Best Boat and Water Theme Books for Kids

boat girl kids book

boat gear
Share your love of boating with these children’s boating themed books that are perfect kid’s boating books to inspire young boaters

Reading books about boating makes boating even more fun for kids… while helping them appreciate the ocean, sea and waterways… AND teaching them about boats and water safety.

From children’s books about pirates to ocean and sea adventure kid’s books, there are a lot of great boat themed books for kids.

Whether you are looking for a book on boating for your own child or a gift for a special young boater, these boat and water themed children’s books are great choices for kids that love boating and the water.

(all links go to to check out more about the book or buy!)

Classic Ocean and Sea Adventure Boat Books for Kids

McElligot’s Pool (Classic Seuss)
An imaginative an optimistic story about how a young boy fishing in a tiny puddle that turns into a pond, an underground river and then finally the ocean. Ages 4-8.

Wish for a Fish: All About Sea Creatures (Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library)
The Cat in the Hat, Sally, and Dick take an undersea voyage aboard the S.S. Undersea Glubber! Traveling down from the Sunny Zone to the Dark Zone to the Trench at the bottom, Captain Cat and his crew get up close and personal with the different life forms found at each level of the ocean. Along the way, they meet sharks, jellyfish, dolphins, manatees, whales, and sea cucumbers, to name just a few! Ages 5 and up.

A Whale of a Tale!: All About Porpoises, Dolphins, and Whales (Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library)
Onboard a vessel that would make Jacques Cousteau green with envy, the Cat and Co. take to the high seas in search of whales, dolphins, and porpoises—those aquatic mammals known as cetaceans. While learning how cetaceans stay warm without hair, have teeth or baleen, swim in troops, spyhop, spin, breach, and see via ecolocation, kids are introduced to almost 20 different species—including sperm, right, humpback, and blue whales; Gulf, spectacled, and finless porpoise; and boto, common, hourglass, and bottlenose dolphins. A shipshape selection for summer reading! Ages 5 and up.

Clam-I-Am!: All About the Beach (Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library)
Norval the Fish is hosting a seaside talkshow for the Fish Channel–and the Cat in the Hat and Thing One and Thing Two are Cameracat and Crew! Among Norval’s special guests are his old friend Clam-I-Am (a shy gal who lives in the sand and likes to spit), along with horseshoe and hermit crabs, jellyfish, sand fleas, starfish, seagulls, and miscellaneous mollusks. Seaweed, seaglass, tides, tidal pools, dunes, driftwood, and waves make cameo appearances, too. Ages 5 and up.

Wish For a Fish All About Sea Creatures / A Whale of a Tale All About Porpoises, Dolphins, and Whales / Clam-I-Am All About the Beach (The Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library)
Also available as a set!

Books for Kids to Learn about the Ocean and Sea

A Treasure at Sea for Dragon and Me: Water Safety for Kids (and Dragons)
Fun and safety go hand in hand as a little girl and a dragon spend a hot summer day at the beach. The two friends build castles in the sand, splash and swim, and race a boatload of pirates to a hidden treasure. As they play, the girl teaches her irrepressible friend to be water smart. The winning combination of adventure and safety information — including The Dragon’s Water Safety Rhyme and the checklist of rules at the end of the book — provide the perfect starting point for safety discussions. Ages 3 and up.

Science Kids: Oceans and Seas
Enter the fascinating world beneath the ocean. From rock pools and shallows to the deepest oceans, visit the extraordinary creatures and plants that live in watery habitats. The world of science has never been so accessible to young readers! Science Kids books offer a learning experience that kids, parents, and teachers are sure to love. The lively and engaging text explains the basic principles of favorite science subjects. Ages 4 and up.

National Geographic Readers: Sea Turtles
Who could resist celebrating sea turtles? They may seem like lazy ocean reptiles drifting with the oceans’ currents, but they are actually long-distance swimmers that spend their entire lives searching for food and a mate. What’s more, they come with their own built-in GPS, returning to the exact beach where they were born to lay their own eggs. Kids will learn all about these tranquil and mysterious animals through brilliant photography and illustrations, plus the trusted and distinctive content you love from NG Kids! Ages 6 and up.

Into the Sea
A beautiful, compelling book about the fragile life cycle of the endangered sea turtle.

Experience the life of a female sea turtle as she breaks from her shell, splashes into the sea, and navigates for survival, eventually returning to the place of her birth to lay eggs. This tale of her life cycle is written in prose that gives immediacy to the events as the turtle encounters other sea animals during her long journey. Ages 4 and up.

