Ocean Tales for Little Readers

Published on June 04, 2024

little girl smiling with scuba goggles

By Allie

There is certainly an ocean of possibility when it comes to early literacy. At the library, we want families to feel equipped and ready to set sail on their little one’s reading voyage. That’s why we fished up a few seaworthy tales (and a jellyfish craft) for our youngest readers and their families, along with practical tips for developing early literacy. 


book titled oona in the artic Oona in the Arctic by Kelly DiPucchio 

With captivating illustrations, it’s easy to dive into the adventure of Oona the mermaid and her baby beluga friend. Take time to practice story prediction. Ask your reader open-ended questions about what they think will happen next.  

book titled here comes ocean

Here Comes Ocean by Meg Fleming 

Learn about the motion of the ocean while using pattern recognition skills. By focusing on the rhythmic and rhyming text, readers build an awareness of the story’s repetition as well as smaller word sounds, such as vowels and syllables. Emphasize rhyming words and practice sounding them out with your reader.  

book titled billie and bean at the beach Billie and Bean at the Beach by Julia Hansson 

This seaside story ends with a mystery as Billie discovers an unknown treasure from the sea. Books like this encourage readers to use their background knowledge to fill in the blanks. What do we know about the ocean and the beach that can help us identify the mysterious object?  


Put those fine motor skills to work! This jellyfish craft is an easy and fun way to upcycle plastic that may otherwise end up in our lakes, rivers, and oceans.  jellyfish craft

What you’ll need:  

  • A paper plate
  • Scissors
  • Crayons or markers
  • Tape
  • Some kind of plastic (a grocery bag, newspaper sleeves, or bubble wrap)

Help your little one cut a paper plate in half. Decorate the plate with colors or draw a smiley face. Cut and tape strips of plastic onto the back of the plate. Use your jellyfish as an imaginative toy for dramatic play, which puts abstract thinking into practice.


If you’re looking for more ways to develop your child’s early literacy, join us for storytime! We offer baby, toddler, and preschool level storytimes featuring books, songs, rhymes, and movement—all designed to strengthen literacy skills and encourage a love for reading.  

And if this post was helpful, be sure to sign up for our Early Learning Newsletter. Each email includes book recommendations, parenting tips, and activities centered on our five literacy practices: Read, Write, Talk, Sing, and Play.     

Fair winds and following seas, little readers!