Book Lists Picture Books

Summer Unplugged: Under the Sea

June 16, 2014

We’re spending a lot of time in the water this summer. It’s no wonder the ocean is on my mind.

This is maybe my favorite booklist so far – just so many great picture books about fish, seahorses, and sharks.


Ocean books and activities for kids (plus a giveaway!)





Picture Books

  • Flotsam by David Wiesner – I love everything David Wiesner does, and this miiiiight be my favorite of his books. This clever wordless story of a camera that washes up on a beach filled with mysterious film is a total crowd-pleaser. 
  • Wave by Suzy Lee – Another wordless one, I’ve probably read this with Ella 50 times. She never gets tired of the story of a little girl timidly experiencing an ocean tide for the first time. 
  • Swim! Swim! by Lerch – Lerch can’t find anyone to be his friend in his little fishbowl. Everyone seems to be ignoring him. Is there hope for friendship for a little fish? 
  • This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen – This Caldecott winner follows a little fish who has stolen a hat. And he THINKS he’s gotten away with it. 
  • Manfish: A Story of Jacques Cousteau by Jennifer Berne and Γ‰ric Puybaret – I always love a good non-fiction picture book, and this one, about the man who pioneered scuba diving is fascinating and beautiful. 
  • Shark v. Train by Chris Barton and Tom Lichtenheld – Who is stronger? Shark or Train? Who is faster? Who would win in ping pong or pie eating? You’ll never know if you don’t read this book. . . . 
  • Nugget and Fang: Friends Forever–or Snack Time? by Tammi Sauer and Michael Slack – A fish and a shark have been friends for a long time, but when the fish goes to school, he learns that sharks eat fish. Can Fang convince Nugget that he really isn’t going to have him for lunch?
  • Memoirs of a Goldfish by Devin Scillian and Tim Bowers – A goldfish’s bowl is kind of lonely. But after a few new additions, he’s starting to miss the peace and quiet. 
  • Mister Seahorse by Eric Carle – Anything Eric Carle does is a masterpiece, I think. This one, about how different fish and underwater creatures care for their eggs and babies, is no exception. 
A Few Crafts, Activities, and Recipes:
And, another giveaway!
My girls would eat those little squeezee applesauces until the cows came home, but they are so ludicrously expensive that they are saved for extremely special occasions.
I like these reusable ones from Little Green Pouch because I’m not filling up the garbage can (Zero Waste Home is always on my mind. . . ) and I can use applesauce I buy in an enormous jug for $2. Or I can just pour in whatever smoothie/yogurt/etc I have around. And dishwasher safe? Those words speak to me. 
You totally want some. Enter below! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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40 Comments

  • Reply Elaine June 16, 2014 at 11:48 am

    A few more books to add to the list: Swimmy by Leo Leonni; Harry by the Sea by Gene Zion; A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carl and Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister.
    Should you want a few plugged-in moments on the Ocean them, here is my list of Ocean links: http://www.teachthechildrenwell.com/science.html#ocean. Here are my sea creature links: http://www.teachthechildrenwell.com/animals.html#sea
    And an online sand castle: http://www.helpkidzlearn.com/creative/build-a-sandcastle
    And to make edible sand, http://householdways.blogspot.com/2011/06/edible-sand-dessert.html

  • Reply Katie June 16, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    This is Not My Hat is probably my favorite fish book ever. I almost bought it in Danish when we were in Copenhagen, but after doing the conversion for 159 DKK I decided the library was a more economical option.

  • Reply heather June 16, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    These would be perfect for the new baby we have on the way!

  • Reply Kate June 16, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    These are on my list for when my baby starts eating solids! Would love to win!

  • Reply Elizabeth W June 16, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    I'd love to win. My boys could eat five pouches in a row if I'd let them. So reusable ones would be wonderful!

  • Reply Alison June 16, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    I am loving this series. Every time you post, I promptly request a bunch of books from the library for my boys. And they always love your choices. πŸ™‚ Thanks!

  • Reply Kristen & Steve June 16, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    Those reusable pouches are brilliant! I'd love some!

  • Reply Unknown June 16, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    What awesome ideas to get my kids excited about reading this summer! And I've wanted to try those reusable pouches but hadn't taken the plunge yet!

  • Reply Unknown June 16, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    What awesome ideas to get my kids excited about reading this summer! And I've wanted to try those reusable pouches but hadn't taken the plunge yet!

  • Reply Jenae June 16, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    As former California people we're big fans of ocean themed stuff. And I've always wanted to try those pouches. So much waste otherwise!

