Fish and sea animals, in general, are so fascinating to me! I love to read about how their bodies work and the lives they live under the mysterious seas and oceans. If you have kids who are delighted, intrigued, or mesmerized by fish and aquariums, these picture books about fish are for them!
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30 Beautiful Picture Books About Fish
Here are 30 awesome picture books about fish:
Published: April 3, 2018
A girl ventures to the water’s edge, dreaming of a new friend. And, just like that, a beguiling red fish leaps into her life. But is friendship a sea these two can navigate together? From debut Argentinian author-illustrator Cynthia Alonso comes a wordless picture book about the timeless beauty of nature, the transcendent power of connection, and the importance of letting go.
Freaky, Funky Fish
Published: May 4, 2021
Fish have fins and gills and tails. All fish swim and most have scales. But not all fish act or look the same. From zapping, stinging, even singing, Freaky, Funky Fish: Odd Facts about Fascinating Fish is an adorable picture book with a scientific—and child-friendly—underpinning. With examples of different fish for each description, as well as extensive backmatter explaining the fascinating science behind these variety of fish, this funky book captures the wonder of our ecosystem.
If Sharks Disappeared
Published: May 23, 2017
A healthy ocean is home to many different kinds of animals. They can be
big, like a whale,
tiny, like a shrimp,
and even scary, like a shark.
Even though sharks can be scary, we need them to keep the oceans healthy. Unfortunately, due to overfishing, many shark species are in danger of extinction, and that can cause big problems in the oceans and even on land.
What would happen if this continued and sharks disappeared completely?
If You Want to See a Whale
Published: May 7, 2013
If you want to see a whale, you will need to know what not to look at.
Pink roses, pelicans, possible pirates . . .
If you want to see a whale, you have to keep your eyes on the sea, and wait . . .
and wait . . . and wait . . .
The Blue Whale
Published: May 26, 2015
A nonfiction picture book, The Blue Whale draws children into the life and world of this enormous whale by situating facts within a familiar context that is fun and engaging. Here, readers are given the actual size of an eye right on the page, and we are informed how understand this whale’s body size in relation to trucks, cars, milk bottles, and hippos! With an accurate and engaging text, fully vetted by a blue whale expert, and lyrically lovely illustrations, The Blue Whale is a book that invites children in and holds their attention. Its tempo is like a pleasing melody, which means that the information never becomes too weighty or exhausting―a key thing when it comes to young readers and their enjoyment of a book!
Published: June 6, 2017
Eugenie Clark fell in love with sharks from the first moment she saw them at the aquarium. She couldn’t imagine anything more exciting than studying these graceful creatures. But Eugenie quickly discovered that many people believed sharks to be ugly and scary―and they didn’t think women should be scientists.
Determined to prove them wrong, Eugenie devoted her life to learning about sharks. After earning several college degrees and making countless discoveries, Eugenie wrote herself into the history of science, earning the nickname “Shark Lady.” Through her accomplishments, she taught the world that sharks were to be admired rather than feared and that women can do anything they set their minds to.
Here Come the Humpbacks!
Published: February 1, 2013
In this latest book by acclaimed science writer April Pulley Sayre, young readers follow along as a mother humpback whale and her calf make their annual trek from the warm waters of the Caribbean to their summer feeding grounds off the coast of New England and back again. Within this extraordinary story of migration, Sayre provides information about how humpback whales breathe, sing, and how they got their name—a secondary layer of text expands upon the more intricate details.
Published: April 26, 2004
When Mrs. Seahorse lays her eggs, she does it on Mr. Seahorse’s belly! She knows he will take good care of them. While he swims waiting for the eggs to hatch, he meets some other underwater fathers caring for their babies: Mr. Tilapia, who carries his babies in his mouth; Mr. Kurtus, who keeps his on his head; and Mr. Catfish, who is baby-sitting his young hatchlings.
Eric Carle has done it again, with astonishingly beautiful collage illustrations and a story that introduces the very young to the wonders of aquatic life . . . and some very special daddies. A “hide and seek” feature with acetate overlays adds a colorful surprise.
Smart About Sharks
Published: August 9, 2016
It’s time to learn about the sea’s most feared (and most misunderstood) residents: sharks!
Owen Davey returns to nonfiction to explain the mysteries of those denizens of the deep. Some deadly, some not-so-deadly, and almost all just generally misunderstood. Exciting and detailed illustrations fill the page and educate young readers about these thrilling residents of the sea! Delivering information with the same whimsical text and brash illustration that saw his previous book win the affection of the Wall Street Journal, Smart About Sharks is sure to have teeth!
