There are many variations of The Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, but this particular one caught my eye because the bold and beautiful gouache and pencil illustrations have a strikingly surreal quality that really brings out the inherent incredulousness of the tale.
One of my kids’ all-time-favourite alphabet books is this gem. Technically, this book is more about the animals in the ocean than the alphabet, even though it does feature the creatures alphabetically — but that is precisely why the kids love it, since they can’t get enough of animals in general!
Reading Sounds of the Wild: Ocean is quite possibly the next best thing to bringing your kids to the ocean, or better yet, deep-sea diving.
Since the latter is not feasible and it’s unlikely that most kids will be lucky enough to get a chance to get up close to marine animals, this book does an amazing job of bringing the sights and sounds of the ocean right to them.
Deep Sea Dive is an easy-to-read book on some common species of marine life with some basic facts on each presented in rhyme, and under individual flaps for an interactive element.
For some reason, my daughter has developed a fascination for sharks, so it’s no wonder that she was won over by the cute illustration on the cover almost immediately (“Shark!” she exclaimed). Besides the winning illustrations, Smiley Shark is also a funny book about a shark’s toothy smile scaring away potential playmates initially, but later winning them over with the same ‘smile’.
Turns out that sea creatures can be pretty funny, since I’m the Best Artist in the Ocean brings back the hilariously overconfident giant squid who first appeared in I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean.
This time, he declares to anyone who’ll listen that he’s the “best artist in the ocean”. Well, art is subjective, so you can be the judge of that when you see his giant “mess-terpiece” at the end!
From the author of the wildly successful Maisy series comes Hooray for Fish!, a cute standalone book that features big, bright, colourful and cheery-looking fishes, both real and made up (ele-fish?). Great for babies and young toddlers.
My then-19-month-old daughter fell in love with Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea at first sight, and it was her top book of choice for a very long time — no small feat. It also sparked her interest in marine life (and all the related books that follow), thanks to its super-cute and appealing artwork and simple but effective rhymes.