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Favorite Picture Books About Fish for Preschoolers

Written by Debbie Brown | September 22, 2023

Here’s your ultimate list of favorite preschool fish books. You know you’ve found the right place if you’re looking for any of the following:

  • fun picture books to use with a fish theme or letter f theme
  • silly fishy tales to read just for fun
  • favorite fishing books to read before going on a fishing adventure with your little one
  • books about pet fish
  • favorite ocean books about fish
  • the best books with a fish theme for teaching counting and other preschool learning concepts 
fish books and cartoon book with fish jumping around

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Favorite Picture Books About Fish for Preschoolers

The Library Fish Learns to Read by Alyssa Satin Capucilli

The Library Fish Learns to Read by Alyssa Satin Capucilli
This is one of the best books I’ve seen to get younger children excited about reading. Library fish is a pet at a library. He gets excited about learning to read by watching the children who visit the library. At night he works hard teaching himself to read. He starts with the letters of the alphabet and then works his way from small words into short sentences. Bookmobile and Library Fish are best friends. Bookmobile is parked outside a library window where Library Fish practices reading to him at night after the library is closed. This book is a perfect way to inspire soon-to-be readers.

Mr. Putter and Tabby Feed the Fish by Cynthia Rylant
Mr. Putter and Tabby love watching the fish at the fish store. One day, Mr. Putter decides to buy a pet fish like he had when he was a little boy. Unfortunately,  it turns out to be too much for his cat Tabby, because Tabby has a fish problem.

Good Night Fish (Good Night Our World) by Adam Gamble
Good Night Fish teachs the names of a number of different fish both common and unusual found in oceans, coral reefs, aquariums, and rivers

Big Shark, Little Shark by Anna Membrino
A fun story about a big shark and a little shark who are both hungry. This also makes a great beginner reader book for younger children.

Abe’s Fish – A Boyhood Tale of Abraham Lincoln by Jen Bryant
Abe goes out one day to catch fish for dinner. On the way home he passes a soldier. His Ma told him soldiers were fighting for freedom and that we should be good to them.  Now he has to decide whether to keep the fish for his family’s dinner or to share it with the hungry soldier which means his family will go hungry that night.

This book includes fun facts in the back, sharing more detailed facts about the life of Abraham Lincoln.

I Like Fish: A Sticker Book by Margaret Wise Brown
In this story a boy shares with the reader the different kinds of fish he likes. Simple text makes this a great book for young readers. And look! Stickers!

A Fish Out of Water by Helen Palmer (Mrs. Seuss)
This is a classic Dr. Seuss, Beginner Reader Book written by Helen Palmer (Mrs. Dr. Seuss). This is a fun way to teach even the youngest child valuable lessons about being a responsible pet owner.

The Three Little Fish and the Big Bad Shark by Ken Geist
This is a fishy tale version of the three little pigs. Instead of pigs and a wolf, this story is about three little fish who outsmart a big bad shark. 

Where Is Little Fish? by Lucy Cousins
This is a lift-the-flap fish book that younger preschoolers will enjoy. Little fish is hiding in the ocean. As children look for him they discover other ocean animals along the way.

Swimmy by Leo Lionni
Swimmy is the only black fish in a school of red fish. One day a giant tuna eats all the red fish in one gulp. Swimmy escaped. At first, he’s sad and lonely. He swims around the ocean exploring the other marvelous sea creatures. Eventually, he meets another school of red fish.  He wants them to come explore with him but they tell him they have to stay hidden in the rocks so they don’t get eaten. Swimmy decides he has to come up with a plan so his new red fish friends can swim out in the open with him.

One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss
This classic book begins talking about fish. After that, the story shifts to funny things that the children in the book see.

Fish is Fish by Leo Lionni
In this story, a fish and a tadpole are great friends. Eventually, the tadpole turns into a frog and leaves the water to go exploring. The frog eventually comes back to the water and tells his friend the fish all the things he’s seen. The fish pictures them in his mind the best he can. For instance, he pictures a bird looking like a fish with wings, and people looking like fish with clothes, arms, and legs. Eventually, the fish decides he has to see things for himself so he jumps out of the water. It doesn’t take him long to realize that was a bad idea. After all, “fish is fish.

Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen
A preschool fish book list wouldn’t be complete without the Pout-Pout Fish.  What a fun book about a fish with a mistaken identity. The story is told in rhyming text. Pout Pout Fish is just “blub, bluuub, bluuuuub.” The other sea creatures try to encourage him but Pout Pout Fish is fully convinced he doesn’t have any choice but to be gloomy. One day a new fish shows him otherwise. This is such a sweet book. It’s sure to be a favorite.