  • Reply Heather June 16, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    My kids love those applesauce pouches but they are reserved for hikes or picnics. Great idea.

  • Reply Anne June 16, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    I don't leave home without a snack for my 18 month old (okay, or myself). But I'm definitely looking for ways to save money so this is a great idea!

  • Reply Katie F June 16, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    I love this series you're doing and maybe one day I'll have my crap together and get the books out of the library to read with my daughter!

  • Reply Heather June 16, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    My daughter is obsessed with fruit pouches…how did I not know these existed?

  • Reply Bookworm1919 June 16, 2014 at 7:39 pm

    Thanks for all the great recs!

  • Reply Norby family June 16, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    Shark vs train is a favorite around here!

  • Reply Rachel June 16, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    We just tried the yogurt squeeze pouches this weekend for the first time and they are awesome!

  • Reply Jessica June 16, 2014 at 11:38 pm

    You are my personal librarian. I basically just go check out whatever you post. Thanks, friend!

  • Reply Janice Richardson June 17, 2014 at 12:45 am

    Reusable and washable make me happy!

  • Reply hediyeh June 17, 2014 at 1:55 am

    Those reusable pouches are so simple, yet genius! I need them.

  • Reply Katie June 17, 2014 at 2:39 am

    These pouches sound great! I'd love to give them a try! They'd be perfect for our days at Lagoon!

  • Reply Lindsey C June 17, 2014 at 2:44 am

    I am loving these unplugged book and activity suggestions! Youre the best. Always πŸ™‚

  • Reply Michelle June 17, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    That life-size sidewalk chalk whale idea is awesome!

  • Reply BeckyG June 17, 2014 at 11:01 pm

    Thanks for your great ideas!

  • Reply Janelle June 17, 2014 at 11:50 pm

    You'd think with six kids I would have tried pouch foods at some point. But alas, I have not. But I'd love to!

  • Reply tricia June 18, 2014 at 1:22 am

    My son loves Shark vs Train. We found it this spring and have checked it out no less than 5 times from the library.
    Also, so excited to know the brand of squeezers you use. I read a post a while back you did and since needing to but them haven't retraced it–maybe I'll win!!

  • Reply Andrea Despain June 18, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    Excited for this list! The Non fiction book is exciting to me!

  • Reply Andrea Despain June 18, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    Excited for this list! The Non fiction book is exciting to me!

  • Reply Rebecca Wright June 18, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    cute books!

  • Reply Rebecca Wright June 18, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    cute books!

  • Reply MBC June 18, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    Hey, I've actually been trying to find something like this, because my toddler cannot get enough of squeezy foods.

  • Reply Neil & Michelle Harrison June 19, 2014 at 12:37 am

    I just wanted to say thank you for all of your lists! I got 8 of the picture books from your recent lists from the library to take on our vacation, and they were a huge hit with the five children in our cabin (2 of mine plus nieces and nephews). The parents also enjoyed them, which was especially good, since they ended up being the only books there, and they were read over and over again.Thanks again!

  • Reply Lisa June 19, 2014 at 11:37 am

    A reusable pouch sounds great! And I love all things ocean, so I can't wait to look-up some of these books at our library.

  • Reply Ashley June 19, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    Thanks for doing the summer unplugged series. My nearly 3 year old has really enjoyed doing the activities each week, and I appreciate that it is all pretty low key. We got the books you recommended for this one, and I was wondering if you had any tips on reading wordless picture books to toddlers?

  • Reply mysillylittlelife June 20, 2014 at 10:16 pm

    I love the idea of a reusable pouch! And I put all of the under the sea books on hold at my library!

  • Reply Kristie June 22, 2014 at 1:44 am

    Ok, those pouches are awesome. And perfect for all our summer road trips/fishing trips/camping trips. I am thinking they will be the best when we take the kids fishing. They always want to touch their food after they touch a fish. YUCK. But these are so perfect. Thanks for the recommendation!

  • Reply Marissa WhitneyDanby June 23, 2014 at 3:54 am

    My kids LOVE to read now and its so cute to watch them look at the books.

  • Reply Rachel June 23, 2014 at 4:06 am

    Love your themed book lists! And, Mattie is alllll about the pouches- she'll eat stuff she'd never eat with a spoon!

  • Reply Cami and Juan June 23, 2014 at 4:25 am

    My go-to place for book lists. I was just telling Juan the other day how lucky we are to have the same age kids as you (and gender). I'll always have great book recs.

  • Reply Moira C June 24, 2014 at 1:16 am

    Shark vs Train is one of my boys all time favorites! Can't wait to check some of these others out πŸ™‚

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