Thematic Reading List : Oceans Away!!! A Celebration of the World’s Oceans
This list includes fiction and nonfiction books that focus on the ecosystems of the ocean, for ages 4 through 11.
Contributor: Elizabeth Bridges
|The Big Book of the Blue
By: Yuval Zommer
This book focuses on biodiversity for elementary age children. Sea creatures’ habitats, ways of life, and characteristics are highlighted.
|Shark Lady: The Daring Tale of How Eugenie Clark Dove into History
By: Jess Keating
Illustrated by: Marta Alvarez Miguens
At nine years old, Eugenie Clark developed an unexpected passion for sharks after a visit to the Battery Park Aquarium in New York City. At the time, sharks were seen as mindless killing machines, but Eugenie knew better and set out to prove it. Despite many obstacles in her path, Eugenie was able to study the creatures she loved so much. From her many discoveries to the shark-related myths she dispelled, Eugenie’s wide scientific contributions led to the well-earned nickname “Shark Lady.”
|Commotion in the Ocean
By: Giles Andreae
Illustrated by: David Wojtowcz
A collection of silly verses about various creatures that live in the ocean, including crabs, swordfish, whales, and polar bears.
| The Magic School Bus on the Ocean Floor
By: Joanna Cole
Illustrated by: Bruce Degen
On another special field trip on the magic school bus, Ms. Frizzle’s class learns about the ocean and the different creatures that live there.
|I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean
By: Kevin Sherry
A giant squid brags about being bigger than everything else in the ocean–almost.
|The Three Little Fish and the Big Bad Shark
By: Ken Geist
Illustrated by: Julia Gorton
In this spoof of The Three Little Pigs, Mama tells her three little fish that it’s time to seek their fortunes. Jim builds a house of seaweed and Tim builds a house of sand, but it’s up to Kim to find the house that will stop the big bad shark’s munching and crunching.
|The Ocean Alphabet Book
By: Jerry Pallotta
Illustrated by: Frank Mazzola Jr.
Introduces the letters A to Z by describing fish and other creatures living in the North Atlantic Ocean.
|Good Night Ocean
By: Mark Jasper
Illustrated by: Cooper Kelly
Introduces well-known creatures of the ocean, including sea lions, a coral reef, a stingray, and dolphins.
|The Boy and the Ocean
By: Max Lucado
Illustrated by: T. Lively Fluharty
A boy learns about God’s great, never-ending love from looking at the ocean, mountains, and sky.
By: Pam Munoz Ryan
Illustrated by: Mark Astrella
Using rhyming text, a child describes the wonder of the ocean experienced through each of her five senses.
|Peanut Butter and Jellyfishes: A Very Silly Alphabet Book
By: Bryan Cleary
Illustrated by: Betsy Snyder
Rhyming, nonsensical verses introduce the alphabet. Readers are asked to find hidden letters in the illustrations.
|If You Want to See a Whale
By: Julie Fogliano
Illustrated by: Erin Stead
Advises the reader about what to do, and not do, in order to successfully spot a whale, such as wrapping up in a not-too-cozy blanket, ignoring the roses, and especially, being patient.
|All the Way to the Ocean
By: Joel Harper
Illustrated by: Marq Spusta
Isaac and James discover the cause and effect relationship between our cities’ storm drains and the world’s oceans, lakes, and rivers.
|Octopuses!: Strange and Wonderful
By: Laurence Pringle
Illustrated by: Meryl Henderson
An introduction to the characteristics and habits of the octopus.
By: Seymour Simon
Explains how oceans influence climate, the relationship between the phases of the moon and tides, and the dangers of deadly tidal waves called tsunami.
|Sylvia Earle: Ocean Explorer
By: Dennis Fertig
Details about oceanographer Sylvia Earle, such as what inspired her, where she has explored, and the impact of her work.