Exploring the ocean, tide pools and the beach is great to do in person but if you are landlocked you can still share the wonders of the ocean with your children with great picture books. If you can go explore the beach reading books about the beach for kids like these before and after are a great way of deepening their hands on experience.
Otto Goes to the Beach by Todd Parr. I really enjoy this book and so have my kids. Otto is a dog who goes to the beach but no one wants to do the same things as he does, even the fish swim the other way. In the end, after feeling very sad Otto finds a new friend and all his misery is forgotten. I love Todd Parr books, I love the insanely bright colors, the cute simplistic illustrations and I love the messages they send. This book followed his other books perfectly and provided a great final message about not giving up finding a friend who will like all the same things you do!
At the Beach by Anne and Harlow Rockwell. A little girl visits the beach with her mom. She plays in the sand, hunts for shells takes a swim before she settles into a nice beach lunch. A visit to the beach can be a full day and this story gives the reader a great description of what to expect. This is great for young kids who haven’t been to the beach. It explains using a young girl’s point of view what you bring to the beach and what you can expect to do once you’re there. The illustrations are muted and warm and fill the page and included our young red-haired beach girl enjoying herself in each one.
Beach Party! by Harriet Ziefert and Simms Taback reminds me of “Head to Toe” by Eric Carle, and that comparison is a compliment. This large board book is a fun and cute way to introduce toddlers to movement as well as animals you find or want to avoid at the beach. The reader is asked how they want to walk today then they see how each animal moves. This would be a fun read for circle time where kids could get up and move like the animals in the book.
Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach by Melanie Watt is hilarious, I actually snorted while reading it. I love books like this that have absurd humor thrown in with a great story. Before you even start flipping pages on the inside flap you will notice a blurb that ends with “This story is not suitable for pirates” it just makes me giggle! The story follows the most anxious squirrel you’ll ever encounter as he tries to make his own beach, only to end up at a busy one! What I love about this book are the details, the small asides will have you laughing and the main story will keep even young ones totally entertained. Super fun and a great message about overcoming fears as well.
What Lives in a Shell? by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld is a great book in my favorite science series the Let’s-Read-And-Find-Out. This book is a little long for toddlers but really great for preschoolers and easy to break into parts. The book starts talking about snails, then moves to turtles and finally seashells. Like the others in the series, this book breaks down facts to a preschooler’s level without losing any substance. If you are looking for a nonfiction book for your little one, you must check out this series, they are hands down my favorite nonfiction for young children.
The Seashore Book by Charlotte Zolotow is a touching story of a little boy excited to go to the sea for the first time from his mountain home. The mother describes it so well that you will be aching for a trip too. I must admit though that my son and I barely paid attention to the words, we were both so moved by Wendell Minor’s paintings. We couldn’t help but ooh and awe every time we turned the page.This post contains affiliate links.