Books about the seaside

The Tail of Emily Windsnap

We've chosen some of our favourite seaside-themed children’s books for all ages - which one is your favourite?

From hitch-hiking a journey off a humpback whale to escaping evil mermaids, these books are full of fantastic stories.

  • Adventures of the Steampunk Pirates: rise of the slippery sea monster

    Author: Gareth P Jones
    Publisher: Stripes
    Interest age: 7-11
    Reading age: 7+

    The Steampunk Pirates' treasure has been stolen by what they think is a sea monster. They make a plan to get their treasure back and uncover more mysteries than they bargained for in this rip-roaring tale of daring-do on the high seas.

  • Bad Mermaids

    Author: Sibéal Pounder Illustrator: Jason Cockroft
    Publisher: Bloomsbury
    Interest age: 7-11
    Reading age: 9-11

    Beattie, Mimi and Zelda will change the way you see mermaids forever as they attempt to save their home of Swirlyshell in this delightfully silly story from the author of Witch Wars.

  • Deep Water

    Author: Lu Hersey
    Publisher: Usborne
    Interest age: 12+
    Reading age: 12+

    Hugely evocative of the romantic and wild Cornish landscape, this modern retelling of the selkie myth is a magical and beautiful story about coming of age, transformation and belonging.

  • Flush

    Author: Carl Hiaasen
    Publisher: Random House
    Interest age: 10+
    Reading age: 9+

    This is an engaging and light-hearted thriller about issues that matter - justice, family and the environment.

  • Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid

    Author: Metaphrog
    Publisher: Papercutz
    Interest age: 8-12
    Reading age: 8+

    The Little Mermaid lives happily under the sea, but her older sisters' tales of what they see on the surface of the water start to make her yearn for something more.

  • Ingo

    Author: Helen Dunmore
    Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
    Interest age: 9+
    Reading age: 9+

    In Cornish legend, the Zenor mermaid fell in love with Mathew Trewhella and enticed him away to live in the sea with her forever...

  • Lost and Found

    Author: Oliver Jeffers
    Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
    Interest age: 3-5

    Once there was a sad, lonely penguin who appeared at the door of a young boy. The boy decided he must be lost, so he set off to find his home.

  • Not As We Know It

    Author: Tom Avery
    Publisher: Andersen Press
    Interest age: 9+
    Reading age: 9

    Younger middle-grade readers desperate to get their teeth into something a little more serious will enjoy this sensitive story.

  • Oliver and the Seawigs

    Author: Philip Reeve Illustrator: Sarah McIntyre
    Publisher: Oxford University Press
    Interest age: 7+
    Reading age: 8+

    Philip Reeve and Sarah McInytre have joined forces to create a wonderfully wacky nautical tale.

  • Tamsin and the Deep

    Author: Neill Cameron and Kate Brown
    Publisher: David Fickling Books
    Interest age: 8-12
    Reading age: 8-12

    A fantastic graphic novel from the team at children's comic The Phoenix, this is a page-turning adventure with a great main character in brave, athletic and reckless Tamsin.

  • The Pirates Next Door

    Author: Jonny Duddle
    Publisher: Templar Publishing
    Interest age: 3+
    Reading age: 6+

    Lots of humour and irrepressibly rakish pirates combine in this entertaining book about looking beyond appearances

  • The Snail and the Whale

    Author: Julia Donaldson Illustrator: Axel Scheffler
    Publisher: Macmillan Children's books
    Interest age: 3-6
    Reading age: 6+

    This book by the award-winning Gruffalo partnership is about a tiny snail who longs to see the world, and the enormous grey-blue humpback whale who gives him a lift on his tail.

  • The Tail of Emily Windsnap

    Author: Liz Kessler Illustrator: Sarah Gibb
    Publisher: Hachette
    Interest age: 8+
    Reading age: 9+

    Emily Windsnap has lived on a boat her whole life but her mother has seemed strangely anxious to keep her away from the water itself.

    All is explained when Emily is finally allowed to have swimming lessons and she makes a startling discovery. As she learns more about herself, and her mermaid origins, Emily explores the glorious world under the sea, where Nep…