Picture Books

Tim & Lucy Go to Sea by Edward Ardizzone

(Children + PZ7.A682 Til)

Lucy is a lonely little girl who lived with an old friend, Mr. Grimes. Lucy longs for a playmate and adventure until she meets Tim. Tim encourages Mr. Grimes to buy a yacht, and they all go to sea where they do experience adventure.

Burt Dow, Deep Water Man by Robert McCloskey

(Children + PZ7.M1336 Bu)

Burt goes fishing, takes refuge from a storm in a whale’s stomach, and decorates a whole school of whales’ tails with striped band-aids.

Loud Emily by Alexis O’Neill; illustrated by Nancy Carpenter

(Children PZ7.O5523 Lo 1998)

A little girl with a big voice who lives in a nineteenth-century whaling town finds a way to be useful and happy aboard a sailing ship.

Moby Dick adapted and illustrated by Allan Drummond

(Children Picture Book DRUMM)

Retells the story of the ill-fated voyage of a whaling ship led by the fanatical Captain Ahab in search of the white whale that had crippled him.

The Further Adventures of the Little Mouse Trapped in a Book by Monique Félix

(Children Picture Book FÉLIX)

A mouse trapped inside the pages of a book chews his way out to an ocean and sails away in a paper boat.

Pirate Girl by Cornelia Funke; illustrated by Kerstin Meyer

(Children Picture Book + FUNKE)

Ferocious pirate Captain Firebeard THINKS that he and the ruthless crew of the “Horrible Haddock” rule the high seas. But Firebeard and his band meet their match when they kidnap a small but feisty girl named Molly.

Over the Ocean by Taro Gomi

(Children Picture Book GOMI)

A young girl gazes out over the horizon, and wonders what lands lie beyond the ocean, and what the people are like who live in those lands.

Boats by Patricia Hubbell; illustrated by Megan Halsey and Sean Addy

(Children Picture Book HUBBE)

Illustrations and rhyming text celebrate different kinds of boats and what they can do.

Pigs Ahoy! By David McPhail

(Children Picture Book + MCPHA)

A young man joins an ocean cruise on which some bad-mannered pigs create disaster while on board, and when the man returns home, a great surprise awaits him.

As Time Went By by José Sanabria

(Children Picture Book SANAB)

“Once upon a time there was a ship that sailed beside the sun with very important people on board. The spirit of reinvention—and the importance we place on things—is beautifully expressed in José Sanabria’s visually evocative story. A steamship makes a journey across time from luxury and exclusivity, industry and abandonment, to stewardship and inclusion as we see the evolving functions of the ship and the changing faces of the people who cherish it most of all.”—Book jacket.

Little Tug by Steven Savage

(Children Picture Book SAVAG)

Little Tug knows what to do when the tall ship, the speedboat, and the ocean liner need him, and at such times, he is indispensable.

Middle Grade

Keeper by Kathi Appelt

(Children PZ7.A6455 Ke 2010)

On the night of the blue moon when mermaids are said to gather on a sandbar in the Gulf of Mexico, ten-year-old Keeper sets out in a small boat, with her dog BD and a seagull named Captain, determined to find her mother, a mermaid, as Keeper has always believed, who left long ago to return to the sea.

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi

(Children PZ7.A953 Tr 1990)

As the lone “young lady” on a transatlantic voyage in 1832, Charlotte learns that the captain is murderous and the crew rebellious.

The Wanderer by Sharon Creech

(Children PZ7.C8615 Wan 2000)

Thirteen-year-old Sophie and her cousin Cody record their transatlantic crossing aboard the Wanderer, a forty-five foot sailboat, which, along with uncles and another cousin, is en route to visit their grandfather in England.

Secrets at Sea by Richard Peck

(Children PZ7.P33 Sec 2011)

In 1887, the social-climbing Cranstons voyage from New York to London, where they hope to find a husband for their awkward older daughter, secretly accompanied by Helena and her mouse siblings, for whom the journey is both terrifying and wondrous as they meet an array of titled humans despite their best efforts at remaining hidden.

Young Adult

Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary “Jacky” Faber, Ship’s Boy by L.A. Meyer

(Young Adult PZ7.M55 Bl 2002)

Reduced to begging and thievery in the streets of London, a thirteen-year-old orphan disguises herself as a boy and connives her way onto a British warship set for high sea adventure in search of pirates.


The Longitude Prize by Joan Dash; illustrated by Dusan Ptericic

(Children QB107 .D28 2000)

The story of John Harrison, inventor of watches and clocks, who spent forty years working on a time-machine which could be used to accurately determine longitude at sea.

Recounts the true story of eight bottlenose dolphins and their trainers who survived the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.

Ship by David Macaulay

(Children Lg VM311.C27 M33 1993)

Describes wooden ships or caravels of the fifteenth century and follows archaeologists as they uncover a lost caravel in the Caribbean Sea.


Sea Songs by Myra Cohn Livingston; illustrated by Leonard Everett Fisher

(Children + PS3562.I945 S4 1986)

Poetic images of cresting waves, mermaids, sunken ships, and other aspects of the sea.