There Was an Old Sailor by Claire Saxby and Cassandra Allen

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.

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The Underwater Alphabet Book by Jerry Pallotta and Edgar Stewart

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!

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Smiley Shark by Ruth Galloway

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’.

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I’m the Best Artist in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry

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!