Did you know that dolphins give themselves names? Or that there are more historical artifacts in the ocean than in all our museums combined? Or that we know more about the surface of Mars than we do about our own ocean floor?!
The ocean is an absolutely fascinating topic for children to explore! From the plants and animals that call the ocean home to the marine biologists who study them, these books offer a wonderful assortment as children dive into learning about the ocean.
In fact, these 10 Books About the Ocean for Kids are the suggested books for each topic in my Ocean Family Unit Study!
If you are new here, let me explain. Each month, I release a brand new Family Unit Study, which is perfect for the whole family to enjoy together, as the activities work for all children aged 6-12 years old. In fact, most of the activities work perfectly for younger children, too!
Each Unit Study covers 10 topics, and each of those 10 topics includes:
- An interesting fact and discussion question
- Informative readings at your fingertips
- A hands-on activity with materials you already have at home
- ‘What’s Happening’ information to accompany your hands-on activity
- A curated YouTube video
- A math word problem or literacy prompt
- AND a suggested book that fits that topic!
Grab a sample and take a peek inside one of my unit studies! You can also see the entire collection of Unit Studies available in my shop right here: https://shop.howweelearn.com/collections/family-unit-studies
Today, I thought I would share the 10 topics we cover in my Ocean Unit Study and 10 Books About the Ocean for Kids that beautifully fit each topic.
I strongly suggest you get these books from the library if you are able to. I have also included my Amazon affiliate links below, in case you would like to add them to your personal library.
Are you ready to see the 10 children’s books about the ocean?! Here we go!
10 Children’s Books About the Ocean
Topic One: The Five Oceans
Over 70% of the earth’s surface is covered with water. While there is only one global ocean, we divide it into five regions: the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean, the Arctic Ocean, and the Southern Ocean. Let’s explore…
Book Suggestion: Ocean Anatomy: The Curious Parts & Pieces of the World under the Sea by Julia Rothman
Follow Rothman’s inquisitive mind and engaging artwork along shorelines, across the open ocean, and below the waves to explore the hows and whys of the watery universe, from how the world’s oceans formed to why the sea is salty.
Topic Two: Waves
The water in the ocean is constantly moving. Under the surface, ocean water moves in giant currents. On the surface, we can see water moving in waves. Waves are formed by wind, volcano eruptions, earthquakes, and even distant storms. Let’s explore…
Book Suggestion: Ocean! Waves for All by Stacy McAnulty
From writer Stacy McAnulty and illustrator David Litchfield, Ocean! Waves for All is a light-hearted nonfiction picture book about the formation and history of the ocean, told from the perspective of the ocean itself.
Topic Three: The Sunlight Zone
The Sunlight Zone is the surface layer of the ocean that extends down 200 meters. Since this layer is lit by the sun, it is warm and supports a wide variety of plant and animal life. Let’s explore…
Book Suggestion: Ocean!: Our Watery World as You’ve Never Seen It Before by DK
Dive into our planet’s largest and least explored world in this stunning encyclopedia of everything ocean— including whales, waves, wrecks, wind farms, and more!
Topic Four: The Twilight Zone
The Twilight Zone is the water that lies 200 to 1,000 meters below the surface. Very, very little light is able to reach this far down into the water. Let’s explore…
Book Suggestion: Children’s Encyclopedia of Ocean Life by Claudia Martin
Full of fascinating facts and stunning sea life photography, this book covers everything from the ocean shores to deep sea creatures.
Topic Five: The Deep Ocean
The Deep Ocean starts at around 1,000 meters deep and extends to the deepest points of the ocean. There is no sunlight in the Deep Ocean, the water pressure is extreme, and it is very cold. Despite this, a surprisingly large number of creatures can be found living in the Deep Ocean. Let’s explore…
Book Suggestion: Strange Sea Creatures by Erich Hoyt
The book organizes the creatures into three parts based on where they live in the ocean. Informative captions accompany the 90 gorgeous photographs of otherworldly creatures.
Topic Six: All About Dolphins
Dolphins are a type of marine mammal. There are 40 different species of dolphins, the most famous of which are the bottlenose dolphin and the killer whale— yes, the killer whale, also called an orca, is a member of the dolphin family! Dolphins are some of the most playful and intelligent animals on our planet. Let’s explore…
Book Suggestion: National Geographic Kids Everything Dolphins: Dolphin Facts, Photos, and Fun that Will Make You Flip by Elizabeth Carney
Everything Dolphins explores the world of these extraordinary creatures to help kids learn all about the characteristics that define dolphins, their daily lives, different species, conservation efforts, and much more.
Topic Seven: All About Jellyfish
Jellyfish often look like a rubbery bell with tentacles around the edge or hanging from the bottom. Despite their name, jellyfish aren’t actually fish, they’re invertebrates (an animal with no backbone). But jellyfish are missing a lot more than a backbone; they don’t have a heart, lungs, or brain either! Let’s explore…
Book Suggestion: Amazing Animals: Jellyfish by Valerie Bodden
A basic exploration of the appearance, behavior, and habitat of jellyfish, the bell-shaped, oceanic invertebrates. Also included is a story from folklore explaining why jellyfish have squishy bodies.
Topic Eight: Creatures of the Deep
Creatures that live in the deepest depths of the ocean often have some very interesting adaptations. These adaptations, like bioluminescence, help them survive extreme pressure, small amounts of oxygen, little food, no sunlight, and extreme cold. Let’s explore…
Book Suggestion: The Strangest Thing in the Sea: And Other Curious Creatures of the Deep by Rachel Poliquin
An intriguing look at some very strange creatures in the sea—but which is the strangest? A feathery tutu dancing through the water? A tiptoeing rock wearing a wig? A mountain of skulls on the ocean floor?
Topic Nine: Coral Reefs
Coral reefs are some of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet, sometimes referred to as the “rainforest of the sea.” Thousands of species of fish, invertebrates, plants, sea turtles, birds, and marine mammals rely on coral reefs for their survival. Let’s explore…
Book Suggestion: Coral Reefs: A Journey Through an Aquatic World Full of Wonder by Jason Chin
Coral Reefs by Jason Chin plunges readers into the ocean with incredible facts about fish, coral reefs, and marine life. Readers will experience the ocean like they never have before in this stunning picture book full of breathtaking illustrations.
Topic Ten: Marine Biologists
Marine biologists study ocean creatures, including animals, plants, and even bacteria. They also investigate all kids of issues and problems, including overfishing, plastic pollution in the oceans, the effects of oil spills, and the use of pesticides. Let’s explore…
Book Suggestion: Secrets of the Sea: The Story of Jeanne Power, Revolutionary Marine Scientist by Evan Griffith
The curiosity, drive, and perseverance of the nineteenth-century woman scientist who pioneered the use of aquariums to study ocean life are celebrated in this gorgeous, empowering picture book.
There you have it, my friend, 10 Children’s Books About the Ocean!
If your little one likes these books, they will love my Ocean Family Unit Study! Grab your copy right here:
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