Top Ten Tuesday – Celebrating World Ocean Day!

June 8th is World Ocean Day – a day all UN member nations raise awareness of the value of oceans, the impact of human activities on the oceans, and to motivate people to use the ocean’s resources sustainably. And what better way to help children understand these concepts than to share some great books about the ocean books?

Here is a list of some of my favorite picture books to celebrate and protect our oceans.

The Sea Book – Charlotte Milner

A fascinating nonfiction book for introducing children to our oceans. Includes beautiful illustrations that show our oceans are home to an amazing variety of living things. The end of the book discusses the problems our oceans are facing and wraps up with a call to action on how to help save them.

Over and Under the WavesKate Messner

I LOVE Kate Messner’s “Over and Under” series and this new addition about oceans is her latest in the collection. A young child kayaking with his family experience the wonder of the ocean together. It is lovely how each page is an interplay between humans and ocean wildlife. Beautiful figurative language makes it also an excellent anchor book for writing! Gorgeous illustrations!

I Hear You, Ocean – Kallie George

I LOVED Kallie George’s “I Hear You, Forest” so was thrilled to know that she had expanded it into a series! The book is a celebration of all the joys of sound that come from the ocean as experienced by two children spending time at the beach with their family. The story is simple and playful with engaging sound words paired with the narrative. Great for early primary and perfect for practicing visualizing!

The Big Book of the Blue – Yuval Zommer 

A beautiful big book about everything under the sea and the third book in a series by the same author (includes The Big Book of Bugs and The Big Book of Beasts). It’s definitely not one for a single sitting (over 50 pages – with LOTS of illustrations) but perfect to keep young readers busy for hours. Fantastic illustrations & lots of great facts!

Friends and Anemones: Ocean Poems for Children – Kristen Wixted 

Well, I can’t have a collection of ocean books without including a poetry book! This one is a collection of ocean poems by many distinguished poets and artists from The Writers’ Loft (New England authors and illustrators). I love that there are not only poems about a variety of sea creatures including balloon fish, giant squids, manatees, and sea turtles but also poems about the importance of keeping our oceans safe and clean.  Great variety of poetic structures, too!

Ocean! Waves for All –  Stacy McAnulty 

Companion to Earth! My First 4.54 Billion YearsSun! One in a Billion; and Moon! Earth’s Best Friend, this book is, like, totally tubular, dude! Told in the narrative voice of Ocean (I make connections to the voice of Crush from Finding Nemo!) the conversational tone is engaging and entertaining while still providing lots of interesting facts. A perfect book to inspire an interest in the ocean.

We Are the Ocean – Captain Paul Watson 

Beautiful book, written as a poem, that helps children discover a personal connection to water. The author beautifully describes the importance of the ocean in sustaining life of all living plants and animals. I would definitely use this book for a “one word activity” and see how the story can expand our understanding of oceans.

My Ocean is Blue – Darren Lebeuf

A wonderful companion to My Forest Is Green , this lovely story that focuses on a magical day at the seaside. A little girl and her mother (aunt? friend?) explore everything the ocean and beach has to offer. I love that the book highlights that an ocean can be many different things at different times. Gorgeous cut-paper illustrations.

Ocean Soup: A Recipe for You, Me, and a Cleaner Sea – Meeg Pincus 

“Dig in a bit deeper and test a small scoop, and you’ll see that, up close, the sea looks more like soup!” Four children walking along the beach soon discover that while the ocean appears to be pure and clean, it’s actually SOUP! And not a very healthy one! I love how this book that shares a powerful message of plastics in our oceans, in simple and accessible verse.

One Turtle’s Last Straw: The Real-Life Rescue That Sparked a Sea Change – Elisa Boxer

If you ever want to have kids stop using plastic straws, this is the book to read! It tells the inspiring, true story of how one small turtle and children all over the country sparked an environmental movement. Based on the viral video that created awareness of the harm caused by plastic straws, this powerful story is a perfect tool for teaching children about protecting our oceans. Includes real life photographs of life saving marine biologists. Another great book to use for the “one word activity” using the word “straw”!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you found one or two books you can use to celebrate World Ocean Day with your class!


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