Recommended Children’s Books

ASLO-approved children's books correctly convey a key scientific concept in an age-appropriate and engaging way. Below is a list of books that we recommend for sharing with young audiences. If you have suggestions of other books to be considered for this list, please send them to the ASLO Outreach Committee.


National Geographic Early Readers
Age: New reader
With topics ranging from coral reefs to sperm whale migrations, this National Geographic series is perfect for the aquatic loving child who is learning to read. The series includes books of different reading levels so as to grow with the new reader.


Mister Seahorse by Eric Carle
Age: 2-5
As Mister Seahorse tends to his eggs, he meets other father fish caring for their own babies - each in their own unique way.


In the Small, Small Pond by Denise Fleminge
Age: 4-5
With beautiful illustrations and rhyming text, this Caldecott Honor book introduces young children to the life teeming within one small pond.


I'm the Biggest Thing in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry
Age: 4-7
Kevin Sherry presents a hilarious and fun introduction to the creatures of the ocean. The tale follows a giant squid who learns, much to his surprise, that he is not in fact the biggest thing in the ocean.


Down, Down, Down: A Journey to the Bottom of the Sea by Steve Jenkins
Age: 4-7
Did you know that our oceans hold jellyfish that flash in the dark? And squid so large that they can battle whales? Did you know that more people have visited the moon than the deepest spot on the seafloor? Steve Jenkins presents these facts and more as he takes the reader on a journey from the ocean's surface to its deepest depths.


In One Tidepool: Crabs, Snails, and Salty Tails by Anthony D. Fredericks
Age: 4-7
The book contains both a fun rhyming exploration of a tidepool as well as field notes that provide additional information on the inhabitants of these waters.


Song of the Water Boatman and Other Pond Poems by Joyce Sidman
Age: 4-7
Joyce Sidman creates a stunning combination of poetry and illustration. Each poem flows seamlessly into informational text that is both fascinating and easy to understand. With topics ranging from wood ducks to diving beetles to food chains, this collection is a celebration of ponds and wetlands.


A Day in the Salt Marsh by Kevin Kurtz
Age: 4-8
Explore how salt marshes change with each hour as the tides rise and fall! How does the grass survive being covered in salt water? Why is the salt marsh ideal for small fish? Kevin Kurtz brings to life this often overlooked ecosystem.


Read and Wonder Series by Various Authors
Age: 4-8
Meet mallards as they swim in the river! Find the shy seahorse hiding in the sea grass! The Read and Wonder Series intertwines story and fact as it introduces the reader to these creatures. Each book focuses on a specific animal such as seals or turtles.


Pond Circle by Betsy Franco
Age: 4-8
Anna watches from her window as the mayfly nymph eats the algae only to be eaten by the diving beetle. On each page, a new organism is added to the top of the food chain so that the reader may understand the relation between a large animal like a coyote and the minuscule algae that grows in the pond.


Big Book of Sea Creatures by Minna Lacey
Age: 4+
Fold out pages open to reveal stunning images of coral reefs, whales, and jellyfish. Engaging facts accompany each illustration so as to captivate young readers.


Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea: Marie Tharp Maps the Ocean Floor by Robert Burleigh
Age: 5-8
This is a great book for the budding explorer and young scientist! This biography follows the life of Marie Tharp — the woman responsible for mapping the ocean floor. It is the empowering story of a pioneering young woman who helped reveal the world beneath the water’s surface.


Manfish: A Story of Jacques Cousteau by Jennifer Berne
Age: 5-8
Manfish beautifully captures the life of Jacques Cousteau. Using magnificent illustrations, this book is ideal for learning about the ocean’s most celebrated explorer and trailblazer.


Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes by Nicola Davies
Age: 5-8
Nicola Davies does a wonderful job of explaining microbes in a fun and energetic manner. How big are microbes? Where do they live? What do they do? Using easy to read text, Davies answers all of these questions and leaves the reader wanting to know even more.


See Under the Sea by Kate Davies
Age: 6+
Each page of this lift the flap book explores a different area of the ocean — ranging from buried treasure to the polar regions. The flaps provide new information, fun pictures, and a kinetic way to explore the text.


A Day in the Deep by Kevin Kurtz
Age: 7-10
As his rhyming tale progresses, Kevin Kurtz takes the reader deeper and deeper into the ocean. The Sargassum that lives at the water’s surface soon gives way to cookie cutter sharks. With an appendix full of information on the zones of the ocean, this book is sure to delight avid ocean enthusiasts.


Who Was Jacques Cousteau? by Nico Medina
Age: 8-12
Part of the popular Who Was…? series, this biography will captivate the reader. Nico Medina recounts the moment Cousteau first fell in love with the water during a summer by the lake in Vermont. Medina then follows that boy as he grows into the pioneer who has sparked so much love for our oceans.


Ocean: A Visual Encyclopedia by DK
Age: 8-12
This is the perfect book for the ocean lover who always wants to know more. Filled with detailed maps and packed with information, this encyclopedia provides great information on topics such as plate tectonics and the ocean floor. Fact rather than story, this work is certain to enthrall those who crave to learn as much as possible about the ocean.


Encantado: Pink Dolphin of the Amazon by Sy Montgomery
Age: 10+
Description: Come learn about the curious pink dolphins that dwell within the Amazon River! Magical according to local myth and mysterious to researchers, this creature is sure to fascinate. Join Sy Montgomery as she journeys through the Amazon and explores the identity of the pink dolphin.


Scientists in the Field Series by Various Authors
Age: 10+
Learn about deep sea volcanoes and whale strandings. This series is not only about fact; it is about the scientific journey. Follow researchers as they swim with hammerhead sharks and pursue adventure in order to discover more about our world and the creatures that inhabit our oceans.

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