Calling all young octopus fans (and their teachers, parents, and caregivers)! Ever wish you could settle in with a great book—or two or three—all about octopuses? There are some fantastic octopus books out there just for kids that tell some truly wonderful and wacky tales.
Must-Have Octopus Books For Kids
So here they are—in no particular order, 20 of our favorite octopus books for kids! (And don’t forget to read to the end for a couple of BONUS recommendations.)
Based on the true story of an octopus named Inky that found its way out of its enclosure at the National Aquarium in New Zealand and back into the ocean, Inky the Octopus: The Official Story of One Brave Octopus’ Daring Escape also includes stories of other clever octopuses that have given their aquarist caretakers a run for their money!
Inky from the National Aquarium in New Zealand is quite the octo-hero, and there are several books about this very clever octopus! This one, Inky’s Amazing Escape: How a Very Smart Octopus Found His Way Home, is by Sy Montgomery and includes some wonderful octopus facts for minds as curious as Inky’s!
3. Octopus Escapes Again!: A Marine Biology Book for Kids Perfect for the Classroom (Includes Octopus Facts and Fun Activities)
In Octopus Escapes Again!, readers learn about an octopus’s life in the ocean. From searching for prey to escaping predators time and time again, this book will have you on the edge of your seat. Will the octopus escape this time? Which adaptation will it use to survive?
This lovely beginner’s nonfiction book is an illustrated guide to all things octopus. An Octopus Is Amazing is easy to read aloud and accessible to young readers. The illustrations depict concepts and boost reading comprehension.
For cephalopod lovers, Ink! includes 100 fun facts about not only octopuses but also squids and cuttlefish. Kids ages 7-9 will learn a whole lot in this packed book and be inspired to tell all their friends about these amazing invertebrates.
Have you ever wondered how octopuses get their names? In Hello, My Name Is …, a newly discovered octopus species (now known as the flapjack octopus) gets an adorable nickname that has really stuck!
For the youngest octopus fans, this sweet bedtime book follows Little Octopus through a comforting bedtime routine. The cute illustrations and lovely rhymes will make Good Night Octopus a go-to part of your family’s bedtime!
Regulating emotions is a tough skill, but it’s so important! Let an octopus help you teach this critical life skill to your kids! In Angry Octopus, kids learn about challenging feelings like anger and stress. They can practice working through their emotions alongside the octopus in this fictional story. (Scroll to the bottom of this list for a companion to this book!)
In Arlo Draws an Octopus, young Arlo learns an important lesson. He loves octopuses, but he can’t seem to draw one just right. But maybe his art doesn’t have to be perfect to be valuable! An octopus makes a guest appearance in this charming book about self-acceptance.
There are so many fun facts in this nonfiction book all about octopuses. The art will draw kids in, and the information will keep them coming back for more! Written for ages 7+, Obsessive about Octopuses has us OBCEPHED.
Though written a couple of decades ago (decades that were FILLED with new scientific discoveries about octopuses), Gentle Giant Octopus still holds up if you’d like to introduce kids to octopus lifecycles. In this nonfiction account, a female octopus lays and broods her eggs. The book doesn’t gloss over the sad realities of an octopus’s life, but it does so in an accessible, gently rhyming way.
12. Octopus’s Garden
Octopus’s Garden is a book that brings the classic Beatles song by Ringo Starr to life in a wonderful way! You may not learn a lot about the octopus’s natural history from reading this delightful book, but the kid in your life will love singing along to the accompanying CD.
All four mini-stories about friendship in Squid and Octopus: Friends for Always will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy. This touching book teaches important lessons about what it means to be a good friend. Perfect for young cephalopod fans!
Featuring not only octopuses but also other camouflaging sea creatures, How to Hide an Octopus is an engaging book showing the real-life superpower of blending in! With rhyming text and beautiful, realistic illustrations, this book is a must-have for young scientists.
The uplifting tale of Violet the Hugging Octopus shows the importance of loving yourself (and others)! The watercolor illustrations and sweet, timeless message make this octopus book a real winner for all ages.
Bedtime can be a drag, but not when Little Floyd the octopus is involved! How to Put an Octopus to Bed is a silly read-aloud bedtime book that’ll help make one of the hardest transitions of the day a little bit more fun—all thanks to an octopus!
17. Also An Octopus
What happens when a ukulele-playing octopus decides it wants to build a purple spaceship? Also an Octopus is a funny story about storytelling, featuring everyone’s favorite cephalopod, of course! (In this case, a musical one!)
Babies love octopuses, too! If I Were An Octopus is a charming touchy-feely board book that incorporates cute illustrations with sensory fun for the littlest learners. This could be a future octopus lover’s very first octopus book!
19. My Octopus Arms
Imagine having eight arms like an octopus! In My Octopus Arms, a friendly octopus shows off all the things it can do with its amazing limbs. Even though real-life octopuses can’t bake pies with their arms, this book introduces the very real idea that octopus arms are AMAZING. Even better, there’s a sweet moral at the end of the story.
An octopus falls from the sky! And then what happens? Toddlers will adore this rhyming story full of silly situations. Octopus Shocktopus will make you smile, and we bet you’ll reach for it again and again at storytime!
BONUS Octopus Books For Kids!
There’s something for everyone on our list of 20 great octopus books for kids! But we’ve got some bonuses for you, too!
If your kids love coloring, check out this fantastic, octopus-themed coloring book! This companion to Angry Octopus by Lori Lite complements the book, teaches emotional intelligence, and encourages creativity at the same time.
For kids who love the ocean, The Fascinating Ocean Book for Kids: 500 Incredible Facts! is a must-read! Featuring a spread on octopuses and squids, this fact book also covers marine mammals, marine reptiles, and even shipwrecks and pirates!
Join OctoNation Kids!
We’re always looking for fun and new ways for OctoNation Kids to explore, learn, and engage. We’re excited to release the first of many educational resources from educators who have a love of cephalopods, too!
Download the coloring sheet above & Octo-Mania Activity book for free today!
Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, OctoNation will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase. This is used to fund our research and team to bring you more amazing octopus content!
Bethanie Hestermann is a freelance writer and author of animal-science books, including Zoology for Kids and Marine Science for Kids. She is a contributing writer for OctoNation! You can find all her books at www.zoologyforkids.com/books.