By Cindy Bilbao
To me nothing sparks the imagination like a good book! In past issues, we’ve tempted you with lists of book titles about beachcombing, mermaids, and pirates. I hope you’ve had a chance to read one of the recommendations and have become inspired and entertained by your selection.
Now we want to ignite a spark in the youngsters with book recommendations about things they may not yet know about. We’ve included titles about beachcombing and exploring, conservation, and beach vacations and a few teach about creatures found at the beach both real and imaginary. Many were recommended by our readers, and some are our favorites. There’s enough here to keep the little one’s imagination fired up for quite a while. At least until your next beach get-away!
Deanna Caswell (Author), Amy June Bates (Illustrator)
Artistically illustrated in soft watercolors, this is a happy book that tells the story of a family’s overnight get-away to the beach. Ages 3-5 years.
Tish Rabe (Author), Aristides Ruiz (Illustrator)
At the seaside talk show for the Fish Channel, special guests include the Cat in the Hat and Thing One and Thing Two. Mentions of oceanic things like sea glass, tides, driftwood, and dunes make this a fun book for kids. Includes a small glossary of beach-related words. Ages 4-8 years.
Adam Wallace (Author), Andy Elkerton (Illustrator)
This book is part of the “How to Catch” series about friends who are trying to catch a mermaid but end up getting saved by her. Vibrant, colorful illustrations. Ages 4-10 years.
Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld (Author), Helen K. Davie (Illustrator)
A fascinating exploration of the types of creatures that live in a shell. Features marine vocabulary and illustrations of many types of shells. Ages 4-6 years.
Editors of Storey Publishing
Little beachcombers are encouraged to search for their own discoveries. This is a hands-on field guide that enables readers to discover and identify shells, rocks, crustaceans, shorebirds, and seaweed. Ages 4-8 years.
Victoria Crenson and Annie Cannon
A book about horseshoe crabs and their place in the circle-of-life on the beach. Ages 7-9 years.
Bryan Kwasnik (Author), Jackie Hahn (Illustrator)
Billy is at the beach when he discovers a mysterious creature who takes him on an underwater adventure. Ages 4-8 years.
Eileen Clancy Biegel (Author), Sue Lynn Cotton (Illustrator)
A story that introduces kids to environmental science as the main character Edward learns the impacts of plastics on the ocean. Set in the Hawaiian Islands. Ages 8-12 years.
Entices young explorers to find and identify seaside treasures with an eye towards respecting nature. Perfect for the East Coast of USA. Ages 7-10 years.
An essential sea glass hunting guide for kids with beautiful illustrations. Ages 4-8 years.
Heidi Jardine Stoddart
Molly’s family moves away from the beach she and her Gram beachcomb together, but she may yet have another summer of treasure hunting to come. Ages 3-7 years.
Kelly Brooks-Bay (Author), Lindsay Weirich (Illustrator)
Two friends are searching for sea glass on a Maine Island when they discover a mysterious crate. They try to decide whether to open it and what to do about it. A fun coastal adventure. Ages 5-10 years.
Michelle Houts (Author), Bagram Ibatoulline (Illustrator)
Thomas visits his grandmother’s seaside cottage for the summer. A special gift of a magnifying glass inspires him to explore treasures on the beach. When he discovers sea glass, he is fascinated and dreams every night about what the shards of glass could have once been. Ages 4-8 years.
Shelly Peters (Author), Anna Murfield (Illustrator)
A story that encourages children to embrace life’s turns when it’s different than what they have expected, as the reader follows the journey of a glass fishing float in the ocean. Ages 4-8 years.
Anne Wescott Dodd (Author), Mary Beth Owens (Illustrator)
Nicole goes with her grandmother to an island in Maine where she grew up. It’s there that they find a piece of red sea glass, which reminds Nana of a red vase she broke by accident as a child. A charming story. Includes instructions for making sun-catchers. Ages 4-10 and up.
Jan Brett (Author, Illustrator)
An aquatic adventure of a mermaid intrigued by a beautiful seashell house she discovers. Curious, she enters and sees breakfast on the table, much like the land-dwelling Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Ages 4-8 years.
Debbie Dadey (Author), Tatevik Avakyan (Illustrator)
Book Three in the Mermaid Tales Series. Third graders are taking a class trip to the surface of the ocean and also visit a pod of humpback whales but Kiki is a bit nervous about it until friends old and new help her find her courage. Ages 6-9 years.
Eric Carle (Author, Illustrator)
Hermit Crab seeks the perfect home and helps children learn to tolerate and appreciate change. Illustrated in his trade-mark collage art this book is a work of art. Ages 5-7 years.
Jimmy Buffett, Savannah Jane Buffett (Authors), Lambert Davis (Illustrator)
A singing fisherman named Jolly Mon gets captured by pirates but is rescued by a special dolphin. Fun, adventurous book with beautiful illustrations. Ages 4-7 years.
