Oceans of Possibilities!

Oceans of Possibilities!
Collage of book covers from the list on a background of oceans and children reading.

Enjoy these children's books that celebrate Oceans of Possibilities, which just happens to be the theme of our 2022 Summer Reading Game!


Compiled by:
Ellen A.

Picture Books and Younger Elementary

A Beach Tail

Karen Lynn Williams
(Juvenile Picture Books - EJ Wil)

When his father tells him not to leave the lion he is drawing on the beach, a little boy starts making a very, very long tail--and a trail to follow back. Recommended for ages 3-7.


The Big Book of the Blue

Yuval Zommer
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 591.77 Zom)

Alongside everything the young oceanographer needs to know, Zommer's charming illustrations bring to life some of the slipperiest, scaliest, strangest, and most monstrous underwater animals. Recommended for ages 4 and up.


The Brilliant Deep: Rebuilding the World's Coral Reefs: The Story of Ken Nedimyer and the Coral Restoration Foundation

Kate Messner
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 551.424 Mes)

Looks at the life of the coral restoration pioneer Ken Nedimyer, from his early fascination with the ocean to his ongoing efforts to save and rebuild the world's coral reefs. Recommended for ages 5-9.


Flotsam

David Wiesner
(Juvenile Picture Books - EJ Wie)

While scouring the beach for flotsam--anything floating that has been washed ashore--a young science enthusiast stumbles upon an old underwater camera that contains secrets from beneath the sea. Winner of the 2007 Caldecott Medal. Recommended for ages 5-9.


Follow the Moon Home

Philippe Cousteau, Deborah Hopkinson
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 597.928 Cou)

Presents a story about a girl's attempts to help save loggerhead sea turtle babies from man-made light. Recommended for ages 5-8.


Life in the Ocean: The Story of Sylvia Earle

Claire A. Nivola
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 921 Earle Niv)

A picture book biography tells the story of Sylvia Earle's growing passion for the wonders of the sea and how her ocean exploration and advocacy have made her known around the world. Recommended for ages 6-12. 


Mister Seahorse

Eric Carle
(Juvenile Picture Books - EJ Car)

After Mrs. Seahorse lays her eggs on Mr. Seahorse's belly, he drifts through the water, greeting other fish fathers who are taking care of their eggs, in a story that includes a "hide-and-seek" feature with acetate overlays. Recommended for ages 4-8.


Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea

Ben Clanton
(Juvenile Graphic Novels - J-GN Narwhal And Jelly v. 1)
Series: Narwhal and Jelly, Book 1

A happy-go-lucky, waffle-loving narwhal and a cynical, no-nonsense jellyfish forge an unlikely friendship and share adventures while exploring the ocean together in a first entry of a lighthearted graphic novel series. Recommended for ages 6-9.


The Ocean Calls: A Haenyeo Mermaid Story

Tina Cho
(Juvenile Picture Books - EJ Cho)

Wanting to follow in the footsteps of her free-diving haenyeo grandmother, a young Korean girl dutifully consumes her grandmother's strength-building abalone porridge and practices her breath control before suiting up and overcoming fears to make remarkable discoveries. Recommended for ages 6-9.


The Ocean in Your Bathtub

Seth Fishman
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 551.46 Fis)

The award-winning creators of A Hundred Billion Trillion Stars combine child-friendly artwork with engaging facts to explain the importance of recycling and the integral relationship between the ocean and life on Earth. Recommended for ages 5-9.


Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean's Most Fearless Scientist

Jess Keating
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 597.3 Kea)

A lavishly illustrated portrait of shark scientist Eugenie Clark describes the childhood fascination that prompted her challenge of negative perceptions about sharks throughout her career, revealing how she overcame gender barriers to make remarkable discoveries and promote conservation. Recommended for ages 6-10.


The Strangest Thing in the Sea: And Other Curious Creatures of the Deep

Rachel Poliquin
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 591.77 Pol)

Children can dive into the deepest depths of the sea where they’ll meet 12 strange and little-known sea animals, in this question-and-answer approach that encourages scientific inquiry. Illustrations. Recommended for ages 7-10.


Swashby and the Sea

Beth Ferry
(Juvenile Picture Books - EJ Fer)

No-nonsense Captain Swashby is used to the sea meeting all of his needs and when, after his retirement, new neighbors disturb his solitary life, the sea helps in just the right way. Recommended for ages 4-8.


Wave

Suzy Lee
(Juvenile Picture Books - EJ Lee)

A wordless picture book that shows a little girl's first experiences at the beach, as she goes from being afraid of the roaring waves to playing on the shore while gulls soar overhead. Recommended for ages 3-9.


We Are Water Protectors

Carole Lindstrom
(Juvenile Picture Books - EJ Lin)

Inspired by the many Indigenous-led movements across North America, We Are Water Protectors issues an urgent rallying cry to safeguard the Earth’s water from harm and corruption. Winner of the 2021 Caldecott Medal. Recommended for ages 5-9.


Older Elementary

Atlas of Ocean Adventures

Emily Hawkins
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 591.77 Haw)

Explores the oceans, from the animals found in there, including octopus, great white sharks, and penguins to the different habitats. Beautiful illustrations by Lucy Letherland. Recommended for ages 6-12.


Down, Down, Down: A Journey to the Bottom of the Sea

Steve Jenkins
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 591.77 Jen)

Going down deep into the depths of the sea, this illustrated picture book provides a look at some of the unique inhabitants who call the ocean home, including a large sperm whale, a jellyfish that lights up in the dark, and super long squids. Recommended for ages 9-12.


Everything Awesome About Sharks and Other Underwater Creatures!

Mike Lowery
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 591.77 Low)

Uncover a wealth of weird, wacky, and wild facts about sharks and underwater creatures, told in Mike Lowery's signature, acclaimed comic style with bright and energetic artwork, fresh framing devices, and hilarious jokes. Recommended for ages 8-12.


The Science of Surfing

Kim Dwinell
(Juvenile Graphic Novels - J-GN 797.32 Dwi)
Series: Surfside Girls, Book 3

The ocean is packed with plants, animals, water... and science! Ride the waves of knowledge with Sam and Jade as they explain all about the amazing wonders of the sea, and have a blast doing it. Recommended for ages 9-12.


The Ultimate Book of Sharks

Brian Skerry
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 597.3 Ske)

Featuring vibrant National Geographic photography, an in-depth guide to the planet's shark species draws on the latest scientific findings and stories of real-life encounters to detail how they live, how they eat, the challenges they face and whether or not certain varieties pose a danger to humans. Recommended for ages 9-12.


Weird but True! Ocean: 300 Fin-tastic Facts from the Deep Blue Sea

Julie Beer
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 551.46 Bee)
Series: Weird but True (National Geographic Kids)

Perfect for ocean enthusiasts and trivia-loving landlubbers alike, this fascinating book dives deep into the ocean’s depths, introducing readers to weird wildlife, shocking shipwrecks and much more. Recommended for ages 8-13.