My child has always had a very keen interest in sea creatures and aquatic life. In fact, he has learnt A for Anglerfish, B for Beluga Whale, C for Clownfish! Needless to say, we have tonnes of books on aquatic life, and here are our favourites.
- First Explorers Sea Creatures (Age: 0-2): This is an awesome book to introduce aquatic life to little ones. The book is colourful, extremely sturdy (we still have ours in pristine condition after 3 years), and has limited text. It is a Push, Pull, Slide book from First Stories book series and the little ones will love making the penguins jump into the water.
2. There are 101 Sea Creatures in this Book (Age: 1-3) – This is a Search and Find book for the littles. The illustrations are extremely colourful, and the book is very sturdy. The book is divided into two flaps, an upper and lower flap – the upper one has an ocean scene, while the lower one has the sea creatures that you have to find with their names. Initially, you can point out the creatures, and soon they’ll pick up. This also helps them understand the concept of a search and find.
3. Octopus’s Garden (Age: 2+): If, like me, you are a Beatles fan – get this book for yourself and your little one! It is based on their song, Octopus Garden and has the same text as the lyrics of the song (and so is lyrical!). It’s a lovely story about children wanting to go on a sea adventure, and the illustrations are awesome (my favourite is the kids sitting on the sea turtle).
4. Commotion in the Ocean (Age: 2.5 +): I’m not quite sure what it is about this book, but my toddler is crazy about it (I think it may be the name itself!). The text is lyrical with some facts woven into it, plus the illustrations are awesome.
5. Mister Seahorse (Age: 2.5 +): This book is a favourite of mine, especially since it highlights all the species where the males look after the egg / young. The art is in typical Eric Carle style which kids find very attractive.
6. Over in the Ocean: In a Coral Reef (Age: 2.5 +): This book probably has the best art I’ve seen. It looks 3D and believe me, kids can look at it for hours! We have the board book, and when we move that, it almost feels like you are in the reef… it is that realistic. Bonus: It also introduces counting!
7. Be Brave, Little Penguin (Age: 2.5+ ): From the author of the famous “Giraffes Can’t Dance“, this book is so cute that you will feel the fear of Pip-Pip the Penguin and cheer for him when he overcomes it. The illustrations are amazing, especially the one where the mama penguin leads the baby penguin into the water herself – be brave little penguin! Get this book if your child is scared of trying something new or is scared of going to school. (There is another book by the same name on Amazon, but be careful to buy the one by Giles Andreae).
8. The Snail and the Whale (Age: 2.5+): Julia Donaldson needs no introduction. My sea creature crazy toddler pounced upon this book and it is still one of his favourites (completely different fact that he loves snails too!). The illustrations are absolutely brilliant, and kids will very soon memorize the lyrical text.
9. Usborne Look inside Seas and Oceans (Age: 2.5+): This book is my all time favourite, simply because my child has spent the maximum time with it. It is interactive with lift the flaps, and is very sturdy. It offers an insight into lots of different types of aquatic animals and their peculiarities (like squids squirt black ink at predators). If you were to buy only one book from this list, buy this one!
10. The Usborne Big Book of Big Sea Creatures (Age: 3+): We got this one once my child already had a deep interest in aquatic life and he loved the huge fold outs inside. Orcas, humpback whales (with barnacles) and whatever other sea creatures you can imagine, all illustrated in scale… so kids know how blue whales are much bigger than humpbacks or orcas, and how tiny dolphins are in comparison. Make sure you buy this one after the child is done with the tearing phase!
11. Nat Geo’s Little Kids First Big Book of the Ocean (Age: 3+): Seeing something illustrated in a storybook, and seeing a real picture of it are two very different experiences. And when it comes to nature photography, there is none better than National Geographic. The Little Kids First Big book series is awesome because it introduces kids to different sea creatures, what they eat, how big they are. But, by far it is the photographs that will draw the child to this book and want them to read it again and again.
Do you have a sea creature crazy toddler at home? Which aquatic books are your favourites? Share them in the comments. We just might add more to our collection!
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