Back to… the Beach! Beachy Reads

Once a teacher, always a teacher. Finishing the second week of August I just want to put the brakes on! I’m not ready for Back to School book lists just yet. Since it’s still in the upper 80s and the beach is beautiful, I’m sharing today our favorite beach-themed reads for littles. Here’s what we pack for our weekends down the shore!

Flotsam by David Wiesner. This may be my favorite Caldecott award winner ever. Flotsam is a wordless book that you can truly get lost in! My son began really loving this one before he turned 2, and as an adult I still find so much visual interest in the gorgeous artwork. David Wiesner is a master. In this story a boy finds an underwater camera that has washed up on the beach; when he develops the film (yup, had to explain that concept to all of my little readers) he is astonished by the journey the camera has taken. During each read, we seem to find a new detail. Be sure to encourage your little readers to search for the camera in each ocean scene.


Dinotrux Dig the Beach by Chris Gall. Trucks + Dinosaurs + the Beach = toddler fun! This is a silly book with characters like Garbageadon, Dumploducus, and Dozeratops. It’s part of a series, and apparently a new computer-animated series on Netflix as well (just found that out and haven’t viewed it. Its premier is today 8/14/15, which I learned while preparing this post). While I can’t speak for the TV series, we enjoy the fun mash-ups in the books!


Pete the Cat: Pete at the Beach by James Dean. If you’ve been following the blog, you may have picked up on our love for Pete the Cat.  This one is part of the “I Can Read” series, not the original picture books. It doesn’t have the playful charm of the other series, but we love Pete in any form, and the message here is perfect for my son. Pete is hesitant to jump into the surf, unlike his brother Bob who is nice and cool in the water. My son is an observer who takes his time jumping into any new experience. This one has a great message that “it’s okay to be afraid, but it’s more fun to surf.”

pete beach

Good Night Ocean by Mark Jasper. This one would never have caught my librarian eye. It was a gift to my 2.5 year old, and he adores it. He has been reading it maybe 5 times a day for the last few weeks. I suspect he is intrigued by this one because he is learning so many new vocabulary words from it. There isn’t any true storyline, but it chronicles a day with various ocean life, from morning through the day until the stars light up the final page.  The title is misleading in that way- it doesn’t simply say “good night” to each as in Goodnight Moon. Toddler Bookworm is on his way to memorizing it and I’m beginning to say “anemone” with greater fluency!

night ocean

Those are our current favorite beachy books! We pack those along with a giant stack of paperback books (for packing ease, since you know how packing for two days requires an engineering degree and an SUV!) for our beach weekends.

Happy Reading!

The books mentioned in this post should be readily available at your local library, or through the Amazon affiliate links provided. 

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