The 6 Best Children’s Books About Seals — Reviewed and Ranked

Written by Angie Menjivar
Published: November 14, 2022
© Rudmer Zwerver/Shutterstock.com

This post may contain affiliate links to our partners like Chewy, Amazon, and others. Purchasing through these helps us further the A-Z Animals mission to educate about the world's species..

Key Points:

  • The best overall children’s book about seals is Nobi.
  • Explore different types of children’s books about seals. Some incorporate unbelievable, real-life, full-color photos of seals. Others incorporate seals as fictional characters. Some books help your kiddo learn the alphabet while others incorporate questions to help with reading comprehension.
  • You don’t have to decide between fiction and nonfiction — it’s actually best to include both! In the list below, you have a couple of options to explore.
  • Remember to double-check the reading level of the book. Early readers need very basic books while older children do well with more complex text.

Seal species are a fascinating topic for children to discover. They have interesting faces with whiskers that detect their prey and feet that look like fins. Sometimes they live up to 35 years and sometimes they do surprising things like feast on fellow seals. They generally prefer cold environments and moms and seal pups bond with unique vocalizations. There’s plenty for your child to learn about seals with nonfiction books that contain fun facts for your child to read through.

Some books even incorporate questions to help with your child’s reading comprehension. In this list, some of the children’s books about seals are for you to read alongside your child and others are for children to explore on their own. Some incorporate activities while others are perfect for teaching your child important life lessons. In the list below, we cover the six best children’s books about seals. The first one is a fictional narrative that follows a seal family. It’s a story that inspires children to get to know themselves and celebrate their differences.

The second book is perfect for babies. If you want to get your child acquainted with sea life, this is a great book to add to their collection. It’s put together by a fellow parent who is also an author and artist. We include a fact book that incorporates important tidbits of information along with some really unbelievable photographs of actual seals. We also include a book that teaches children about body language, facial expressions, and vocalizations seals use to communicate with one another. To help you decide on the best book, we explain what criteria to consider before picking up the next book for your kiddo. Finally, we answer some frequently asked questions to get you and your child excited about receiving your next book about seals.

  1. Nobi: An inspiring story about self-confidence, discovery, and friendship for young readers
  2. Nobi: An inspiring story about self-confidence, discovery, and friendship for young readers
    • Helps young readers learn about self-discovery, confidence, and friendship
    • Teaches them that in life, it’s important to carve your own path
    • Customers rate this book five out of five stars
    Check Amazon
  3. Seal Pups Big Day (Pre Reader Books (Level 0))
  4. Seal Pups Big Day (Pre Reader Books (Level 0))
    • Illustrated story that follows a couple of baby seal pups as they learn how to swim
    • Great for babies and for children up to five years old
    • Customers rate this book 3.7 out of five stars
    Check Amazon
  5. Unbelievable Pictures and Facts About Seals
  6. Unbelievable Pictures and Facts About Seals
    • Fact-based book that includes real-life, full-color photos of seals
    • Available in paperback and Kindle versions
    • Customers rate this book 4.5 out of five stars
    Check Amazon
  7. My Favorite Animal: Seals
  8. My Favorite Animal: Seals
    • Loaded with facts about seals
    • Second-grade reading level; perfect for those between 5 and 10 years old
    • Customers rate this book 4.8 out of five stars
    Check Amazon
  9. Does a Seal Smile?: Think About How Everyone Says Hello
  10. Does a Seal Smile?: Think About How Everyone Says Hello
    • Illustrated nonfiction book for children on facial expression
    • Explores frowning, hugs, kisses, and other expressions like waving and shaking hands
    • Learning activities at the end to ensure comprehension
    Check Amazon
  11. I Spy Arctic Animals: A Fun Guessing Game Picture Book for Kids Ages 2-5, Toddlers and Kindergartners ( Picture Puzzle Book for Kids ) (I Spy Books for Kids 11)
  12. I Spy Arctic Animals: A Fun Guessing Game Picture Book for Kids Ages 2-5, Toddlers and Kindergartners ( Picture Puzzle Book for Kids ) (I Spy Books for Kids 11)
    • Incorporates over 100 different arctic animals
    • Along with presenting different arctic animals to your child, the book also incorporates 20 puzzles from A-to-Z
    • Customers rate this book 4.2 out of five stars
    Check Amazon

Nobi: An Inspiring Story About Self-Confidence, Discovery, and Friendship for Young Readers

The best overall children’s book about seals is Nobi. This book’s author is Leigh Cook, a mom, and teacher. It follows a young merdog who lives with her seal pod and her seal parents. However, she really doesn’t seem to fit in the way the others do so effortlessly. She holds a desire to protect the ocean, but she also looks out onto the land hopefully. Eventually, she decides to go on an adventure to shore. She makes it onto the beach, and she realizes there is a completely different life on land. She has some wonderful adventures. However, the question remains about where she truly belongs. It’s up to her to make a decision about where to live.

