The 8 Best Children’s Books About Sharks Available Today

Written by Kirstin Opal
Published: August 30, 2022

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It’s simple to understand how sharks have influenced popular culture for children, adults, and everyone in between. From the catchy melodies of “Baby Shark” to the terrifying effects of Jaws to the week-long annual celebration that is Shark Week. Readers of all ages, including kids, are fascinated by these aquatic animals. 

Books are a fantastic way for a child to discover more about these sometimes misrepresented creatures. Whether they are fascinated by the gigantic great white sharks of the vast ocean or the majestic tiger sharks of the shallows, these children’s books about shark deliver. While nonfiction books may help young readers learn about sharks while also mastering interpreting factual images and diagrams, fiction books provide intriguing tales of renowned sharks, amusing sea creatures, and sharks that anyone would want to call a friend. Let’s take a look at the top shark books for children that are available today! 

  1. Shark-tastic! (1) (Science with Stuff)
  2. Shark-tastic! (1) (Science with Stuff)
    • Easy to understand
    • Vibrant images
    • Includes actual shark teeth
    Check Amazon
  3. Dude!
  4. Dude!
    • Stunning images by award winning artist
    • Humorous story
    • Great for reading with inflection
    Check Amazon
  5. So Cool! Sharks (So Cool/So Cute)
  6. So Cool! Sharks (So Cool/So Cute)
    • Perfect for ages 4 to 8
    • Great facts
    • Humourous
    • Stunning images
    Check Amazon
  7. Steve Terror Of The Seas
  8. Steve Terror Of The Seas
    • Perfect for ages 2 - 6
    • Easy to understand
    • Beautifully illustrated
    Check Amazon
  9. Everything Awesome About Sharks and Other Underwater Creatures!
  10. Everything Awesome About Sharks and Other Underwater Creatures!
    • Knowledgeable but lighthearted
    • Covers a variety of related topics
    • Includes child-friendly jokes, maps, images, and more
    Check Amazon
  11. Discovery Channel Sharkopedia: The Complete Guide to Everything Shark
  12. Discovery Channel Sharkopedia: The Complete Guide to Everything Shark
    • Comprehensive guide
    • Introduces approximately 500 sharks
    • More than 400 close up photographs
    Check Amazon

Best Overall: Shark-Tastic (Science with Stuff) by Lori Stein

This magnificent visual celebration of children’s favorite marine life emphasizes excellent information and incredible images. The actual shark’s teeth that are packaged within a blister pack and are visible via a die-cut in the cover are the best part of the package. 

One reviewer has this to say about her experience with our overall best pick: “A wonderful fun book! I love sharks and so do my seven-year-old grandchildren. I bought this book because I thought my grandchildren would be excited about holding real shark teeth, and they were. But the book is so much more than a quick thrill. It’s full of easy-to-absorb science lessons, history, and even information about shark conservation and ocean habitats.”

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A fantastic and reasonably priced bundle that includes gorgeous images and vibrant, interesting prose about everything from the docile, enormous whale shark to the voracious great white.

Best Overall
Shark-tastic! (1) (Science with Stuff)
  • Easy to understand
  • Vibrant images
  • Includes actual shark teeth
Check Amazon

Best Illustrations: Dude! by Aaron Reynolds, illustrated by Dan Santat

The creator of Nerdy Berdy and Creepy Carrots is Aaron Reynolds. He collaborates with Caldecott Award-winning artist Dan Santat, who also illustrated The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend, to produce the funny, hysterical summer fun picture book, Dude! 

Kids will love this entertaining story about two surfer dudes who make an unexpected new acquaintance out on the water. This book makes a great choice as a practice for reading with inflection. This is a very humorous and endearing tale with fantastic visuals.

Best Illustrations
Dude!
  • Stunning images by award winning artist
  • Humorous story
  • Great for reading with inflection
Check Amazon

Best Book of Facts: So Cool/So Cute! Sharks by Crispin Boyer

They have extraordinary senses! They burst out of the water completely! They take their prey in one swipe! Sharks are, indeed, really cool. And this book is too, we think! Sharks are some of the top predators on the planet, but it is only one of the many reasons why they are so cool. Who doesn’t want to socialize with them in order to learn more? 

