Before taking any trip, we load up on books to read and explore our way through our destination. A trip to the the beach is no different! We read lots of stories and non-fiction picture books beforehand, to get us excited, and learn a bit about where we are headed. Here are some of our favorites. Planning a trip through stories is one of my favorite ways to incorporate travel into our homeschool life while we are still at home, but even if one isn’t homeschooling, this is a great selection to prep for the beach.
Great Picture Books about the Beach and Ocean
Click on the photo of the book for more information.
Tides and Tide Pools
Oceans by Don Rothaus Describes various characteristics of the world’s oceans, including origins, the composition of seawater, currents, and the effect of the moon on tides.
W is for Waves: An Ocean Alphabet by Marie Smith Water enthusiasts and budding scientists are given an A to Z tour of the ocean’s depths and the creatures that inhabit them. Did you know that jellyfish can range in size from one inch to 200 feet long? And what about the mysterious Scandinavian sea monster called the kraken? Was it a myth or did it really exist?
Ocean: A Visual Encyclopedia by John Woodward DK always makes fabulous visual encyclopedias for kids! They are some of our favorite books, and this one doesn’t disappoint. It thoroughly covers oceans from north to south, tidal to the very bottom, and everything in between.
Between the Tides by Fran Hodgkins “If you lived where the sea was and then wasn’t,” is the phrase used repeatedly through the delightful picture book. It flows poetically, like a story book, but describes the animals who live in the tidal zone and how they survive.
Barnacle is Bored by Jonathan Fenske Is a funny book about the life of a barnacle on a piling.
Follow the Moon Home: A Tale of One Idea, Twenty Kids, and a Hundred Sea Turtles Acclaimed activist Philippe Cousteau and renowned author Deborah Hopkinson team up to offer a story of the powerful difference young people can make in the world. Meet Viv, who has a new home and a new school by the sea, and follow her as she finds her way in a new place and helps bring together a whole community to save the sea turtles of the South Carolina coast.
National Geographic Readers: Sea Turtles Nat Geo Readers are short and sweet, but as always with Nat Geo, they deliver stunning photos.
One Tiny Turtle: Read and Wonder by Nicola Davis A story depicting the life of a loggerhead sea turtle; beautiful!
The Turtle (Lighthouse Family) by Cynthia Rylant This is an easy/early chapter book about a misfit family of animals (The Lighthouse Family), and how they meet and rescue a sea turtle. This is part of a series, but we read it alone prepping for a trip to the beach where we might see sea turtles. It was very sweet.
Coral Reef (one can always hope there will be coral at the beach!)
Over in the Ocean: In a Coral Reef by Marianne Berkes Engaging, fun, and gorgeous illustrations!!
Coral Reefs: A Journey Through An Aquatic World Full of Wonder by Jason Chin This book delights us to no end, to have a book come to life, and adventure through the ocean; stunning.
Here is the Coral Reef (Web of Life) by Madeleine Dunphy More beautiful illustrations describing the animals of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
Curious George Goes to the Beach by H.A. Rey My kids adore Curious George, always. And this book is a favorite. Join George on his adventure, and misadventure, at the beach with his friend, The Man in the Yellow Hat (who has a snazzy yellow swimsuit!).
Bats at the Beach by Brian Lies Bat Books are some of our favorite! A very fun twist on a day at the beach…how do you think bats spend their night at the beach??
Clam-I-Am: All About the Beach (Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library) by Tish Rabe Okay, so all you need to know, the Cat in the Hat can teach you. These books (and the animated cartoon) are bright, fun, and full of rhyme.
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