My favorite place in the world has to be the beach. The warmth of the morning, the heat of the afternoon, and the cool of the night–it’s always a lovely time. I could spend hours walking along those sandy shores, collecting shells, watching the fish leap out of the water, and listening for the sounds of sea birds as they call out to each other across the sand and surf. STEAM Week’s theme this year is Oceans of Possibilities, so let’s take a look at the perfect place for a person to be when visiting the ocean– feet firmly planted on solid (albeit sandy) ground, the vastness of the glassy water and slowly rolling waves as far as the eye can see.

Whether you’re able to get to the beach in person this year or are looking for more of an armchair adventure, I think you’ll find a lot of interesting titles on this list. There is so much to look at at the beach, so many cool creatures to find in the water and under the sand. So, to keep things very simple, we’ll be focusing on three things in this post: (1) sand, (2) sea shells, and (3) beach combing. And to make things extra simple, I’ve divided up this list into books for adults and books for kids. We’ll be starting with the kids, but if you want to jump ahead to the books for older readers, click here.

Books for Kids

At the Beach There are so many things to do and to see at the beach! In addition to fun activities, this book by National Geographic will introduce young readers to the amazing animals and other surprises to be found at the beach.

The Beach Book: Loads of Things to do at Lakes, Rivers, and the Seaside When we think of the beach, we tend to think of the ocean. But, you can find beaches in a variety of places, including at rivers and lakes! Check out these fun activities to do during your next outdoor adventure.

A Trip to the Beach The beach is a great place to have fun in the sun, but it’s important to remember to stay safe! This book for young readers is full of ideas for having fun, as well as tips to make sure that they stay safe, too.

Look What I Found at the Beach Learn about all the things you can find at the beach, while enjoying a look and find game within the pages of this book! Can you find everything?

Splashing by the Shore: Beach Activities for Kids Learn what to bring to the beach, what not to bring to the beach, and how to have fun while you’re there. There’s even a section on “beach etiquette”, which shares the best way to enjoy your trip without making it unpleasant for those around you.

Is Sand a Rock? Young readers can discover the amazing world of sand, from how it’s created to what it looks like under a microscope, as well as the amazing varieties that it comes in.

The Little Book of Shells: A Guide to shells and the Amazing Creatures Who Make Them Learn about the different types of shells that you might encounter on your next walk on the beach. Did you know that shells are not just pretty rocks, but were created by and worn by animals? Learn about the different creatures, from snails to sand dollars, that lived in those shells before you found them.

Shell Full of beautiful color pictures, this book looks not only at the lovely shells you can find today, but also provides pictures of fossil shells from the past, so you can see how your favorite beach-finds have changed over time.

Seashells: More than a Home This book tells a fascinating story of seashells. You may know that various sea creatures live inside shells. But, shells do a lot more than provide shelter. What else are seashells good for then? Read this fascinating little book to find out all the cool ways marine animals use their shells as tools!

Books for Adults

The Secrets of Sand: A Journey into the Amazing Microscopic World of Sand While written for adults, this book can be enjoyed by readers of all ages, with lots of lovely pictures of microscopic sand grains magnified to show the beautiful hidden gems we literally step right over at the beach!

The World in a Grain: The Story of Sand and How it Transformed Civilization In this history of sand, learn how pulverized bits of rocks and shells have been pivotal to society’s growth, from warfare and construction to modern technology.

50 Things to Do at the Beach A fun book of interesting ideas for beach activities.

Shells A beautiful book with stunning photography, this collection provides profiles for over 500 different types of shells!

Fascinating Shells: An Introduction to 121 of the World’s Most Wonderful Mollusks This is another beautifully illustrated collection full of stunning photographs of beautiful shells. Perfect for the beach-comber looking to identify their finds, as well as the armchair explorer who wants to see the world’s most beautiful shells.

The Sound of the Sea: Seashells and the Fate of the Oceans This book examines the history of seashells and humanity’s fascination with them.

Seashells: Jewels from the Ocean Learn about different types of shells, how they are formed, and how they help the creature that lives inside of them to survive and thrive.

Spirals in Time: The Secret Life and Curious Afterlife of Seashells Learn about mollusks, their shells, and the many ways that humanity has used them, from artwork to commerce, and more!

The Beachcomber’s Companion: An Illustrated Guide to Collecting and Identifying Beach Treasures There is more to find on the beach than just shells. Learn about beach glass, animals, and other treasures that you can find on the beach!


I'm the Reader's Advisory Librarian at WPPL. My interests include old horror films, classic novels, manga and anime, paper-crafting, and plants. If you like my suggestions, you can request personalized recommendations from me on My Librarian page.