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Do your children enjoy watching fish in an aquarium? There is something mesmerizing about watching fish swim around, don’t you agree? Our kids love to go to a nearby aquarium and watch the fish swim around. If your children get excited about fish and want to learn more about them, here is a fun list of fish books for you read together with them.
All of the books on this list are fiction and non-fiction fish books that the kids and I read together. As I’ve previously mentioned, cozying up on the couch together and reading books is one of my favorite things to do with our children. It is a wonderful way to bond and connect with them as we allow the pages of a great story come alive.
These books can be read as part of a themed-unit on fish, to supplement lowercase letter “f” (f is for fish) in the All About Reading Pre-Reading Program, or just for fun. Make sure you print out the free addition mat at the end of post and if you have an aquarium near your home or even a pet store, you can take your kids to watch these amazing creatures!
Books About Fish
Ten Little Fish by Audrey Wood
This is a books we’ve gotten from the library several times before because our girls really enjoy it. The illustrations are bright and almost seem to pop off the page. Because of it’s simple rhyming text it appeals to very young children as well as those a little bit older. It introduces the concept of counting down as each fish heads off in a different direction.
The Pout-Pout Fish (A Pout-Pout Fish Adventure) by Deborah Diesen
The pout-pout fish believes he is sad and dreary and spreads it to others because of the fact that he’s a pout-pout fish with a pout-pout face. Things change when a pretty fish comes and kisses him. He then realizes that he’s had it all wrong and he is actually a kiss-kiss fish with a kiss-kiss face to be used for spreading cheer all over the place.
Our four-year-olds initially weren’t very interested in this book because of the sad looking fish on the cover, but as the saying goes “don’t judge a books by it’s cover”. By the end of the book the girls said they really liked it. They especially loved the parts in the story where the pout-pout fish says “blub, bluuuub, bluuuuub” and when those parts came up they would excitedly say it along with me.
There are several other pout-pout fish stories, including:
Happy by Mies Van Hout
The drawings in this book are amazing as the fish were drawn in a way that expresses the same feeling as the word associated with it. It is a perfect springboard for discussing feelings with your child and situations where they might feel a certain way and how they respond to it. This book is simple yet beautifully done.
A Fish Out of Water by Helen Palmer
We also previously read this book during our G is for Goldfish week and the kids enjoyed it then and now again a year and a half later. The story is about a boy who buys a fish from the pet store and is instructed to give the fish only a little spot of food and never more. The boy doesn’t follow the instructions and gives the fish all the food in the box at once. The fish grows and grows and grows and neither the policemen nor the firemen can help him, so the boy calls the pet store owner in desperation who, of course, helps.
The Three Little Fish And The Big Bad Shark by Ken Geist
This book has been the most read of all the fish books because our four-year-olds absolutely love it. The illustrations in this book are very bright and eye-catching.It’s a retelling of the Three Little Pigs with fish instead of pigs and a shark instead of a wolf. Our girls love the end of the story where the sharks teeth fall out from smashing into the strongest house and he has to eat seaweed.
The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
This is a best-selling book that you may have already read but although Snootz, our seven-year-old, knows the story our four-year-old girls had never heard it before. It’s a story about a proud fish who loves that other fish admire his beautiful shimmery scales. He won’t play with the other fish and certainly isn’t willing to share any of his shiny scales with the others. After becoming lonely, he takes advice from the wise octopus and shares his prized scales with the other fish. As a result, he is happy and has many new friends.
This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen
A little fish steals a hat from a sleeping big fish and is sure he won’t get caught and tells the reader all the reasons why. However, he is wrong as the big fish finds him and gets his hat back. It is a simple, yet perfectly done book that keeps the reader in suspense as the big fish follows the little fish. Our children were fascinated by ending pages where we as the readers can’t see exactly what happens but know that the big fish comes out victorious with his hat.
The Bravest Fish by Matt Buckingham
This book was originally titled Bright Stanley and is a story about a fish who wakes up late and finds that his school of fish have already left to go to the cooler water for the summer. He bravely makes the trek by himself and comes face-to-face with a shark before finally finding his friends.
Fidgety Fish by Ruth Galloway
Tiddler is always fidgeting, moving and squirming so his mom tells him to go out into the sea and swim around until he tires himself out. She reminds him to watch out for the Big Fish and off he goes. None of the other sea creatures want to play with him so he continues to swim on until he comes to an exciting looking big dark cave. He swims in and finds out he is now trapped inside the Big Fish, until……the Big Fish burps and Tiddler shoots out. Tiddler swims home and is very tired indeed.
Fish Eyes: A Book You Can Count On by Lois Ehlert
A brightly colored book that introduces children to counting and simple addition. Each counting page has holes for fishy eyes which makes the book even more interesting for young children. The one thing I didn’t care for with this book is that some of the words are in black print on dark blue pages so they are difficult to read.
Swimmy by Leo Lionni
This book has beautiful illustrations that are different than all the other books. The colors aren’t as bright and you have to look carefully to see little black Swimmy on the pages. In the story, Swimmy is black in a school full of red fish and is the only one that survives when a big fish comes by and swallows them all up. Swimmy sadly swims away and eventually finds another school of fish who are afraid to go out until Swimmy comes up with a great idea on how they can all work together to stay safe as they swim out.
Hooray for Fish! by Lucy Cousins
A bright and fun book that uses descriptive words for different kinds of fish, some imaginary, that our four-year-olds enjoyed. Our girls love the cute ele-fish in the book and it’s simple rhyming text make it a good choice for preschoolers.
About Fish: A Guide For Children by Cathryn Sill
There is a simple fact about fish with an life-like illustration on each page in this book. It is perfect for children with a short attention span due to the small amount of text and your child can walk away knowing facts about fish as well as different types of fish.
What’s It Like to Be a Fish? by Wendy Pfeffer
In this book you will find facts about fish and comparisons between them and us as humans. There is information about fish in the wild but there is more of a focus on our fish as a pet. The last pages of the book give instructions for setting up your own goldfish bowl.
National Geographic Readers: Swim Fish!: Explore the Coral Reef by Susan B. Neuman
With it’s simple text and beautiful photographs, this is a great option for young children and beginning readers. Even though our girls weren’t ready to read this on their own yet, they enjoyed having me read it to them and looking at all the colorful photos.
Fish Addition for Kids
If you are completing a fish-themed unit with your child or just want to work on an addition activity with them, here is a fun (and free!) resource for you. If you haven’t used an addition mat before, the first page of the printable gives detailed instructions on how to complete this activity with your child.
*****Click here for a Fish Addition FREE Printable*****
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