Books for Kids to Learn about Boating and Water Safety

boat girl book

The Amazing Adventures of Boat Girl
When Boat Girl’s mommy and daddy first got a boat she didn’t know what to expect. But then she got a new “magical jacket” that made her feel safe and secure so she could enjoy all her new boating adventures. The Amazing Adventures of Boat Girl is a fun and educational book designed to teach kids (both boys and girls) about the adventures of boating while reinforcing boat safety practices on the water – like always wearing a life jacket. The book also includes fun extras such as a list of Boat Girl’s Safety Rules to follow, basic boating terms every little skipper should know and a personal log to keep track of your boat kid’s first amazing boating adventures. Written by founder Diane Seltzer and inspired by her two daughters on the water. Ages 3 and up.

boats are busyBoats Are Busy

A first book of boats for the youngest enthusiasts, featuring 15 different boats and a bonus nautical flag per vessel

From sailboats to ferry boats, tankers to clippers, young readers will learn to identify and define a range of floating crafts. Each of 15 boats and ships are presented by name, illustration, and simple description, written as engaging, read-aloud text. In addition, each is adorned with a different nautical flag whose message is decoded as secondary text for the extra curious. Printed in four stunning Pantone colors, this refreshingly stylish and informative introduction to boats will pop off the shelf in the “things that go” section!

See our video review of this book below!

Sailing for Kids
Sailing is a sport for life, and this photographic guide gives children aged eight or more a perfect introduction to the art. Written in clear, non-technical language it contains all the information young readers need to rig, sail and enjoy their boats – in safety. The book is based on the International Optimist, the world’s most popular children’s boat and an established favourite with sailing schools.

Kids in the Cockpit: A pilot book to safe and happy sailing with children
This book, based on 13 years of research and personal experience, is the bible of boating with babies and children. Immensely practical and highly entertaining, it contains a wealth of information on every aspect of the business, including: Introducing children to sailing, ideas to keep them from being; bored on board, and tips for turning a mutineer into a midshipman Safety and suitability of different types of yacht; features to look for and those to avoid; Dinghies suitable for use as both tender and sailing craft; Personal safety and an in depth look at different types of children’s lifejackets; Ideas to help you cope with seasickness, or even avoid it altogether; Absolutely everything you need to know about sailing or cruising with a baby; Ocean cruising with kids, including home education. All ages.

Kids Gone Paddlin’: The Young Paddler’s Guide to Having More Fun Outdoors
Kids love water activities! Now more than ever, families are spending more time together in the outdoors. Whether it’s with friends and family or a solo outing, non-motorized boating is a fun and exciting way to experience and explore the outdoors. Photos and illustrations help the young reader learn all the important skills and to stay safe. Includes index for easy reference to topics of interest. This fun-to-read book helps parents introduce their kids to the safe enjoyment of canoeing, kayaking, rowing and rafting.

Arr Matey! Pirate Theme Boat Books

Shiver Me Letters: A Pirate ABC
Annimal pirates that go on a boating adventure in search of all the letters in the alphabet. Ages 3 and up.

Pirate Pete
Pirate Pete and his parrott hit the high seas in search of gold on Mermaid Island. Ages 5-8.

How I Became a Pirate
When Braid Beard’s pirate crew invites Jeremy Jacob to join their voyage, he jumps right on board. Buried treasure, sea chanteys, pirate talk–who wouldn’t go along? Soon Jeremy Jacob knows all about being a pirate. He throws his food across the table and his manners to the wind. He hollers like thunder and laughs off bedtime. It’s the heave-ho, blow-the-man-down, very best time of his life. Until he finds out what pirates don’t do–no reading bedtime stories, no tucking kids in. . . . Maybe being a pirate isn’t so great after all.

Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs
When Flinn discovers a pirate hiding in the school supply closet, it’s all aboard, me hearties, for a real live pirate adventure! Captain Stubble needs Flinn’s help to find his stolen ship, but there are some mean pirate dinosaurs on the loose, and Flinn and his friends soon sail into trouble….Will fearless Flinn be able to captain the ship and defeat the pirate dinosaurs?

The Mystery of Blackbeard the Pirate (Real Kids, Real Places)
His head is missing? Michele asked. Whose head? When the answer turns out to be Blackbeard, Fierest Pirate of them All, four real kids set off on a real adventure in North Carolina’s real pirate haunt port town of Bath. While struggling to recover a special prop and save an outdoor drama, the kids learn about the Golden Age of Piracy up and down the American coast from Maine to Florida. They also learn a lot of history, solve a mystery, meet a legend, and much more! They have a lot of Jolly Roger laughs! But do they find the treasure? Hmm, would they really tell?! Avast! This mystery’s a treasure trove of fun! Ages 8 and up.

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Diane Seltzer

View posts by Diane Seltzer
Diane is the founder of as well as the boating lifestyle site for kids Active in the boating industry, Diane has also led the marketing for multiple recreational boating businesses and startups.

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  1. […] are many boating-themed books for kids that you can choose – from pirate books to ocean and sea adventures – that will make a […]

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