Books About Oceans for Kids

When we see a picture of the Earth taken from space, we see what looks like a blue marble. Why makes it look so blue? Water. Only 29% of the Earth's surface is land. The rest - 7% - is covered by water. Some of the water makes up the lakes and rivers, but most of the Earth's water is found in the oceans. The Earth's oceans hold about 96.5% of the planet's water. Many consider the oceans to be the last frontier since much of the ocean depths have yet to be explored.

This book is a great book to get kids started learning about the oceans of Earth. While it doesn't discuss much about the oceans themselves, it does provide profiles of the creatures that live in the various oceans. Creatures profiled include not only the familiar ones like dolphins, sharks, otters, and penguins, but also some less familiar, but quite interesting ones like the Deepsea Anglerfish with its mouthful of sharp teeth and the Leafy Sea Dragon that looks...well...leafy. Profiles of the creatures include photographs and facts detailing the size, diet, habitats, and sounds made by the creature. The book is organized by ocean: Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, and Arctic, and includes a map showing the location of each ocean.

Ages 4 to 8

This book is an excellent book for homeschoolers, although all families will love it. It discusses ocean plants and animals organized in alphabetical order. That's an extra appeal to kids learning the alphabet or who already love the alphabet. The book includes beautiful photographs of all this oceanic life as well as plenty of information about it all. As if that isn't enough, the book comes with a 45 minute DVD, full of amazing cinematography and interesting narration, both of which hold children's attention, young and old.

Ages 4 to 8

This DK book for younger children covers groups of sea life like sharks, jellyfish, dolphins, "ocean giants," and more. It also has chapters on the different habitats where the creatures live: coral reefs, kelp forests, sea beds, and icy waters. There is plenty of information on the oceans themselves, including the different "zones": sunlit, twilight, and midnight. Sea birds are included, too, because they find food in the oceans.

Ages 5 to 8

Once children appreciate the variety of life our oceans hold, they can learn about the oceans themselves. They don't have to start with the creatures, though; they can start with a book like this about the oceans. How much water do the oceans hold? How does the water move? Children will learn all about the currents in the oceans, where they move and how they affect our climate. They will also learn about tides and the moon, tsunamis, hurricanes, and much, much more. Information is accompanied by photographs and diagrams.

Ages 6 to 10

Magic School Bus books are so much fun to read while being quite educational at the same time. In this adventure, Ms. Frizzle drives the bus - and the kids in it - into the ocean. The kids are safe, of course, since the bus transforms into a submarine, submersible, glass-bottomed boat, and finally a titanic surfboard. The bush is magic after all! Through the adventure, kids learn about where sand comes from, why oceans are salty, and how fish breathe. They also learn about creatures other than fish that live in the ocean, food chains, hot water vents, and coral reefs.

Ages 6 and up

If you are a fan of DK books, you know what to expect from this one. Like all DK books, this one is full of beautiful photos, illustrations, and information, this time on the oceans and what we find in them. There is so much covered in this book that it's impossible to describe it all. It covers oceans, both past and present, and discusses types of ocean habitats, sea creatures, ocean zones, and even products that we get from the ocean. As a bonus, the book comes with a CD and a wall chart.

Ages 8 to 12

This book takes a different approach to learning about the ocean. It presents plenty of facts about ecology, exploring, all forms of sea life, and more, but reinforces them with activities contributed by the National Aquarium in Baltimore, the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California, Sea World in Ohio, the Smithsonian Institute, the Mystic Aquarium, and many other leading aquatic centers in the United States. Some of the activities include a world map to color, crossword puzzles, card games, and various experiments and investigations.

Ages 9 and up

This book allows children to engage in activities and conduct experiments that help them learn about a variety of oceanic principles: waves and currents, shorelines and tide pools, the ocean floor, marine life, and ocean conservation. The experiments are neither too hard nor too easy and can be done using materials that are readily available. It's a great book for all kids, but homeschooling parents will find it especially useful, as it can be used for study in ecology, math, biology, social studies, and art. Some readers might be bothered by what some might consider "global-warming propaganda." Anyone bothered by it can easily ignore it. It's not a book to pass up just for that reason.

Ages 9 and up

Older teens will find this book about oceans interesting. It provides plenty of in-depth information on oceanographic concepts, explained in a way that is easy for non-experts to comprehend. Incorporated into the discussion on oceans is information taked from the fields of geology, physics, and biology, showing how that information relates to the oceans. Reader will come to understand the oceans and how oceanographic phenomena affect other Earth systems.

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