Beachy Books for Kids

Mid-Summer and many of us want to be at the beach enjoying the waves and sand. If you can’t go there yourself, the next best thing is sharing a great book about the beach with your kids. These picture books about the ocean are sure to delight kids of all ages.  

Night of the Moonjellies by Mark Shasha

Beautifully illustrated, this is a classic story about a young boy who stays with his grandparents at the beach. He helps at their food stand, does some beachcombing and one night gets to go on a surprise boat ride with his grandmother. While they are out on the ocean, they are surrounded by moonjellies (a comb jelly that has photoluminescence). 

Hello Ocean by Pam Munoz Ryan

“Hello Ocean, my old friend, it’s nice to see you again,” begins this picture book celebration of the Ocean. It’s also a celebration of the five senses as the girl goes through all the different ways she is glad to see and hear and touch and smell and taste the ocean. The illustrations are amazing photo-realistic paintings that will make you feel like you are experiencing the ocean with her.

Life in the Ocean: The Story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle by Claire Nivola

Picture book biographies are some of my favorite ways of introducing my kids to amazing people. In this stunning book, we meet Sylvia Earle, a marine biologist and explorer and learn of her passion for the ocean that began in childhood. 

Wave by Suzy Lee

Wordless picture books are a great way to read with young kids. You can have them “tell the story” as you look at the book together. This simple book tells the story of a little girl’s day at the beach through spare but beautiful watercolor illustrations. 

The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles by Michelle Cuevas

A quirky, heartwarming story about a man whose job is to open bottles found at sea and ensure that the messages are delivered. He wishes for a letter addressed to him but still loves his job. One day he finds an invitation to a party with no recipient. He dedicates himself to finding the intended recipient and in the end discovers community. Illustrations by Caldecott winner Erin Stead fit the story perfectly. 

The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson

A tiny snail and a humpback whale are improbable friends. The snail rides the whale’s back to far-off lands. One day when the whale swims too close to shore, the snail is able to help his friend through some resourceful thinking, proving that even small things can be powerful. 

The Three Little Fish and the Big Bad Shark by Ken Geist 

A fun retelling of the classic fairytale.