The Boy and the Whale
Published: November 21, 2017
A boy and his father discover a whale tangled in their only fishing net. Is the whale dead? While the man worries about losing their net, the boy worries about the whale. He remembers the fear he felt when, caught in a net himself in childhood, he almost drowned before being rescued by his father. When the whale blinks an enormous eye, the boy knows that he has to try to save the creature, no matter how dangerous doing so may be.
Published: May 14, 2019
There are fish everywhere! Some of them live in fresh water, some of them live under ice, and some even live in the desert. Fish Everywhere is the first in a series of nonfiction books from Britta Teckentrup. Young readers will learn where in the world all sorts of animals can be found and all the weird and wonderful things that they never imagined were true. This is nonfiction with spark and personality from a much-loved illustrator.
I’m a Shark
Published: April 26, 2011
Shark’s not afraid of anything.
A big mean bear?
Don’t make him laugh!
But there is one thing that even Shark fears. . . . Can you guess what it is?
Poor Doreen: A Fishy Tale
Published: March 11, 2014
An Ample Roundy Fish called Mrs. Doreen Randolph-Potts is on a mission: to visit her second cousin twice removed who’s just welcomed 157 babies. But when she spies what she thinks is a yummy dragonfly—and is actually bait—poor Doreen is lifted out of the water on a fishing pole. Luckily, Doreen is, shall we say, a wee bit clueless about the dire situation. Kids will love being in on the joke as our oblivious heroine arrives, in a roundabout way, at her final destination. Sally Lloyd-Jones, author of the New York Times bestseller How to Be A Baby, and acclaimed illustrator Alexandra Boiger bring the world of a fish to vibrant, funny life.
The Pout-Pout Fish
Published: March 18, 2008
Deep in the water,
Mr. Fish swims about
With his fish face stuck
In a permanent pout.
Can his pals cheer him up?
Will his pout ever end?
Is there something he can learn
From an unexpected friend?
This Is Not My Hat
Published: October 9, 2012
When a tiny fish shoots into view wearing a round blue topper (which happens to fit him perfectly), trouble could be following close behind. So it’s a good thing that enormous fish won’t wake up. And even if he does, it’s not like he’ll ever know what happened. . . . Visual humor swims to the fore as the best-selling Jon Klassen follows his breakout debut with another deadpan-funny tale.
The Sea Knows
Published: May 5, 2020
We are young. The sea is old. The sea has secrets to unfold. The sea knows.
In this playful, rhyming celebration of the marine world, readers can explore all of the wondrous things the sea knows. It knows huge whales and small krill; it knows short crabs and tall giant kelp; it knows brightly colored starfish in shallow pools; and in the inky depths it knows the alluring jewel of an anglerfish’s glowing lure.
A Book About Whales
Published: May 14, 2019
Acting as a first book of whales, A Book About Whales teaches young readers everything they need to know about the largest mammals on earth: how they have evolved over millions of years, what and how they eat, their migration patterns, and more! Andrea Antinori’s whimsical black-and-white illustrations bring their underwater world to life. The book discusses a variety of whales one by one so readers learn to tell the differences between a blue whale and a humpback whale, among others, and what makes each of these whales unique. Packed with facts and playful in tone, this book is a must-have for young and curious nature lovers. It includes a bibliography and index.
Published: June 12, 2018
Two hearts, one song.
A young whale and her mother sing together.
Then the mother is gone.
One heart, one song.
The young whale swims, alone and lonely,
for days and years and decades…
until one day a little girl hears her and joins her song.
Together, they sing of hope for a brighter future.
One world, one song,
Whales: An Illustrated Celebration
Published: August 21, 2018
Some of the world’s most fascinating and beloved animals, cetaceans have captivated the human imagination for centuries. Whales: An Illustrated Celebration explores the most interesting and illuminating facts about these marine mammals, from the enormous blue whale (which has a heart the size of a car!) to the Amazon river dolphin (which is pink!). Gorgeously illustrated with full-color art on every page, this giftable guide delves into cetaceans’ mysterious evolution (from land to water mammals), their place in mythology, and their ecology, habitats, and behaviors (such as singing, fluking, beaching, bubble feeding, and more). Perfect for nature and animal lovers from eight to eighty, Whales also covers the current state of wild and captive cetaceans worldwide, why we should care, and what we can do to help our beautiful marine mammal friends.
Shawn Loves Sharks
Published: April 25, 2017
Shawn loves sharks.
He loves their dark, blank eyes.
He loves their big mouths full of sharp teeth.
And he loves pretending to be a shark and chasing Stacy around the playground.
Shawn loves sharks more than anything else in the world. But Predator Day at school is on Monday and Great White Shark isn’t assigned to Shawn.
It’s assigned to…Stacy.
Hooray For Fish!
