Sailing Books for Children

Bull City

A fine fellow
North Carolina
For the 2 year old, also add The Little Sailboat (Captain Smalls Goes Sailing.) It's a short picture book about a guy who goes for a daysail with his dog, catches a fish, takes a nap, comes home.
Thanks for this suggestion. It's by Lois Lenski. I just ordered it from Bezos,

Edwaed Ardizzone hade a seriese of 'Tim' bookes, they our old butte haive beene reprintted from time to time.
along with Tim to the Rescue and Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain. Thanks, Snags.


Steam Flyer

Sophisticated Yet Humble
Eastern NC
Steam, that was great. Very sweet story. Is it available as a PDF? I love the hairstyle on Tommy's dad.
Nope, I have it as a MAC-OS doc which may not be readable by any existing computer, and these JPGs which my nephew scanned and emailed to me when he was in college. Glad you all liked it.

This has been a great thread, I keep a lot of kids books around for visitors and have picked up a few of the ones suggested.


Max Rockatansky

Holy necropost, Batman!
But that said…


“Au paradis, le septième jour, Adam et Eve s'ennuyaient. Eve révait d'avoir une queue de poisson, Adam des ailes d'oiseau. En ces jours de création, il suffisait de dire les choses pour qu'elles soient...”

good for adults too
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Captain Ketamine

Perth WA
I missed this thread originally. good to resurrect esp close to Christmas.
I note you dont seem to have mentioned any books of Captain Pugwash, which I recall when younger as good fun.

I also note Snags mention of Tim by Edward Ardizonne. I always like his style of illustration.
I presume they will be old enough for Tintin.





I am the hopelessly smitten grandfather of five, ages 2 to 9, three of whom have been sailing with me. I'm frequently on the look out for children's books that promote the love of sailing. I'd love to hear your suggestions.

We are in the same boat so to speak wrt grandchildren.

My wife likes to read them a book called Sea Story from a collection of tales of Brambly Hedge it's aimed at 5 to 6 year olds and she abridges it for the littler ones.
Searching for the book I see there's an animated version of it
but my wife looking at a few sections of the video says she prefers the book.

sea story.JPG


Victoria, BC
My son enjoys this one, Old Wood Boat by Nikki McClure. Beautiful illustrations, well written, nice technical accuracy while still being simple and fun for kids.


Captain Ketamine

Perth WA
I just recalled a book in the 90's that found our children enjoyed. Obviously for a slightly older group than the Brambley Hedge. Theres also a young stowaway they need to find on each page, like "where's wally?" to some extent Lots of good gruesome nautical stuff for kids ( and adults).


Captain Ketamine

Perth WA
We are not calling it yet, I will continue CPR on this thread...

There was an article in yachting monthly (in June this year) on books for children. Obviously based on a UK audience.



Super Anarchist

Not exactly sailing - but a brilliant idea. Richard Bach (author of Jonathon Livingston Seagull among his many books)

Kind of hard to classify - but the concept is that when the coast guard comes and rescues all the people from the sinking boat, the animals are often left behind. The Rescue Ferrets, in their tiny rescue boats, go and rescue them with bravery and feats of derring-do. My daughter loved it.

From the Publisher's Weekly review

Bach returns to critter fables with the first two installments (three more are due over the course of the next year) of The Ferret Chronicles, creating an imaginary world based on the exploits of ferrets who have abandoned their utopian world to aid the human race. Rescue Ferrets at Sea is by far the better book, mostly because Bach sticks to a coherent, straightforward plot with a story that is touching and satisfying (despite the high treacle level). Bethany Ferret is the seagoing heroine who dreams of being part of the fleet that rescues animals lost at sea, and she fulfills her dream when she makes it through officer training. The icing on the cake is a project in which she restores her battered rescue vessel, but her superiors throw her a curve when they place rock star cum journalist Chloe Ferret on board to chronicle the adventures of the crew. But Chloe proves to be up to the difficult job; after winning the crew over, she even provides a dramatic assist when she helps recover some data from an explorer ship.




Two books I remember loving from my youth. Not sailing but certainly boating related: Paddle to the Sea by H. Holling and Sea Pup by Archie Bins. Gotta mention McElligots Pool but Dr Seuss, not boating but water related.
Last Cruise of The Nightwatch, maybe not for the youngest of kids. Writer was a sailor, which shows.

"Bob, a Long Island boy whose father's illness has necessitated the sale of the family's 34-foot yawl, sails the boat south to Florida with the help of his cousin Monk. From New York to Norfolk they go by way of the Atlantic, but from Norfolk on their route is through the network of inland waterways that cross the Carolinas and Georgia. Though the emphasis in the book is on sailing techniques, charting, weather, navigation and so on, there are side plots that keep the boys hopping. The first has to do with their captain, Tinsley, something of a tippler but a good hearted soul whom they lose in Manhattan and find again in the South. Then there is Bud, who tries to steal some of their wares and, when caught, turns in to their good friend and cook. They rescue another boating family in distress too and by the time Florida and the Nightwatch's prospective buyer have been reached, the boys have their rewards both in money and experiences. Nautical episodes with playfully rough humor."

Very little can be found about author but here is some:

Kris Cringle

Super Anarchist
A listing of some sailing - on the water, books for kids.



Bull City

A fine fellow
North Carolina
Looks like a unique Canadian hull form - the sailing tug. Wonder why 'India' is flying on the masthead?
Peter Behrens, the reviewer, would agree:

One quibble: To this sailor’s eye, Lily, as illustrated by Matt Myers, with her stubby wheelhouse, looks more like a tugboat with a mainsail and jib than like an actual small sailboat — say a Herreshoff 12½, which is very, very close to sailboats you probably drew at age 6.

But a beautiful illustration, nevertheless.