The best underwater picture books for your little sea monster

Emily Neilson Author Of Can I Give You a Squish?
By Emily Neilson

The Books I Picked & Why

The Rainbow Fish

By Marcus Pfister

The Rainbow Fish

Why this book?

I remember this story from when I was little. I would stroke the shiny scales with my fingers and admire the octopus in his cave. Little me couldn’t believe the fish would give away his scales! Didn’t he want to keep them all? The message about the happiness that comes with generosity was certainly one I needed to hear...repeatedly.


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Piranhas Don't Eat Bananas

By Aaron Blabey

Piranhas Don't Eat Bananas

Why this book?

This book is so delightfully silly! Poor little Brian tries to convince the other piranhas that they’d probably love to try some fruit—but alas, they would rather eat feet, or knees, or…well…bum! It’s definitely a book that feeds your inner sea monster!


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Flotsam

By David Wiesner

Flotsam

Why this book?

Flotsam is another I remember from childhood. I could look at the illustrations forever. Wiesner’s wordless masterpiece guides the reader through the most imaginative journey. And the images have such staying power! I still think about them so many years later.


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Pearl

By Molly Idle

Pearl

Why this book?

This book has this soft slow kind of magic that would be wonderful for winding down right before bedtime. The images flow through the book and guide you down into the colorful glowing depths where a family of mermaids guard the secrets of the sea. The message is lovely as well. Little Pearl the mermaid discovers that even the smallest of responsibilities, when nurtured properly, can grow to be hugely impactful.


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Oona

By Kelly DiPucchio, Raissa Figueroa

Oona

Why this book?

It’s impossible not to fall head over heels in love with the little mermaid explorer Oona and her sea otter friend Otto. The adorable duo was created by illustrator Raissa Figueroa who has this amazing ability to make all her characters completely irresistible and her environments rich with atmospheric colors and magical details. I can’t wait to see what adventures Oona and Otto go on next!


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