These books introduce kids to sea horses, sharks, hermit crabs and other fascinating sea creatures and feature some beautiful illustrations by Leo Lionni, Megan Halsey, John Lawrence and others. Read a book or two from this list before your next trip to the aquarium.
Fabulous Fishes by Susan Stockdale. A simple rhyme with fantastic illustrations of a variety of amazing fish: “Round fish, clown fish, fish that like to hide. Striped fish, spiked fish, fish that leap and glide…” Another excellent book about fish for toddlers is About Fish by Cathryn Sill and John Sill, an introduction to the basic characteristics of fish. Ages 1+
Little Shark by Anne Rockwell and Megan Halsey. A remarkably engaging introduction to sharks. I like Megan Halsey’s illustrations and Anne Rockwell’s focus on the fact that sharks are fascinating (rather than ferocious) creatures. Ages 3+
A House for a Hermit Crab by Eric Carle. When hermit crab outgrows his shell, he must find a new and bigger shell. Hermit crab meets many sea creatures as he decorates his new shell with coral, a starfish, and other treasures. Ages 4+
My Visit to the Aquarium by Aliki. A young boy visits the aquarium and learns about coral reefs, giant kelp forests, coastal waters, tide pools, freshwater fish, and more. A great book to read before or after a trip to the aquarium. Ages 4+
What’s It Like to Be a Fish? by Wendy Pfeffer and Holly Keller. This introduction to fish describes fish anatomy, how fish breathe, what fish eat, etc. Holly Keller’s illustrations are a highlight of this book. This book concludes with instructions for setting up a goldfish tank. Ages 4+
Sea Horse: The Shyest Fish in the Sea by Chris Butterworth and John Lawrence. Like Little Shark and Big Blue Whale, Sea Horse: The Shyest Fish in the Sea is another introduction to a fascinating sea creature that pairs engaging text with gorgeous illustrations. For a sea horse themed storytime, pair with Mister Seahorse by Eric Carle. Ages 4+
Fish Tales by Nat Segaloff, Paul Erickson, and Bob Barner. A fantastically informative book about fish. In an informal, conversational tone, Nat Segaloff and Paul Erickson discuss what fish are and then describe a variety of intriguing fish. Ages 6+