Children are the future, and that goes for the outdoor world, too. Introducing them to the outside world and cultivating their natural curiosity is one of the greatest things about being a parent or guardian. But it also doesn't hurt to have a little assistance, especially when it comes to angling. If you have a tot with an interest in fishing and have been looking for the perfect books to read them, look no further. Our curated list is chock full of some of the best fishing stories for little listeners.
1. "Down By the River"
First up on this list is "Down by the River" by Andrew Weimer. The story follows Art, a young boy fishing with his mom and grandpa on a beautiful autumn day. Weimer masterfully capture's Art's perspective, both injecting a preteen boy's insecurity as he fumbles and learns a skill, and at the same time, infusing the story with a sense of cozy nostalgia that could only be felt from the vantage of age looking back on memories. "Down by the River" is a true celebration of family and fishing. Illustrated with vivid imagery by April Chu, the art alone is superb, but combined with the perfect storytelling, "Down by the River" is a great bookshelf addition.
2. "Fishing with Daddy"
"Fishing with Daddy" by Karla Carter Moreland is told from the viewpoint of a little girl named Karly, who is sharing her experiences of, well, fishing with her daddy. She brings up stories of family members who sometimes go with them and the odd names of places they fish. Children may notice that Karly listens and learns, and that almost every page has a quote of something "Daddy says." Carter Moreland describes the fishing experience so perfectly as Karly, from the wind on her face while boat riding to feeling safe sitting close to Daddy when fishing after dark, in spite of the sounds of critters crawling through the grass. As a bonus, the back cover features pictures of fish, with common and scientific names.
3. "Layla's Big Bass"
"Layla's Big Bass" by Laura Bartolozzi introduces Layla, a little bass fishing enthusiast who would rather be on the lake than anywhere else. After competing in her first fishing tournament, big dreams are ignited within the pint-sized angler. This project is sponsored by B.A.S.S., the worldwide authority on bass fishing. The work was a labor of love for Bartolozzi, who wanted to read her daughter a book with fewer princesses and unicorns and more fishing lures and tackle boxes. She brought "Layla's Big Bass" to life during the early days of the pandemic when she had some extra time on her hands.
4. "Let's Go Fishing"
"Let's Go Fishing" by Joshua Mutters is a fun read full of vibrant illustrations and even more vibrant characters, all centered around fishing. The book focuses a lot on specific freshwater fish, so much so that a total of 25 different ones are covered. It even features a foreword by professional bass fisherman and television personality, Mike "Ike" Iaconelli.
5. "Edison's Tackle Box"
"Edison's Tackle Box" by Meghan Colvin follows little fisherman named Edison as he grapples with the responsibility of packing his own tackle box for the first time. He worries about not having all the important things he will need (sound familiar?!). Then he searches around the house for all the things he remembers using on past fishing trips. He packs worms, bobbers, a net, and gloves with the hopes that he has all the important items a fisherman needs. Does he forget anything? Read and see!
6. "The Little Fish That Got Away"
"The Little Fish That Got Away" by Bernadine Cook is a classic story that has been loved by generations of readers. It tells the story of a little boy that goes fishing every day, but he never catches anything—not a single fish. So, as we all do, he waits and he waits until finally one day he has something exciting happen. Recently released with a new look, this witty twist on an old fisherman's tale is illustrated by Crockett Johnson, who you may recognize as the creator of "Harold and the Purple Crayon."
7. "Good Night Lake"
"Good Night Lake" by Adam Gamble is one title in the "Good Night Our World" series, geared towards toddlers and preschool-age kids, which also includes including "Good Night Mountains," "Good Night Campsite," "Good Night Beach," and many more. This one features stunning imagery of a day of canoeing, hiking, swimming, stargazing, and camping, right along the shore of the lake, with lots of the critters that they may encounter along the way. "Good Night Lake" is illustrated by the talented Cooper Kelly, who also illustrates others in this series.
8. "André Goes Fishing"
"André Goes Fishing" by Mikaela Wilson centers around little André, who was so excited to go fishing with his dad for the very first time, but then it starts to rain. Noticing André's disappointment, Dad comes up with a creative new plan for the day: an imaginative fishing trip! It just goes to show, you don't actually have to be on the water to get something out of a little angling education.
READ MORE: 6 BEST CHILDREN'S BOOKS ABOUT HUNTING PICKED BY AN EXPERIENCED HUNTER