The story has a wonderful message. It helps young readers learn about self-discovery and confidence. Plus, it reinforces lessons about friendship. Many children go through different phases, and sometimes they start feeling like they don’t belong. This book invites children to accept and celebrate what makes them different. It teaches them that in life, it’s important to carve your own path. Sometimes, that means making tough decisions. Ultimately, though, it’s about finding yourself.

Customers rate this book five out of five stars. They view it as a great read for kids between six and 13 years old. They appreciate that the writer is both a mom and a teacher because it gives her a great perspective. She writes in an inspiring way to help children when they are dealing with adversity. It’s a great book to add to your child’s library or if you’re a fellow teacher, it’s a wonderful addition to your classroom. It’s also a great book to help spark a discussion about what it means to embrace your individuality.

Best Overall
Nobi: An inspiring story about self-confidence, discovery, and friendship for young readers
  • Helps young readers learn about self-discovery, confidence, and friendship
  • Teaches them that in life, it’s important to carve your own path
  • Customers rate this book five out of five stars
Check Amazon

Seal Pups Big Day

This book is great for babies and for children up to five years old. It’s a pre-reader book and you can pick up the paperback version or download the Kindle version. It’s an illustrated story that follows a couple of baby seal pups as they learn how to swim. This is a big day for them. They learn how to play in the snow and how to fish. They even learn some survival skills, like how to run away from polar bears. It’s a simple read with cute illustrations. The author is A.D. Largie, who is a father, author, and artist.

Customers rate this book 3.7 out of five stars. They appreciate that it’s a simple and easy-to-understand book that follows the adventures of several seal pups. This isn’t a full-on storybook, however. You can expect to read simple text on each page like “seal pups roll in snow.” If you do choose the Kindle version, the way it’s formatted requires you to read it in landscape mode. One customer says he has purchased other Kindle versions and the authors have not taken the time to format the book appropriately. He wanted to make mention that this author was very careful about the work he puts out to young readers.

Best for Babies
Seal Pups Big Day (Pre Reader Books (Level 0))
  • Illustrated story that follows a couple of baby seal pups as they learn how to swim
  • Great for babies and for children up to five years old
  • Customers rate this book 3.7 out of five stars
Check Amazon

Unbelievable Pictures and Facts About Seals

This next book is a fact-based book that includes real-life, full-color photos of seals. Some of what your child learns is how seals stay warm when it gets very cold in the winter and how they’re able to sleep underwater. It takes your child on a journey to explore how seals live. The facts are accompanied by some wonderful pictures to help cement the new information into your child’s mind. The author knows that sometimes, it’s hard to keep a child’s attention. Some lessons in school and other types of books aren’t produced in a way that keeps children captivated. This book is different in that it keeps children curious and wanting to learn more.

The book helps to motivate your child to develop a passion for learning. They learn how to become more curious about the world they exist in. They can tap into that motivation to keep learning more about seals and about any other animal they might show interest in. It’s a fantastic book to offer your young reader so they can explore the world during their free time and enjoy the learning process. Customers rate this book 4.5 out of five stars. It’s straightforward and keeps their attention. It’s available in paperback and Kindle versions.

Best Fact Book
Unbelievable Pictures and Facts About Seals
  • Fact-based book that includes real-life, full-color photos of seals
  • Available in paperback and Kindle versions
  • Customers rate this book 4.5 out of five stars
Check Amazon

My Favorite Animal: Seals

If your child has decided that seals are their favorite animal, this is a great book to pick up. It’s appropriate for children between five and 10 years old. Pick it up in paperback or Kindle versions. This book is loaded with facts about seals. It’s a second-grade reading level and throughout the book, your child encounters a couple of different questions about the text they’ve just read to challenge their reading comprehension. Not only does this book educate your child on seals, but it also helps make them better readers. The sentences are short but still contain lots of information to keep your child curious and asking more questions.

Customers rate this book 4.8 out of five stars. Parents who homeschool really appreciate these books. If you are interested in adding to your “my favorite animal” collection, you can pick up a couple of different books that cover other animals. For example, you can find one on cats, one on walruses, and one on sea lions. You could also explore arachnids by picking up the spiders version of this book. Many parents find that picking up these different options helps keep their kids engaged with the world around them while helping them improve their reading skills.

Best for 5 – 10-Year-Olds
My Favorite Animal: Seals
  • Loaded with facts about seals
  • Second-grade reading level; perfect for those between 5 and 10 years old
  • Customers rate this book 4.8 out of five stars
Check Amazon

Does a Seal Smile?: Think About How Everyone Says Hello

This children’s book about seals is for children between two and five years old. It’s an illustrated nonfiction book that looks at the body and facial expressions of animals in the wild. One of the questions that kids ask and can relate to is “does a seal smile?” The book then goes on to present a realistic scenario of a seal’s body language and facial expressions. It incorporates facts about how animals use their faces, bodies, and vocalizations to express themselves. This book also explains other ways humans communicate and how greetings are reflected in different animals. The book explores frowning, hugs, kisses, and other expressions like waving and shaking hands. Toward the end of this book, your child discovers a couple of activities to help with overall comprehension.

