Reading is beneficial for everyone, but especially children. It helps to strengthen the brain, build vocabulary, stimulate the imagination, and expand their understanding of the world. Plus, if you choose the right books, it can help them learn about, and get stoked on, surfing and the ocean at the same time. While there are countless surf books to choose from, we’ve rounded up nine of our favorites and what we like about each. What are your favorites? Drop us a note in the comments.
Hubi’s Surf Atlas by Joachim Christgau and Alex Whitman
A fun and educational reader, Hubi’s Surf Atlas takes kids around the world to 15 incredible destinations. At each location, Hubi talks about the local culture, wildlife, oceanography, and surf facts so readers can learn about the different destinations he visits. Great for kids ranging in age from 5-12, the book is full of adventures, science, and lessons about the world around us. Hubi is a great guide and kids are sure to catch the travel bug after giving this one a read.
Alison’s Adventures: Your Passport to the World
Alison Teal is an adventurer and environmentalist to the core. The daughter of a prominent outdoor photographer and a well-known yogi, Teal spent her childhood traveling the globe, learning about the people and places she visited along the way. Alison’s Adventures details Teal’s nomadic childhood and talks about the exotic people and cultures she’s encountered and her investigations into the world’s greatest myths and legends. This book details her conservation efforts in the Maldives, a visit to the Lost Island of the Fire Walkers, and her off-the-grid home in Hawaii. Despite a lifetime of traveling, Teal’s home base has always been Hawaii and as such, surfing is a prominent part of her life and travels. Teal’s book is best suited for older kids and teens but also makes a great family read.
The Surfing Animals Alphabet Book by James Redmayne and Jonas Claesson
Jonas Claesson is a surfer and an artist, the combination of which delivers the perfect children’s book. The Surfing Animals Alphabet Book helps kids learn their alphabet in a fun way while simultaneously getting stoked on surfing. The book is advertised as an aquatic alphabet adventure and each page depicts a letter, an animal whose name begins with that letter doing some surfing, and a rad drawing to accompany it. The hardcover book features 64 pages of animals, letters, and fun surf captions and rhymes. If you have young kids, they’ll love learning the alphabet alongside the surfing animals — we sure did. There’s also a compatible coloring book if you wish to extend the experience.
Mop Rides the Waves of Change by Jaimal Yogis
Part of the Mop Rides series, Mop Rides the Waves of Change is the second installment and full of life lessons for kids. In the book, Mop discovers a sea turtle entangled in plastic as well as additional ocean plastic pollution when he paddles out for a surf. Mop loves the ocean and is on a mission to protect it. This book is full of relevant environmental lessons, party waves, and a benefit concert by the Coconut Heads. Written by San Francisco based surfer/journalist/dad Jaimal Yogis, this book is geared towards ages 4-8, teaches ocean love, and is full of wisdom that’s sure to resonate with your kids.
Shark Lady by Jess Keating
Sporting a collection of awards and accolades, Shark Lady is the true story of how Eugene Clark fell in love with sharks and became one of one of the ocean’s most fearless scientists. Determined to debunk the stereotype that sharks are ugly and scary, Clark dedicated her life to learning about and studying the predators. Written by zoologist Jess Keating, this story is all about having the strength to discover truths that others are too scared to see. The book includes a timeline of Eugene’s life and lots of fun shark facts. This powerful book is best suited for grades one to four.
Surfer Dude by Miss Heather
Laugh out loud funny, Surfer Dude is sure to draw a laugh from kids of all ages. Through fun drawings and unique fonts, Miss Heather does a wonderful job at crafting a story that reminds readers that silly and embarrassing things happen to all of us. With fun rhymes and great storytelling, kids will love following the adventures of Surfer Dude and laugh at the mishaps he encounters along the way.
Pigs Might Surf by Oliver Miles
You may already know that pigs can fly, but have you ever wondered if pigs can surf? Created for ages two and up, Pigs Might Surf follows the adventures of Bailey who has a dream of becoming a surfer. Set in Cornwall, U.K., the book is full of adventure and inspires kids to chase their dreams. With a collection of rhymes and colorful drawings, kids will be captivated from start to finish and will be rooting Bailey in his pursuit of becoming a surfer.
Soul Surfer by Bethany Hamilton, Sheryl Berk, and Rick Bundschuh
Soul Surfer is the incredible true story of shark attack survivor Bethany Hamilton. The book discusses her life as a young surfer, talks about her recovery following the attack, adjustments she’s made that allow her to continue to surf, her impressive contest performances, and her faith. Through the book, Hamilton gives readers an inside look at the trials and tribulations of losing an arm and how her faith in God allowed her to push through and overcome the challenges. A captivating read, Soul Surfer is a book that older kids, teens, and adults will love.
The Science of Surfing by Kim Dwinell
The ocean is a mysterious and magical place and while many of us appreciate its splendors, few of us truly understand it. The Science of Surfing teaches young readers about the ocean and includes physics, marine biology, ecology, and surfing lessons, so kids can learn all about their favorite playground. The book follows best friends Sam and Jade, and Sam’s younger brother Peet, as they explore the ocean and learn all about the science behind it. Not only will young readers enjoy this book, but it’s also a great resource to learn about the ocean and will leave them thirsty for more knowledge. It’s also a part of a wonderful graphic novel series, The Surfside Girls, which follows Sam and Jade on their surf-inspired adventures.
The Surfin’ Spoon: Sebi Goes Surfing by Jesse and Whitney Hines
Spoons surf? This one does. Sebi always dreamed of surfing, but lived inland so took up skateboarding instead. That all changes when Sebi’s family moves to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, and Sebi catches his first wave. This lighthearted book is full of stoke, and is sure to bring Sebi’s love of the ocean to your child. The book is written by former pro surfer Jesse Hines and his wife, Whitney, who started the Surfin’ Spoon frozen yogurt shop in Nags Head, which inspired the book. If your little one likes Sebi Goes Surfing, be sure to check out the sequels, Sebi Gets Barreled, and Sebi Gets Stoked.
The Radical Undersea Journey of Mr. Dude by Vipe Desai
A surfin’ story with an environmental twist, The Radical Undersea Journey of Mr. Dude takes little readers along for a wild ride as local surf hero Mr. Dude is transformed into a fish following some pretty eco-unfriendly actions. While under the sea, Mr. Dude learns about the impacts of his actions, and how he, and all of us, can do better. To cap it all off, a portion of the proceeds from every book sale goes directly to Vote The Ocean.
The Pout-Pout Fish Cleans Up the Ocean by Deborah Diesen
While not exactly a surfing book, The Pout-Pout Fish Cleans Up the Ocean definitely deserves a mention. Book Four of the New York Times bestselling series A Pout-Pout Fish Adventure, this lovable board book will get your little one stoked and inspired to take care of the ocean, and take responsibility for their actions after seeing the Pout-Pout Fish and friends work together to solve the problem of ocean trash.
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