Published: January 1, 2005
Paddle along with Little Fish on a mesmerizing underwater tour of friends spotty and stripy, happy and gripy, hairy and scary, even curly whirly and twisty twirly. From the creator of Maisy comes an eyepopping picture book that is sure to have little ones joining the chorus: Hooray for fish!
Published: March 20, 2018
Alfie wants to participate in the best parts of being a kid, from his friend Antoinette’s birthday party to the relay races at school. But his shyness keeps him from engaging. When Alfie wakes up with That Feeling on the morning of yet another big event—the underwater costume parade—his mom takes him to the aquarium.
There, Alfie meets a starfish who shines so boldly Alfie feels small. But suddenly, a tiny clownfish swims up to Alfie for a quick hello and retreats again. Alfie begins to understand that there’s a happy medium between hiding away and being the star, and that he needs to come out of hiding every once and awhile to make meaningful connections.
Barnacle Is Bored
Published: May 10, 2016
Barnacle is bored. Bored. Bored. Bored. Barnacle is stuck on the underside of a pier, wishing he had something to do. Every day is exactly the same. The tide comes in and Barnacle gets wet. The tide goes out and Barnacle dries off. Boring! Barnacle wants something EXCITING to happen. Then a colorful fish swims by. Barnacle bets the fish doesn’t have a boring life. In the end, it turns out exciting isn’t always better. . . This picture book is an irreverent and playful answer to any child’s declaration of boredom!
How to Hug a Putterfish
Published: April 12, 2022
So, you want to hug a pufferfish…
Who could blame you? That friendly, gap-toothed grin is hard to resist! Only, when Pufferfish is hugged or touched unexpectedly by their friends, things can get a little…spiky.
It’s not that Pufferfish doesn’t ever want hugs―it’s just that they need to have a say in when and how they’re hugged. Luckily, they have great friends who are willing to listen and learn the best ways to show Pufferfish some love and respect their personal space.
Published: September 18, 2018
“Will Granny and her family come again this year?” Dark fins slice through whitecaps, heading straight toward shore.
Told from the perspective of young Mia and her family on a whale-watching excursion in the San Juan Islands, here is a moving homage to Granny, the world’s oldest known orca. This intimate and informative story celebrates the importance of respecting and protecting wildlife. It also sheds light on communication and family connections in both human and orca communities, all while answering essential questions about how these intelligent animals live.
Down, Down, Down: A Journey to the Bottom of the Sea
Published: May 4, 2009
Half the earth’s surface is covered by water more than a mile deep, but most of this watery world is a mystery to us. In fact, more people have stood on the surface of the moon than have visited the deepest spot in the ocean. Come along as we travel down, down, down, from the surface to the bottom of the sea. Along the way you can see jellyfish that flash like a neon sign, creatures with teeth so big, they can’t close their mouths, and even a squid as long as a bus, which battles to the death with a sperm whale, the largest predator on earth. It’ll be a journey you won’t soon forget!
How Long Is a Whale?
Published: May 2, 2017
10 sea otters are as long as . . .
9 yellowfin tuna, which are as long as . . .
8 California sea lions, which are as long as . . .
Have you ever wondered how long a whale is? What about a shark? Or a dolphin? Alison Limentani’s extraordinary and original picture book introduces children to a fascinating world of numbers, length, and underwater wildlife.
And the largest animal of all—the blue whale—gets a big gatefold!
Sea Creatures from the Sky
Published: April 3, 2018
A touching, beautifully illustrated story of a misunderstood shark, and its quest to understand the world both above and below the sea.
A shark, swimming the seas, encounters . . . Aliens.
Will anyone believe it is true?
Poor Little Guy
Published: June 7, 2016
What do you do when you’re so tiny that the bigger ocean creatures think you might even taste adorable?
An itsy-bitsy, glasses-wearing fish is minding his own business when a playful (and hungry) octopus snatches him right up. Luckily, this poor little guy is not quite as innocent as he seems…and he has a BIG surprise up his sleeve!
Memoirs of a Goldfish
Published: April 1, 2010
Day OneI swam around my bowl. Day Two I swam around my bowl. Twice. And so it goes in this tell-all tale from a goldfish. With his bowl to himself and his simple routine, Goldfish loves his life..until one day… When assorted intruders including a hyperactive bubbler, a grime-eating snail, a pair of amorous guppies, and a really crabby crab invade his personal space and bowl, Goldfish is put out, to say the least. He wants none of it, preferring his former peace and quiet and solitude.
But time away from his new companions gives him a chance to rethink the pros and cons of a solitary life. And discover what he’s been missing.
There they are: 30 of the best picture books about fish! Which one of these have you read? What did I miss?