Booklist: Seaside (KS1)



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Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside, oh I do like to be beside the sea! The UK has one of the longest coastlines in the whole of Europe and every home in the UK lies 80 miles or less from the coast. That might be why the seaside has become such a popular topic in primary schools, especially in KS1 and EYFS! From sandcastles and seahorses to rockpools and riptides, there's plenty to learn about with a seaside theme and we've put together a list of recommended children's books to help you to dig deeper into the topic.

Sharing a Shell
Julia Donaldson & Lydia Monks

A seaside favourite from the stellar picture book partnership of Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks, When Crab finds a new shell, he doesn't want to share it with anyone - especially not a blobby purple anemone and a tickly bristleworm. But life in the rock pool proves tougher than Crab thinks and he soon finds he needs his new housemates.
With brilliant rhythmic verse, bright and distinctive illustrations, this is a firm storytime favourite.

The Lighthouse Keeper's Lunch
Ronda Armitage & David Armitage

A popular picture book featuring the story of the lighthouse keeper Mr. Grinling and his attempts to receive his lunch before it is eaten by the pesky seagulls. 

Every day Mr Grinling tucks into delicious lunch, prepared by his wife, Mrs Grinling. But Mr Grinling isn't the only one who enjoys the tasty food, so Mrs Grinling has to think of a way to stop the greedy seagulls from stealing the lighthouse keeper's lunch. First published forty years ago, THE LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER'S LUNCH has become a modern picture book classic and is loved by children everywhere. This text is rich in vocabulary and a great option for Talk for Writing. 

At the Beach
Roland Harvey

This is a series of fictional postcards from a child on a seaside holiday. The pictures are incredibly detailed and children will spend hours poring over them. This book works well as a great stimulus for writing. 

Katie Morag's Island Stories
Mairi Hedderwick
Illustrated short story collection

Follow the adventures of young Katie Morag, who lives on the Scottish Island Of Struay. These endearing stories, which have now been turned into a popular CBBC series, will help children learn about the ups and downs of coastal life on a small island.

A First Book of the Sea
Nicola Davies & Emily Sutton
Poetry Collection

Poetry meets science and art in this beautiful picture book anthology of sea-themed poems. Each double page spread explores a different aspect of the sea, from pebbles and sandcastles to whales and puffins to lighthouses and sailors. Each new aspect is drawn out in beautifully poetic language that makes the reader reflect with awe at the natural and man-made wonders of the sea, the pleasure it provides and the unanswered questions it holds.

Look What I Found at the Seaside
Moira Butterfield & Jesus Verona

Discover a world of wonder on a seaside stroll with this beautiful picture book from the National Trust. 

Set off on an adventure to find treasure, from swirly sea shells to mysterious mermaid's purses, then learn more about each object with richly-illustrated and informative nature notes.

Packed full of fascinating facts alongside a gentle rhyming narrative, this book aims to inspirie children to find out about the joys of the natural world. 

What the Ladybird Heard at the Seaside
Julia Donaldson & Lydia Monks

Join everyone's favourite crime-busting ladybird on a trip to the seaside! With a cast of wonderful sea creatures, including a magical mermaid, and plenty of beach fun, What the Ladybird Heard at the Seaside is a brilliant rhyming adventure from the bestselling picture book partnership of Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks.  A big hit for storytime in KS1 and EYFS.

Storm Whale
Benji Davies

Noi lives by the sea with his fisherman father and life there can feel pretty lonely sometimes. When Noi discovers a little whale washed up on the beach, he takes it home to care for it in his bath tub. But there are two problems; the first is that keeping it a secret from his dad will be tougher than he thinks and the second is that whales really belong in the depths of the sea. This engaging and empathetic picture book is a great choice for KS1. 

Beside the Seaside: Seaside Holidays Then and Now
Clare Hibbert

An introduction to the history and geography of life beside the seaside. This non-fiction book compares what it would have been like to go on holiday to the seaside in the past with modern seaside holidays today. Readers are encouraged to explore what has changed and what has stayed the same, including the places we stay, beach activities and the clothes we wear. 

Clean Up!
Nathan Bryon & Dapo Adeola

Join Rocket as she sets sail on a brand new mission - to save a Caribbean beach from plastic pollution! When Rocket goes on holiday to visit her grandparents, she's shocked by the pollution that's spoiling their island home and putting the local sea life at risk.  Can she think of a way to save the day and bring the community together?

Sally and the Limpet
Simon James

Sally finds a limpet when she is exploring rock pools at the beach. When the limpet attaches itself to Sally's finger, she and her friends simply can't find a way to unstick it. This is a humorous story with an important message about leaving things in their natural environments.

Above and Below: Sea and Shore
Harriet Evans & Hannah Bailey

Turn the pages to discover the incredible habitats of sea and shore.  From magnificent mangrove forests and colourful coral reefs to exciting estuaries and the dangerous deep sea, there is so much to explore. With superb split pages and new habitat on every spread, little learners can peek behind part of the scene to learn more about the wildlife which hides behind.

Beautiful  illustrations and fascinating facts bring a watery world to life.  This in-depth look at our oceans is perfect for young nature enthusiasts.

David Wiesner
Wordless Picturebook

This award-winning wordless picture book offers endless opportunities for discussion and creative writing. A beach-combing young boy finds a washed-up camera on the shore, and when the film is developed it reveals a fantastic new world of creatures from the ocean. Incredible illustrations that speak for themselves. 

Read our blog for ideas on how one talented teach brough a Flotsam literacy unit to life.

Clem & Crab
Fiona Lumbers

Clem is an explorer, a collector and a protector of the seas. Treasure hunting on her beloved beach, she stumbles across Crab, his claw stuck in a plastic bag. Crab will be much safer and happier in the city with Clem, but doesn't he belong on the beach? A stunningly illustrated timely tale of cleaning up our beaches, with the message that every small action helps. 

Billy's Bucket
Kes Gray & Garry Parsons

A popular choice with EYFS and KS1, this is the story of a little boy who asks for a bucket for his birthday. Billy fills his bucket with water and his parents fail to believe him when he says that it contains wonderful creatures from the ocean.  That is, until Dad decides to borrow the bucket to wash his car! 

Dolphin Boy
Michael Morpurgo & Michael Foreman
Longer Picturebook

A longer illustrated story from former Children's Laureate Michael Morpurgo, and illustrated by multi-award-winning Michael Foreman.

This is a beautifully rich story of a bond between boy and a dolphin. Jim lives in a Cornish fishing village - but since the fish disappeared, no one goes fishing any more. One day, Jim spots a dolphin beached on the sand, and soon the whole village is working together to return the dolphin to the water. The dolphin stays in the harbour, playing with Jim and the swimmers, but then the dolphin disappears... will Jim ever see him again? 

More ideas...
Click each book cover to view on Amazon.
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