Little Fish’s Ocean by Lucy Cousins
This is a great fish book for younger preschoolers. Lucy Cousins, the creator of Maisy books tells the story in simple text. Flap pages add to the fun. 

The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister

The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
The Rainbow Fish is another popular classic book.  It’s the story of a fish that has beautiful scales making him the most beautiful fish in the ocean. When the little blue fish asks Rainbow Fish to share one of his scales with him, the Rainbow Fish rudely sends little blue fish away. It isn’t long before no one wants to be around Rainbow Fish. Sad, the Rainbow Fish asks for advice from the wise octopus. After talking with him, Rainbow Fish decides to share one of his scales with the little blue fish.  He soon learns how good it feels to share.

Wish for a Fish by Bonnie Worth (Dr. Seuss The Cat in the Hat Learning Library)
This is a book loaded with fun information about fish. It’s told in rhyming text, perfect for preschoolers eager to learn more about fish and other sea creatures that live in the ocean. The Cat in the Hat serves as a guide taking Sally and Dick thru the different levels of the sea down to the ocean floor.

Counting Fish Books

Ten Little Fish by Audrey Wood
This is a colorful counting book with beautiful bright illustrations. As the story progresses there is one less fish each time until the end when the little fish falls in love, then the story ends with ten little fish again.

Ten Splishy, Splashy Fish by Tiger Tales
This is one of my favorite fish books for helping preschoolers learning to count. I really like the cute, colorful illustrations. Little ones will have fun touching each fish as they count down on each page from ten to one. On the last page all ten splishy, splashy fish come together with a few other sea creatures. Note: On the last page, be sure your child doesn’t count the larger yellow fish or they’ll end up counting eleven fish instead of ten.

Fish Eyes: A Book You Can Count On by Lois Ehlert
This is a great book for teaching preschoolers how to add one more. On each page, after counting the number of fish, a small fish chimes in saying the number of fish on that particular page “plus me makes”, whatever that adds up to. I do have to say I’m not a fan of the illustrations in this book but I love the concept.

Favorite Fishing Books 

Kids of all ages enjoy fishing. After reading one of these children’s books about fishing your little one will want to grab a  tackle box and fishing pole and head out to a lake to catch their own fish.

Granddad’s Fishing Buddy by Mary Quigley 
This is a charming story about a little girl named Sara and her granddad and the fishing adventure they share one day on a lake. 

H is for Hook: A Fishing Alphabet by Judy Young
This is a perfect book for young anglers. The book explores simple fishing topics from A – Z. For instance, K is for keeper and T is for tackle. Each letter has engaging text. On the side of each page, there’s additional information about that particular topic. Younger children can skip that part without any interruption in the storyline.

Curious George Goes Fishing by Margret Rey 
In this cute story, Curious George follows a man down to a lake and watches him fish.  Curious George then decides to try and copy what the man did to catch a fish. It doesn’t quite work for him, so he comes up with other plans. This is a fun story that Curious George fans are sure to enjoy.

4 fish looking at a book called Fishy Tales

Just a quick note. I’ve intentionally left out a few of the more popular fish books, that I feel are not the best choice for preschoolers.

Books such as This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen which has a stealing theme, and Tiddler The Story-Telling Fish by Julia Donaldson which has a story-telling/lying theme, however unlike The Boy Who Cried Wolf, Tiddler’s story-telling ends up being a good thing and helps him get back home.

Preschoolers need to learn about both of these topics but I don’t feel books like these present the message we want preschoolers to get. But that’s just my thoughts – you know your child better than anyone, you may want to check them out and decide for yourself.

Grab your FREE printable Fish Book List
You can use this list to find these fish books at your local library or used bookstores.

If you enjoyed Favorite Picture Books About Fish for Preschoolers sure to check out more fun book lists for preschoolers:

Debbie Brown Tothood 101

DEBBIE BROWN | Owner and Curriculum Designer

Hi! I’m Debbie Brown. I created Tothood 101 because I’m passionate about sharing preschool activity ideas, and resources that I’ve gleaned from my 20+ years of experience teaching preschoolers at home and in the classroom. My goal is to encourage, guide, and help inspire you to make learning SUPER FUN for your preschooler at home! Check out the ABOUT page to learn more.


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