100 books like Misunderstood Shark

By Ame Dyckman, Scott Magoon (illustrator),

Here are 100 books that Misunderstood Shark fans have personally recommended if you like Misunderstood Shark. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Blobfish Book

Cassandra Federman Author Of This Is a Sea Cow

From my list on children’s stories about ocean animals.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been fascinated by the ocean and all of its inhabitants for as long as I can remember. When I was little, I discovered my dad’s SCUBA license and it blew my mind that I was related to someone who was allowed to explore the underwater world! Later, when I got to college, I took advantage of two exciting opportunities. First, I got my own scuba license. Second, I studied abroad in Belize, where I conducted manatee research by tagging, tracking, and rescuing manatees. I enjoyed the time I spent with the animals, but not the lab work. Now I express my passion for sea creatures in the books I write.

Cassandra's book list on children’s stories about ocean animals

Cassandra Federman Why did Cassandra love this book?

This was one of the first meta picture books I ever read and I completely fell in love with the style and voice. In fact, it heavily influenced my own picture books, This Is a Sea Cow and This Is a Seahorse. Contrary to what the title would have you believe, The Blobfish Book doesn’t focus on blobfish facts alone. It also highlights other really interesting deep sea animals. The blobfish character provides a hilarious commentary throughout the book that is sure to get readers laughing. I have a special place in my heart for books that get children laughing and learning at the same time.

By Jessica Olien,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Blobfish Book as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?


Perfect for fans of Battle Bunny and Z Is for Moose, this irresistible book within a book introduces us to Blobfish, known as the "ugliest fish in the sea"...or is he actually the fish who will steal our hearts

Did you know that the deepest parts of the ocean are over one mile deep-too far down for any sunlight to reach That's where Blobfish lives. But this book isn't about Blobfish...or is it

This true (clever) story about the (misunderstood) Blobfish is sure to make you smile. Full of fun facts about sea creatures in the deepest reaches of the…


Book cover of Pink Is for Blobfish: Discovering the World's Perfectly Pink Animals

Cassandra Federman Author Of This Is a Sea Cow

From my list on children’s stories about ocean animals.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been fascinated by the ocean and all of its inhabitants for as long as I can remember. When I was little, I discovered my dad’s SCUBA license and it blew my mind that I was related to someone who was allowed to explore the underwater world! Later, when I got to college, I took advantage of two exciting opportunities. First, I got my own scuba license. Second, I studied abroad in Belize, where I conducted manatee research by tagging, tracking, and rescuing manatees. I enjoyed the time I spent with the animals, but not the lab work. Now I express my passion for sea creatures in the books I write.

Cassandra's book list on children’s stories about ocean animals

Cassandra Federman Why did Cassandra love this book?

Another blobfish book? Indeed! Although this book is also full of facts about other interesting animals, all of whom are pink! There are some land-dwelling animals in this book, but there are also lots of water-dwelling animals including pygmy seahorses, Amazon river dolphins, Hopkins’ rose nudibranchs, pink sea stars, and hairy squat lobsters. What I especially love about this book is that it presents the animal facts in a very clear and simple way without making the reader feel overwhelmed by too much text.

By Jess Keating, David DeGrand (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Pink Is for Blobfish as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, 7, and 8.

What is this book about?

It's Pinkalicious meets Fear Factor in this nonfiction picture book introducing the weirdest, wildest, pinkest critters in the animal kingdom!

Some people think pink is a pretty color. A fluffy, sparkly, princess-y color. But it's so much more.
Sure, pink is the color of princesses and bubblegum, but it's also the color of monster slugs and poisonous insects. Not to mention ultra-intelligent dolphins, naked mole rats and bizarre, bloated blobfish.

Isn't it about time to rethink pink?

Slip on your rose-colored glasses and take a walk on the wild side with zoologist Jess Keating, whose other books in the World…


Book cover of One Tiny Turtle: Read and Wonder

Cassandra Federman Author Of This Is a Sea Cow

From my list on children’s stories about ocean animals.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been fascinated by the ocean and all of its inhabitants for as long as I can remember. When I was little, I discovered my dad’s SCUBA license and it blew my mind that I was related to someone who was allowed to explore the underwater world! Later, when I got to college, I took advantage of two exciting opportunities. First, I got my own scuba license. Second, I studied abroad in Belize, where I conducted manatee research by tagging, tracking, and rescuing manatees. I enjoyed the time I spent with the animals, but not the lab work. Now I express my passion for sea creatures in the books I write.