This book makes it easy to do so from the safety of your own home. It’s perfect for younger people too, with a targeted audience of ages four to eight years old.  This book combines fantastic animal images with humorous commentary and information that will interest new readers and animal lovers. 

Kids may study the great white shark’s hunting techniques while also discovering that the animal is also incredibly cool in real life. This is the ideal kid’s book to keep them entertained and giggling during playtime, at bedtime, or at any time.

Best for Facts
So Cool! Sharks (So Cool/So Cute)
  • Perfect for ages 4 to 8
  • Great facts
  • Humourous
  • Stunning images
Check Amazon

Best Storytime: Swimming with Sharks: The Daring Discoveries of Eugenie Clark by Heather Lang

This 32-page-long story is perfect for kiddos pre-k to third grade! Prior to the pioneering studies of Eugenie Clark, the majority of people believed sharks to be ruthless, bloodthirsty murderers. Japanese-American Eugenie was fascinated by sharks from the moment she first saw one in an aquarium

She observed slick, elegant fish gliding across the water instead of terrifying and aggressive devouring machines. She earned the moniker “The Shark Lady” after embarking on an unconventional professional path for a woman in the 1940s: becoming a scientist. She later trained sharks and went on research dives. Read the entirety of the book to find out what happens next with Eugenie! 

Best for Storytime

Best Underdog Story: Steve, Terror of the Seas by Megan Brewis

If you have younger kids, this may be the perfect shark book! It’s designed for children between two and six years old. You’ll have sympathy for the small fish who is struggling to understand why the other marine life is afraid of him. 

Until the very end, when everything is disclosed, you’ll wonder why he’s caused so much terror. It’s really comical! This is one of those books that both parents and kids can enjoy. The illustrations are done in a unique style that incorporates plenty of beautiful colors to keep kids intrigued! 

Best Underdog
Steve Terror Of The Seas
  • Perfect for ages 2 - 6
  • Easy to understand
  • Beautifully illustrated
Check Amazon

Most Educational: Sharks (National Geographic Readers Level 2) by Anne Schreiber

If you’re looking for a visual book that won’t break the bank, Sharks (National Geographic Readers Level 2) is a great choice! If the cover photo isn’t gripping enough, just wait until you see what’s inside. 

Anne Schreiber, the author, is the one responsible for writing the science-based content for the iconic series, The Magic School Bus. In this National Geographic book about sharks, your child will be able to learn a bunch of cool facts and take a look at jaw-dropping photos of these apex predators. Plus, this is a great non-fiction option for those looking to switch things up! 

Most Educational

Most Visually-Appealing: Everything Awesome About Sharks and Other Underwater Creatures! by Mike Lowery

How cool is the cover art for this book? Read the comprehensive, 128-page book written by Mike Lowery that covers all there is to know about sharks and other aquatic life. Including jokes, cartoons, funny facts, maps, and more. 

This is a stunning treat for the eyes thanks to the penmanship, kid-friendly typefaces, and several funny images. It does, however, include a plethora of information on the ocean, aquatic life, and sharks in particular. This book offers ocean knowledge in a lighthearted, frequently amusing manner, covering topics including ocean zones, ancient predators, and kelp forests.

Most Visually-Appealing
Everything Awesome About Sharks and Other Underwater Creatures!
  • Knowledgeable but lighthearted
  • Covers a variety of related topics
  • Includes child-friendly jokes, maps, images, and more
Check Amazon

Best Complete Guide: Sharkopedia: The Complete Guide to Everything Shark by Discovery Channel

Last, but not least is a book packed with everything your kiddo could want to know about sharks. With Discovery Sharkopedia, the ultimate visual resource for all things shark, you can experience Discovery Shark Week any day of the year! Sharkopedia discusses the evolution of sharks. It also introduces kids to nearly 500 known shark species with close-up photographs of each. 