Robert Louis Stevenson (Author), Lucy Corvino (Illustrator)
This is an abridged version with the same main story as the classic as Jim Hawkins searches for treasure aboard a pirate ship. Danger and adventure make this story unforgettable. Ages 7 and up.
Deanna McFadden (Adapter), Daniel Defoe (Author), Jamel Akib (Illustrator)
An abridged version of the original story. Young Robinson dreams of a life of adventure. Bound for Africa, and against his parents’ wishes, he ends up on a deserted island after a terrible storm. He survives on the island for the next 25 years. Ages 7-9 years.
Marianne Pasqual, Maureen Tacito (Authors)
Follow Juno as the shell explores Sanibel Island and has lots of fun.
Trinka Hakes Noble (Author), E.B. Lewis (Illustrator)
Quartz rock fragments tumble in the Delaware River where they become smooth and shiny, and sometimes beachcombers can find them on a beautiful Delaware Bay Beach where they are famously called Cape May Diamonds. The author offers a tale that explains the origins of the unique treasure. Ages 7-10 years.
Trinka Hakes Noble (Author), Doris Ettlinger (Illustrator)
A legend that explains the origin of sea glass, attributing it to the tears of mermaids. Ages 6-9 years.
Paula Newman (Author) and Becky Bumble (Illustrator)
This five-book series aimed at young readers is a fantasy, but follows the birth and growth of the coastal town of Seaham, England, known for its colorful sea glass. Great for both young children and adult fans of sea glass.
A fun day at the beach is brought to life with poetic text about collecting shells, building sandcastles, running from the waves. Ages 3-5 years.
Adam Gamble (Author), Cooper Kelly (Illustrator)
This board book introduces stories of exploration to little ones. Build sandcastles, look at tidal pools, go snorkeling-this book is perfect for young adventurers. Other titles in this series also recommended: Good Night Ocean, Good Night Seashore, Good Night Summer. Ages 2-3 years.
Ben visits the old family summer house with his family and makes discoveries on the beach and within the house. Ages 3-8 years.
Jamie is enjoying a beautiful day at the beach enjoying making her art project in the sand. She is enjoying a little time to herself and is focused on her project. She meets a like-minded friend that is happy to work quietly with her. A charming story. Ages 4-8 years.
Oversize pages with gorgeous artwork features creatures from the sea. Explanations about how animals breath and survive underwater, shows the various habitats, and teaches about specific creatures, such as whales, turtles, seahorses etc. Ages 3-5 years.
Mary T. McCarthy (Author), Kirsti Scott (Photographer)
Hunt for beach treasures hidden in the photographs of rainbow waves and beach finds. Ages 3+ years.
A little girl goes on a magical underwater adventure filled with other mermaids and silly sea creatures. Story is about making new friends. Ages 3-7 years.
Darren Lefeuf (Author), Ashley Barron (Illustrator)
A girl with a physical disability is enjoying and actively participating in a day at the beach. Filled with rhythmic style words about sensory details. Beautiful, colorful paper collage illustrations. Ages 3-7 years.
This beautiful book teaches about plastic pollution as a mermaid learns that what she thinks are jellyfish are really plastic bags. Ages 3-10 years.
Briana Corr Scott
Sometimes known as “seal folk,” the legendary selkie lives in the North Atlantic and likes to remain very private. But when selkies get restless they take on their seal forms and swim out to sea. In this book, you can find out what they eat, where they live, and how they spend time when on dry land. This magical book features a paper doll, clothes, and a seal.
Aimee Bissonette and Eileen Ryan Ewen
This is a true story about Harriet Colfax, who was the keeper of Michigan City Lighthouse during a time when there were very few female lightkeepers. The story highlights her struggle against severe storms and biting cold weather, and her determination to accomplish her sometimes seemingly impossible responsibilities. Young readers ages 6-9 years old will find it fascinating and very interesting. A true learning experience!
Natalie Meisner and Mathilde Cinq-Mars
A charming children’s story based on her own two-mom, two-son family growing up in Nova Scotia, Canada, finding many interesting treasures on the beach and the people they meet along the way. Filled with beautiful atmospheric illustrations, this book captures the magic of family togetherness.
Are we missing any of your favorites?
There are always great new books coming out for young readers—and classics from long ago—that people have in their libraries. If we didn’t list one of your favorites, let us know at bit.ly/kidsbeachbooks. We will keep the list updated to include popular suggestions and provide links to find the books online.
Quick note: We sometimes provide links on the Beachcombing website to make it easy to find or purchase products, some of which are on Amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate, we may earn from qualifying purchases made when you click and make purchases on Amazon, but please feel free to purchase items wherever it works best for you.