Cassandra's book list on children’s stories about ocean animals

Cassandra Federman Why did Cassandra love this book?

I love informational books that don’t just list interesting facts but instead have a narrative story with interesting facts woven throughout. (Many of the books listed above fall into that category). Books like this are called “informational fiction books” or “narrative nonfiction books.” I believe the use of narrative helps kids (and all people) to learn more easily. In this book, we follow the narrative of a single loggerhead turtle and we become invested in her journey. Throughout that journey, we learn about her species, how she survives the dangers surrounding her, and how she perpetuates the species.

By Nicola Davies, Jane Chapman (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked One Tiny Turtle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

"Simple, lyrical words and bright, acrylic doublepage pictures convey the astonishing facts about the loggerhead sea turtle. . . . A powerful nature story for a young audience." — Booklist

Far, far out at sea lives one of the world's most mysterious creatures, the loggerhead turtle. For thirty years she swims the oceans, wandering thousands of miles as she searches for food. Then, one summer night, she lands on a beach to lay her eggs — the very same beach where she herself was born. Nicola Davies's lyrical text offers fascinating information about the journey of the tiny, endangered loggerhead,…


Book cover of The Big Book of the Blue

Cassandra Federman Author Of This Is a Sea Cow

From my list on children’s stories about ocean animals.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been fascinated by the ocean and all of its inhabitants for as long as I can remember. When I was little, I discovered my dad’s SCUBA license and it blew my mind that I was related to someone who was allowed to explore the underwater world! Later, when I got to college, I took advantage of two exciting opportunities. First, I got my own scuba license. Second, I studied abroad in Belize, where I conducted manatee research by tagging, tracking, and rescuing manatees. I enjoyed the time I spent with the animals, but not the lab work. Now I express my passion for sea creatures in the books I write.

Cassandra's book list on children’s stories about ocean animals

Cassandra Federman Why did Cassandra love this book?

This book is full of fascinating facts about all kinds of sea creatures from those near the surface to those who live down deep in the darkness. For me, the biggest draw of this book is the illustrations. (Pun intended!) The art is so full of texture and color and every page is as gorgeous as the one that came before. This book is a feast for the eyes and the curious brain!

By Yuval Zommer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Big Book of the Blue as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Nominated for the 2019 Kate Greenaway Medal

Why do octopuses have eight arms?
Why do crabs run sideways?
Are jellyfish made of jelly?
Yuval Zommer's beautiful new book provides the answers to these and many more fishy questions. His wonderfully quirky illustrations show off all kinds of slippery, shimmery and surprising sea creatures, including sea turtles, whales, sharks, rays and seahorses. Chatty, funny and full of amazing facts, it will be devoured by children eager to find out about the most exciting creatures from the deep blue.


Book cover of The Pout-Pout Fish

Kelly Bennett Author Of Not Norman: A Goldfish Story

From my list on “finny” picture books about fish.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love fish—to look at and read about—not to eat! Fish are unlike other pets. You can’t hold them, or pet them, and you certainly can’t “play” with them the way you can other pets. But for some reason, just looking at them makes me laugh. And because fish don’t say much besides “glug” (although some kinds sing and grunt) we need to imagine what they are thinking and feeling which makes for funny and surprising stories. And, yes, I have pet goldfish: an orange one, Norman, and a black fantail named Knot. 

Kelly's book list on “finny” picture books about fish

Kelly Bennett Why did Kelly love this book?

Pout-Pout fish is a grumpy looking, grumpy acting fish who “spreads the dreary-wearies all over the place” and everyone he encounters tries to talk him out of being grumpy. Simple as that, but not! The Pout-Pout Fish books, every one of them, combines three elements that make a fabulous read-aloud: fun/interesting to look at; fun and easy to read; fun satisfying ending. Diesen’s Pout-Pout bouncy rhyming rhythm will jolly the grumpy out of everyone—whether fish or human. Yes, the refrain will get stuck in your heads—in a good way!

By Deborah Diesen, Dan Hanna (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Pout-Pout Fish as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, 5, and 6.

What is this book about?

A NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER

"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?"

Swim along with the pout-pout fish as he discovers that being glum and spreading "dreary wearies" isn't really his destiny. Bright ocean colors and playful rhyme come together in Deborah Diesen's fun fish story that's sure to turn even the poutiest of frowns upside down.


