

how deep is the seaHow Deep is the Sea? – Have you ever wondered how deep the sea is? Pipkin the Penguin wants to know just that. With the help of a friendly seal, a big blue whale and a salty sea dog in a yellow submarine, Pipkin learns that the sea is very deep indeed! A VERY long poster at the back of the book shows just how deep the sea is – and how far Pipkin would have to travel to get so deep spread

0000619_under_the_sea_picture_book_300Under the Sea – Have you ever wondered what’s under the sea? Dive beneath the waves and discover bustling fish, a singing whale and twinkling creatures of the deep.

big book of sea creaturesBig Book of Sea Creatures – Open the huge fold-out pages to discover all kinds of magnificent sea creatures, from the leatherback sea turtle to the great white shark and the biggest animal on Earth – the mighty blue whale. Each page is full of stunning illustrations to pore over, showing the biggest, smallest, longest, fastest, oldest and most ferocious ocean creatures.coral reef spread

lift the flap sharksLift-the-flap Sharks – Sharks aren’t just scary fish with pointy teeth. Lift the flaps in this richly illustrated book to meet gentle giants, fierce hunters, beady-eyed baby sharks and the weird, weedy woebegone.

lift the flap under the seaLift-the-flap Under the Sea – The sea is full of surprises, so come on in and take a look. You’ll find amazing wildlife, from a fish that change its shape, to deep-sea shockers that light up in the dark. You’ll discover even more behind the seaweed and the rocks — lift the flaps to see.

Fact Based Books for the elementary aged reader

what's under the seaWhat’s Under the Sea – Shipwrecks, fish, whales and sharks, tunnels, cables and coral reefs – these are just some of the topics in this bright, colorful book. With maps and pictures, it shows the seas of the world and their wildlife, and describes how the sea provides us with fish and minerals. Diagrams and cutaway pictures show an oil rig, diving gear, submarines and other equipment for exploring the seabed, and explain how they work.

0000473_under_the_sea_ir_300Under the Sea (IR) – What lives at the bottom of the sea? What does a shark really eat? How does a sea horse swim? In this book you’ll find the answers and lots more about the fascinating things which live under the sea.  A perfect intro for ages 5-7.

0000781_see_under_the_sea_ir_300See Under the Sea – Explore the world beneath the sea, from coral reefs teeming with jewel-bright fish to the icy waters of the Arctic. Lift the flaps to peer inside shipwrecks and gaze into the dizzying depth of dark trenches at the very bottom of the ocean. Aimed at readers 7+.

0000538_sharks_ir_300Sharks (IR) – What do sharks like to eat? Which shark glows in the dark? And why do some sharks never stop swimming? You’ll find out the answers and lots more fun facts in this shark-infested book.  This book is aimed at readers 6+ but is a wonderful addition to a preschool class when read by the teacher.

0000793_sharks_il_discovery_300Sharks (Discovery) – The Discovery series takes the knowledge up a level with 64 pages of information vs 32. This vividly illustrated guide gets up-close and personal. Learn what drives sharks into “”feeding frenzies” and more.  Great for readers 8+.

Activity Books

first coloring under the seaFirst Coloring Book: Under the Sea – A fun coloring book for young children full of exciting sea creatures to color. Lively underwater scenes include sharks, dolphins, turtles and lots of different fish. With colored backgrounds allowing children to concentrate on coloring the shapes. Contains two pages of stickers to add to the pictures.

1001 spot sea1001 Things to Spot In the Sea – Brimming with things to find, count and talk about, this charming picture book provides hours of puzzle-solving fun. Readers will delight in discovering the secrets of the sea.   Great for kids 5+

shark excavationShark Excavation Kit – Inside is a complete skeleton of a Megalodon that is encased in a clay rock, and you must carefully excavate or “dig” the bones out with the tools provided.

Fiction for older Shark Enthusiasts

0003459_shark_bait_extreme_adventures_300Shark Bait -Action has a new hero – Sam Fox! With a talent for attracting danger, Sam Fox is an expert at getting himself into (and out of) the most extreme situations. When Sam and his friend are swept off the coast of the Great Barrier Reef, Sam must fight to keep them alive. As night falls over the ocean, the underwater predators start moving in?

This series has a strong appeal with a courageous young hero and exotic settings and has non-stop action and short chapters which will engage reluctant readers.

nfpb16This is my weekly contribution to Kid Lit Frenzy’s awesome non-fiction picture book challenge. Check out the link-up for tons of other super titles.

*These books can be purchased in my Usborne Books & More page. If you are interested in learning about Usborne and Kane Miller books or if you would like to host an online Facebook event to discuss how to raise readers and promote literacy in your home while earning FREE books for your own home library, please send me a note at booksmykidsread at gmail dot com.hostess wanted apply within




  1. My family & I just returned from two weeks on the sea. We would have loved some of these books, did purchase a couple to read and learn from. I love the idea of the ‘shine a light’ books. Fun for kids!

    1. Two weeks on the sea? Fun!! We did a cruise earlier this year and got to swim with dolphins. The shine-a-light series is very cool. Thanks for stopping by!

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