Summer Time

Summer is just around the corner! For my family, living in southern California, summer = beach. My son can’t wait to splash in the ocean and dig in the sand. With work schedules and school in still in session until the end of the June, we have to be content with reading about the beach and ocean animals.

Some of our favorite beach and ocean books are:

The Sandcastle that Lola Built by Megan Maynor– based on the “House that Jack Built” story, this is a cute book about a little girl’s beach day. In this great example of teamwork, Lola and her new friends work together to make a sandcastle for mermaids. Fantastic pictures and rhyming text make this book a winner!

I’m a huge advocate of libraries and want everyone to visit theirs, so head down to your local library and check out a copy of The Sandcastle that Lola Built. Or, you can always buy your own copy on Amazon here.

Inky's Amazing Escape: How a Very Smart Octopus Found His Way Home

Inky’s Amazing Escape by Sy Montgomery — my 4 year old loves this book! It is a true story about an octopus named Inky, who escapes from an aquarium in Australia and makes its way back to the ocean. We learned a lot about octopuses from this picture book, and we were fascinated by Inky’s journey. There are other books written about Inky, but this one is our favorite. Sy Montgomery is a gifted storyteller and we were absolutely fascinated by this amazing octopus. I check out lots of library books for my son and I to read together, but this is one book that we felt that we needed to own because we truly love this story and read it over-and-over again.

Your library should have a copy of Inky’s Amazing Escape (it’s pretty famous in the book world), but you can always buy your own copy through Amazon here.

Shark Kiss, Octopus Hug by Lynn Rowe Reed — a super cute picture book about a shark and an octopus looking for some love. You will giggle your way through the story reading the silly ideas these two come up with to get the beachgoers to give them hugs and kisses.

Click here to get in on Amazon.

The Pout Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen — this is fun rhyming story with great pictures. It’s written sing-songy and in our house, we really get into this story, with the whole family singing the refrain and acting out the “blubs.”

The Pout Pout Fish has many sequels. The original is our favorite 🙂

Check your local library for the Pout Pout Fish, or buy it on Amazon here.

To help cover the costs of this site, I joined Amazon’s affiliate program, which pays advertising fees to sites that advertise and link to Amazon’s products. So if you buy the book through my site, I get a small percent from the sale.



My son loves Inky’s story so much, that we decided to make an octopus craft.

Supplies needed are an empty toilet paper roll, washable paint, paintbrush, kid safety scissors, googly eyes, and a marker.

-First we painted the toilet paper roll red. (use whatever color you want). And then we let it dry.

-After it dried, my son made cuts in the bottom of the toilet paper roll to make 8 legs. Then he gently pulled each leg up so that they legs splayed out and his octopus could stand.

-Then he attached the googly eyes and drew a mouth, and our cute little octopus was ready to explore our house!


Supplies needed are paper plate, scissors, stapler, glue stick, tissue paper squares (about 1 inch x 1 inch), and large googly eyes (optional glitter glue).

-To make your fish, have your child cut out a triangle from the paper plate. This makes it look like the fish’s mouth is open. My son loves being able to use scissors, so he liked this craft.

-Staple the triangle to the back of fish to make a tail.

-Now it’s time to decorate the fish! Using the glue stick, glue tissue squares all over the plate to make the fish’s scales.

-Finish your fish by adding googly eyes.

My son thought it needed some sparkle, so he added blue glitter-glue polka dots to his fish.