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Awesome Fish and Ocean Books Toddlers

This collection of the best fish and ocean books for toddlers includes Montessori-friendly books about the ocean and storybooks about fish. Discover these toddler-approved board books about fish and their habitat!

My toddler is completely obsessed with water and fish. “Fish!” and  “agua!” are two of her absolute favorite words. If you ask her “What does a fish say?” she will cheerfully reply “blub, blub, blub!” 

LG has too many several books about fish and the ocean, so I decided to put together a list of awesome fish and ocean books for toddlers to share some of her favorites and wish list items. I hope you enjoy this collection of the best ocean books for toddlers!

Toddlers Love These Board Books About the Ocean!

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The best fish & ocean books for toddlers

I chose these books based on the appeal of their illustrations or photographs and the quality of the text. They are almost all mostly factual, but there are a handful of storybooks about fish at the bottom of the list because we love the Pout-Pout Fish too much to leave him out! 

Ocean CreaturesOcean Creatures

Ocean Creatures from the National Geographic Kids collection is a Montessori-friendly ocean book that features photographs of ocean animals along with bite sized chunks of information. It doesn’t rhyme, which can be a blessing for parents who are tired of rhyming kids books! 

ABC OceansABC Oceans

ABC Oceans by the American Museum of Natural History also features actual photographs of sea life. Even though it’s a board book, it’s a little more advanced and has a wide variety of sea life, not just the usual suspects. You’ll probably learn something from this book, too!

A Swim Through the SeaA Swim Through the Sea

Swim Through the Sea is a vibrant look at the alphabet. It’s a bit less technical than ABC Oceans and features alliterative descriptions of each animal.

Hello, World! Ocean LifeHello, World! Ocean Life

Ocean Life is a bright, cheery, and informative book. It has more pages than a lot of board books, but there’s only a sentence or two on each page so it holds a toddler’s attention. It gives fun facts (like sharks have lots of teeth and whales breathe through a blowhole) without providing so much information that it bores a toddler. 

Nerdy Babies: OceanNerdy Babies: Ocean

Nerdy Babies: Ocean is a fantastic introduction to oceans as a whole. It doesn’t just take a look at fish – it talks about the importance of the entire ecosystem in language that’s straight forward for young children. Another awesome feature – it depicts diverse babies, not just blond caucasians. The Nerdy Babies series is pretty new so there aren’t many books yet, but it’s off to a great start and definitely a series to keep an eye on!

Deep Sea DiveDeep Sea Dive

Deep Sea Dive features flaps that lift to reveal rhyming information about sea creatures. It’s shorter than some of the other ocean books listed here and the flaps are a fun interactive for toddlers who are less inclined to sit still. It’s a good choice if you’re looking for a book about fish and the ocean but know your little one doesn’t usually stay put for longer books! 

A Walk by the OceanA Walk by the Ocean

A Walk by the Ocean from the Smithsonian is another book with lots of information that your toddler can appreciate as they grow into a preschooler. To be honest, I learned some things from this book!

Each page features a spinning wheel to get your little one involved and interested. The wheels are sturdier than lifting flaps, so it’s a good choice if your toddler tends to get a bit enthusiastic while interacting with books. My daughter absolutely loves turning the wheels. It’s great fine motor practice and she has a lot of fun!


Sharks from the American Museum of Natural History is a unique Montessori-friendly board book about…sharks! The book has neat interior tab cut outs that allow your child to compare what the nine featured sharks look like and how big they are. It’s a really cool book – I’ve never seen anything else quite like it. 

Hawaiian Ocean LullabyHawaiian Ocean Lullaby

My daughter was born in Hawaii so I have to include Hawaiian Ocean Lullaby! It has sweet illustrations and counting rhymes about the Hawaiian ocean at night. 

Under the SeaUnder the Sea

Under the Sea has sturdy flaps to lift and detailed, realistic illustrations.  

My early learning book of Sea AnimalsMy early learning book of Sea Animals

My Early Learning Book of Sea Animals is a fantastic choice for a Montessori household or anyone who wants a simple, realistic book about fish and sea life for their toddler. The book features photographs and simple, accurate names for each creature shown. 

The Ocean (Touch and Explore)The Ocean (Touch and Explore)

Touch and Explore Ocean is fun and informative. It has a sensory touch and feel aspect and shows multiple species of different sea animals like sharks, whales, and sea turtles. It’s the kind of book that can grow with your toddler as they become more interested in learning about what lives in the ocean!

Look, Fish!Look, Fish!

Look! Fish! Is a really fun book. I appreciate that it gives factual information about each fish and includes some lesser-known fish. The only small downside is that, to me, some of the text is a little stilted sounding to make the words rhyme (but isn’t that true of a lot of kid’s books?)

toddler reading a book about fish

Good Night FishGood Night Fish

Good Night Fish is a wonderful bedtime book for toddlers (and babies!) who love fish. The illustrations are bold and colorful and the text is catchy. 

The Pout-Pout FishThe Pout-Pout Fish

You can’t make a list of toddler fish books and not include The Pout Pout Fish! A friend of my husband’s gave us the board book version when LG was born and she is all heart eyes for it. It’s not a realistic, informative book but the rhymes are really catchy and I love the growth mindset message.

The Rainbow FishThe Rainbow Fish

Rainbow Fish is another classic that’s available as a board book for toddlers. The board book version is pared down with less text and about half of the original images, which makes it good for shorter toddler attention spans.

Good Night, Little Sea OtterGood Night, Little Sea Otter

Good Night, Little Sea Otter has a bit more text than some toddlers can sit through, but it is so incredibly beautiful I had to include it. The illustrations are gorgeous and the story is cute (the little sea otter has to say goodnight to absolutely everything in sight while mama sea otter reminds her baby that it’s time to sleep. It’s kind of like my life, but with cute illustrations!)

Discover the best toddler-approved books about fish and the ocean

I hope you enjoy this collection of, in my opinion, the best fish and ocean books for toddlers! If you have any favorites I’ve missed, please let me know so I can check them out. My daughter adores water and fish so I’m sure she’d be happy to investigate a few more options!

More books and toys for toddlers

I guess I’m a picky parent. I do lots of research before I buy anything for my daughter! If you’re the same way, you’ll enjoy these posts, too:

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