When you’ve got little children in the house, reading picture books before bed is one of the simplest joys of parenthood.
It’s not only an important activity to help your kids learn their letters, words, and grammar. It can be an early indicator of their interests, passions, and maybe even their profession.
Your children probably have tons of books about princesses, trucks, dragons, and all those other fun things that kids love. But if you’re a fan of Alabama Gulf Seafood, there are tons of wonderful children’s books about marine life that can foster a love of our seafood and our oceans in your little ones.
Here are six children’s books that we love, each featuring different species found on our Gulf Coast—as well as an important message for young, developing minds.
Clem and Crab
Crabs are such funny-looking critters that they’re sure to delight your kiddos, especially when they learn about their pincers.
But as we learn from this delightful tale, crabs can teach us a thing or two. Clem, a young girl who loves to explore, finds a small crab stuck to a plastic bag. She contemplates taking him with her to the big city and caring for him, but she discovers that keeping Crab’s beaches clean is the best way for him to find a home. Your children will love these two title characters, and they’ll understand the importance of keeping our coastal waterways clean.
How the Oysters Saved the Bay
Speaking of coastal conservation, the oyster may not be as cute as a crab, but they are just as crucial to our Gulf ecosystem.
Sure, this tale takes place a little north of us in the Chesapeake Bay, but it translates just fine to our shoreline. Two oysters, Meredith and Chester, set upon a mission to clean up the murky and polluted waters that are making the sea grasses sick. Their journey takes them all around the bay to meet a variety of new saltwater friends. Your children will love seeing all the animals in this ecosystem, and they’ll learn a thing or two about keeping our water clean.
One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish
There are all kinds of aquatic adventures in the Dr. Seuss universe (see “A Fish Out Of Water” and “Wish For A Fish”), but nothing beats the classic.
If your children have yet to enjoy the silly rhymes and colorful characters of Dr. Seuss books, this is a great place to start. They’re guaranteed to laugh and laugh, but they’ll be learning about the English language all the while. Even better, these books provide a springboard for their imaginations to run wild. Fair warning, though: These rhymes are addictive, and your kids might be repeating them all day long.
The Rainbow Fish
This modern classic comes to us from across the pond in Switzerland, but children all across the world have enjoyed it these last couple decades.
This beautiful book features shimmering, foil-stamped illustrations that’ll make your children’s eyes light up with every page. There’s a nice message here about the importance of sharing and humility, too, as the Rainbow Fish makes friends by giving away his shiny scales instead of keeping them all for himself. Once you’ve finished, show your kids some of Alabama’s prettiest fish like Red Snapper or Mahi-Mahi!
Sharks are all the rage with kids these days, and we have all kinds of sharks here on Alabama’s Gulf Coast, you know.
This true story of ichthyologist Eugenie Clark shows how much she cared about the protection and appreciation of sharks. Sure, they can be scary, but they’re a beautiful and important part of our ecosystem that deserves being celebrated (even if you’ve already listened to “Baby Shark” a thousand times). And if you’ve got daughters in your family, they’ll especially enjoy this story of a woman who followed her passion, even when men tried to stand in her way.
Three Little Shrimp
We simply couldn’t leave out Alabama’s most amazin’ crustacean, and this book will be a fitting introduction for your children.
If your children aren’t too timid for a bit of peril in their stories, they’ll love following the adventures of these three little shrimp. After they wander off from their group, the shrimp find themselves in danger of aquatic predators and even shrimpers before they find their way back to safety. This story illustrates the importance of playing it safe and listening to your parents (quite a concept, isn’t it?) while featuring a fun bit of underwater exploration.
Do your children have a favorite seafood-themed book that they love to read? Let us know!
And if your children get hungry for some Alabama Gulf Seafood before story time, check out our recipes section and see what they might like.