Book cover of Sex in the Sea: Our Intimate Connection with Sex-Changing Fish, Romantic Lobsters, Kinky Squid, and Other Salty Erotica of the Deep

Danna Staaf Author Of Nursery Earth: The Hidden World of Baby Animals and the Amazing Ingenuity of Life

From my list on babies and parenthood throughout the animal kingdom.

Why am I passionate about this?

Like most children, I adored baby animals from an early age. I bonded deeply with a pet kitten; I campaigned (unsuccessfully but perennially) for a puppy; I delighted in caterpillars. In college, my biology classes introduced me to a profusion of marine larval forms, and a fascination with the true diversity of animal babies fully gripped me. I eventually earned a PhD in the biology of squid babies and, shortly afterward, produced two human babies of my own. I now live with my human family, a cat, and a garden full of grubs, caterpillars, maggots, and innumerable other babies. I read and write about science and nature, especially the intersection of the weird and the adorable.

Danna's book list on babies and parenthood throughout the animal kingdom

Danna Staaf Why did Danna love this book?

Similar to Dr. Tatiana’s Sex Advice, this book made me laugh and gasp at scandalous true stories of reproductive biology. What really captured my attention, though, were the unexpected ways that human actions are affecting the courtship, mating, and spawning of animals that might seem beyond our reach.

Knowing that we can unintentionally inhibit the intimate lives of other species through pollution and climate change really brings home the importance of reforming our behavior.

By Marah J. Hardt,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sex in the Sea as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Forget the Kama Sutra. When it comes to inventive sex acts, just look to the sea. There we find the elaborate mating rituals of armored lobsters; giant right whales engaging in a lively threesome whilst holding their breath; full moon sex parties of groupers and daily mating blitzes by blueheaded wrasse. Deep-sea squid perform inverted 69s, while hermaphrodite sea slugs link up in giant sex loops. From doubly endowed sharks to the maze-like vaginas of some whales, Sex in the Sea is a journey unlike any other to explore the staggering ways life begets life beneath the waves. Beyond a…


Book cover of Citizens of the Sea: Wondrous Creatures From the Census of Marine Life

Sandy Sheehy Author Of Imperiled Reef: The Fascinating, Fragile Life of a Caribbean Wonder

From my list on the amazing world of coral reefs.

Why am I passionate about this?

For more than four decades, Sandy Sheehy has been diving tropical coral reefs from the Caribbean to Australia. Starting when she was around five sitting in her pediatric dentist’s office where she noticed an aquarium stocked with colorful fish, her fascination with the underwater world has grown. Becoming a freelance journalist allowed her to call on experts and activists around the world to help her satisfy her curiosity and share what she learned.   

Sandy's book list on the amazing world of coral reefs

Sandy Sheehy Why did Sandy love this book?

Unlike the books I’ve recommended above, Citizens of the Sea is packed with gorgeous four-color photographs by some of the world’s top underwater photographers. The close-ups are downright amazing. National Geographic made a brilliant call in having Nancy Knowlton write the text. Not only is she a renowned coral reef biologist and the former Sant Chair for Marine Science at the Smithsonian National Museum for Natural History, she also writes so lucidly and engagingly that even her articles for peer-reviewed journals make engrossing reading. 

By Nancy Knowlton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Citizens of the Sea as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The astonishing diversity of ocean life will wow you in this riveting book, perfect for all ages, by marine scientist Nancy Knowlton. Citizens of the Sea reveals the most intriguing organisms in the ocean, captured in action by skilled underwater photographers from National Geographic and the Census of Marine Life. As you read lively vignettes about sea creatures' names, defenses, migration, mating habits, and more, you'll be amazed at wonders like; The almost inconceivable number of creatures in the marine world. From the bounty of microbes in one drop of seawater, we can calculate that there are more individuals in…


Book cover of Underwater Wild: My Octopus Teacher's Extraordinary World

Dianne Wolfer Author Of The Shark Caller

From my list on books with an important octopus character.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love wild empty beaches, traveling to unusual places, swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving. These interests combined one year when my family spent Christmas at a remote dive resort in Papua New Guinea. I was fascinated by the colourful reef creatures, nudibranchs, coral, anemones, reef sharks, and octopuses. Then I heard about the ancient practice of shark calling…I write across genres and researched anthropomorphism in children’s literature for my PhD, with The Shark Caller and The Dog with Seven Names being my linked creative works. I live near the ocean in southwestern Australia, am a bookworm, and a full-time author of 25 titles (and counting). 