Paired with entertaining “fin facts” throughout, this makes for one great book. It features more than 400 incredible color photos of the most notorious sharks in the world, such as great white, bull, and tiger sharks

With thorough chapters on shark biology, ecosystems, life cycles, unusual habits, and more, learn what makes sharks superb hunters. Sharkopedia also includes materials for shark conservation and makes recommendations for how to support the survival of these wonderful but sometimes misunderstood species.

Best Complete Guide
Discovery Channel Sharkopedia: The Complete Guide to Everything Shark
  • Comprehensive guide
  • Introduces approximately 500 sharks
  • More than 400 close up photographs
Check Amazon

How to Choose the Right Shark Book for Kids

Book covers that are inspiring and enticing draw your attention in all directions.  With so many options available, how in the world are you going to choose which of these fantastic shark books for kids to buy? The best course of action is to get kid’s books that will amuse your youngster while also advancing his or her education or exposure to the world.

The main factors to consider when buying a book that your child will love are:

  • Appealing illustrations
  • Accessible vocabulary
  • Large writing
  • Subject matter
  • Attention span

Appealing Illustrations

Before listening to the story, kids focus on the pictures in a book. The first clue to the book’s significance may be found in the illustrations. Your youngster will likely notice numerous small features that you would never see while gazing at the visuals of a picture book while you are reading the sentences. The images frequently contribute to the tale and, on occasion, even convey something completely different from what is being said in the text in the finest picture books.

Accessible Vocabulary

The overwhelming majority of English terms are not frequently used in speech. Reading to your child is the ideal approach to introducing them to these “strange” terms. Over three times as many uncommon words as an adult would typically use when speaking to a three-year-old are found in children’s books. Additionally, your youngster is more likely to retain these terms if they hear them more frequently.

Large Writing 

Children must be able to properly perceive the words and the spacing between them. This is crucial for beginning readers who are reading early reader books for the first time. This also makes it much easier to read to your child, while still holding the book a distance away to allow them to take in all of the visuals. 

Subject Matter

Reading books to your child on topics they don’t know much about or anything about is a terrific approach to broaden their knowledge and introduce them to the complicated and enormous world that exists. Your youngster may learn about a wide range of topics from some really good nonfiction picture books. Some shark books are works of fiction, while others are packed with interesting facts.

Attention Span

Consider your child’s attention span while selecting a book for them. Purchase children’s books that will keep their interest longer. As your child’s attention span lengthens, there should be more text on the page. Start by choosing picture books that are brief and have few words on each page. Choose lengthier picture books that can require more than one session as your youngster develops accustomed to them. 

Try small novels, usually referred to as chapter books since they are divided into manageable segments. Eventually, you may pick full-length books about sharks, which have more than 100 pages, once your youngster is ready.

The Different Types of Shark Books for Kids: Pros and Cons Compared

There aren’t necessarily different types of shark books for kids. We’ve mentioned how some may have pictures, others may only have words, and most are a combination of the two. Like any other type of book, you’ll have the ability to choose between fiction and non-fiction. For younger children, a colorful fiction storybook is a great choice. Older kids may want one with attention-grabbing images and cool information

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About the Author

When she's not busy playing with her several guinea pigs, her 14-year-old dog, or her cat Finlay Kirstin is writing articles to help other pet owners. She's also a REALTOR® in the Twin Cities and is passionate about social justice. There's nothing that beats a rainy day with a warm cup of tea and Frank Sinatra on vinyl for this millennial.

The 8 Best Children’s Books About Sharks Available Today FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What’s a shark fact for kids?

Sharp, triangular teeth that develop throughout a shark’s life are present. The white shark, tiger shark, and mako sharks are just a handful of the species with very enormous teeth. Sharks have sharp fins and a powerful, upturned tail. Sharks often have rough, gray skin with scales that resemble teeth.

How is a shark classified?

The shark belongs to the Chondrichthyes class of fish and is the biggest animal in the ocean. They predated dinosaurs and have been present for more than 300 million years. There are around 350 distinct kinds of sharks, but scientists believe there are still other species out there.

How do you explain a shark to a child?

Large fish with a cartilage skeleton include sharks. All around the world, they are saltwater dwellers who use their strong jaws and teeth to devour fish and other creatures. Humans are not something sharks prefer to eat, and shark attacks are quite rare.