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!”
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!
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The best fish & ocean books for toddlers
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!
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.
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.
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 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.
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 Sea has sturdy flaps to lift and detailed, realistic illustrations.
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.
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! 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?)
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.
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.
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 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!)
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:
Natasha is a former classroom teacher turned WAHM. She also is a registered yoga teacher and certified life coach. She shares her passion for education with craft tutorials and free printables. She also shares her experience moving through grief after losing a parent and passion for positive parenting. Learn more about Natasha and where she’s been featured.