Best for Learning Body Language
Does a Seal Smile?: Think About How Everyone Says Hello
  • Illustrated nonfiction book for children on facial expression
  • Explores frowning, hugs, kisses, and other expressions like waving and shaking hands
  • Learning activities at the end to ensure comprehension
Check Amazon

I Spy Arctic Animals: A Fun Guessing Game Picture Book for Kids

This book is really entertaining for kids between two and five years old. It incorporates over 100 different arctic animals. It presents them in alphabetical order, also teaching your children the alphabet. The author put it together this way to help children recognize the different letters of the alphabet and begin associating them with arctic animals, including seals. Along with presenting different arctic animals to your child, the book also incorporates 20 puzzles from A-to-Z. Pick this up in a Kindle version or get the paperback book instead.

Customers rate this book 4.2 out of five stars. They love the illustrations and how brightly colored the book is throughout. One customer says that she loves the “I spy” game because it keeps her little ones busy. It’s the type of book that gives you some basic knowledge about different arctic animals. It’s also a great tool for helping your child learn the ABCs.

Best for 2 – 5-Year-Olds
I Spy Arctic Animals: A Fun Guessing Game Picture Book for Kids Ages 2-5, Toddlers and Kindergartners ( Picture Puzzle Book for Kids ) (I Spy Books for Kids 11)
  • Incorporates over 100 different arctic animals
  • Along with presenting different arctic animals to your child, the book also incorporates 20 puzzles from A-to-Z
  • Customers rate this book 4.2 out of five stars
Check Amazon

Criteria: What to Look for in Children’s Books About Seals

Consider whether you’re looking for a fiction or non-fiction book for children. With non-fiction works, you really get to provide your child with content that stimulates their imagination. Just like the book we highlighted in the list above, a merdog is used as a fictional character and hybrid species to teach children about celebrating their individuality. Fiction books typically have an underlying lesson that impacts children during those vulnerable growth stages. On the other hand, a nonfiction book teaches your child facts about seals and other animals. These books usually incorporate real-life images of seals. They skip the fluff of fictional narratives and instead focus your child’s mind on factual information about seals. Sometimes this is in a cutesy way and other times it’s really straightforward.

The other factor you should always double-check before purchase is the reading level. Some books are meant to be read to babies and handed over to children who are barely learning how to read. Other books are a little bit more advanced for younger readers who are already familiar with longer sentences and more vocabulary words. Some books, like the last in this list, help reinforce your child’s understanding of the alphabet. It’s kind of like an activity book that’s produced in alphabetical order to keep your child following along with the alphabet, learning animals along the way, and guessing which animals are which from cover to cover.

How to Introduce Kids to Seals

A great starting point is exactly what you’re doing now. Shopping for books about seals to get your child some fundamental information about them. A nonfiction book is great because it teaches them the reality of seals. Children can learn where seals live, and what they eat. They learn how seals get around, and how they communicate. A fiction book can be a fun imaginative escape that incorporates an animal they’re interested in. Along with children’s books about seals, you can watch cartoons or movies that incorporate seals. You may even sit down to explore a documentary that teaches children about seals so they can get even more acquainted.

If you live in an area close to the ocean where you might be able to see some real-life seals, that’s perfect. You can take a trip out to an area where seals are present and watch them from afar with your kiddos. You may even be able to set up a nice picnic as you look out onto the rocks where seals usually gather. Children can learn to recognize the sounds seals make and can get to experience a bit of wildlife up close but not too close. These are wild animals, after all. If you don’t live close to the ocean, you can certainly stick with books, documentaries, and other movies to keep your child happily learning about this marine mammal.

Up Next, Invite Your Children to Explore More Aquatic Life:

About the Author

Angie is a writer with over 10 years of experience developing content for product and brand reviews, focusing much of her time on animals of all types. A cat owner herself, she enjoys writing articles on beloved pets that both inform and entertain her audience.

The 6 Best Children’s Books About Seals — Reviewed and Ranked FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What is unique about seals?

One of the most unique features of seals is that they are pinniped. That means that their feet are actually shaped like fins. These fin-like feet are what help them move so effortlessly in the water.

What do seals eat?

A seal’s diet consists primarily of fish. Seals have whiskers that are super sensitive and help them locate fish. They’re carnivorous and although they mostly eat fish, they may also venture out to eat octopuses, lobsters, and even penguins.

How fast can seals swim?

Some of the fastest speeds that seals reach are about 18 mph. However, their average speed is about 6 mph.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.