Dianne's book list on books with an important octopus character

Dianne Wolfer Why did Dianne love this book?

I’m an ocean swimmer and snorkeler, and this book took me to depths and places beyond my previous experience. The free-diving aspect is inspirational. Based on the award-winning movie, My Octopus Teacher, Ross and Craig’s journey has encouraged me to look at octopus and other wildlife differently.

It’s an extraordinarily moving story, both beautiful and sad. I hope the images and content will inspire people to protect our oceans.

By Craig Foster, Ross Frylinck,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Underwater Wild as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the creators of the Academy Award-winning documentary My Octopus Teacher, an immersive journey into the underwater world that inspired it—and holds transformative lessons for us all

Craig Foster and Ross Frylinck regularly dive together in the awe-inspiring kelp forests off South Africa, without wetsuits or oxygen tanks. Craig had dived this way for years, including alongside the octopus that inspired My Octopus Teacher. In Ross, he found a kindred spirit, someone who also embraced the ancient methods of acclimating his body to frigid waters, but whose eyes had not yet adjusted to the transcendent wonder Craig saw each time…


Book cover of Hello, World! Ocean Life

Alyssa Clements Author Of The Size of Everything: Ginormous Galaxies, Itty-Bitty Quarks, and Me

From my list on children’s science for Christian families.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a third-grade teacher turned book editor and writer who loves learning about the fascinating world God has made and exploring how it all points back to him. During my time in the classroom, I worked at a Christian classical school where my grade’s scientific focus was astronomy. I loved introducing my students to this awe-inspiring, gigantic universe that we are a part of and considering together just how big, powerful, and loving God must be to have designed and created it all. I am also mom to two wonderfully curious children who love to read, explore, and ask big questions. 

Alyssa's book list on children’s science for Christian families

Alyssa Clements Why did Alyssa love this book?

You cannot go wrong with any of the board books in the Hello, World! series.

This one about ocean animals is a recent go-to in our home, and I was fascinated to learn that octopuses have three hearts, blue blood, and nine brains! With bright illustrations and easy-to-understand yet captivating scientific information, these books are wonderful for curious, young scientists eager to learn about God’s world.

My kids also love the Solar System and My Body books in this series. There’s no age too young to start teaching our kids about the intricacies of God’s creation, and this series is an excellent resource for families looking for engaging, scientifically rich books that do just that.  

By Jill Mcdonald,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hello, World! Ocean Life as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Learn from home and explore the world with these fun and easy board books!

All young children love to play in the waves at the beach. Here's a Hello, World! board book that teaches them all about oceans and the creatures and plants that live there.

Hello, World! is a series designed to introduce first nonfiction concepts to babies and toddlers. Told in clear and easy terms ("An octopus has eight arms. Can you count them all?") and featuring bright, cheerful illustrations, Hello, World! is a perfect way to bring science, nature, and culture into the busy world of a…


Book cover of Island of the Aunts

Sheila Grau Author Of The Boy with 17 Senses

From my list on middle grade with breathtaking imagination.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an author of five books for children. I am also an avid reader of middle grade fiction, especially speculative fiction. I love exploring other people’s imaginations. It’s not only entertaining, but incredibly inspiring. Like most people, when I discover a book that I love, I can’t wait to share it with my friends. I hope you love these selections as much as I do! It was really hard to limit myself to just five. 

Sheila's book list on middle grade with breathtaking imagination

Sheila Grau Why did Sheila love this book?

Imagination + humor. The opening line of this books is one of my favorites – “Kidnapping children is not a good idea. All the same, sometimes it has to be done.” – Ibbotson was a genius at combining fantastical settings with humor. This book in particular spoke to my childhood fantasies of taking care of strange animals and visiting exotic locales. It’s a whole lot of fun, like all her books.

By Eva Ibbotson, Kevin Hawkes (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Island of the Aunts as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

When the kindly old aunts decide that they need help caring for creatures who live on their hidden island, they know that adults can't be trusted. What they need are a few special children who can keep a secret-a secret as big as a magical island. And what better way to get children who can keep really big secrets, than to kidnap them! (After all, some children just plain need to be kidnapped.) Don't miss this wildly inventive and funny read from master storyteller Eva Ibbotson.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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