Our Books


Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas

by Lynne Cox (Author), Brian Floca (Illustrator)


Buy on IndieBound

In her first children’s book, Lynne Cox teams up with Caldecott Medal-winning illustrator Brian Floca to bring us this inspiring story of an elephant seal who knew exactly where she belonged.

Can’t Decide Which Books to Choose for Your Child?

Let our friendly staff hand-select books based on your child’s age and preferences. Join our subscription service, and we’ll send 2-3 books to your door once a month.

Join now!
Learn more

World-renowned swimmer and bestselling author Lynne Cox and Caldecott Medal-winning illustrator Brian Floca team up to bring us this inspiring story of an elephant seal who knew exactly where she belonged.

Here is the incredible story of Elizabeth, a real-life elephant seal who made her home in the Avon River in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand. When Elizabeth decides to stretch out across a two-lane road, the citizens worry she might get hurt or cause traffic accidents, so a group of volunteers tows her out to sea. But Elizabeth swims all the way back to Christchurch. The volunteers catch her again and again—each time towing her farther, even hundreds of miles away—but, still, Elizabeth finds her way back home.

Includes back matter with information about elephant seals.

Like Cox, Elizabeth displays tremendous endurance and repeatedly swims back to the river she loves.
– New York Times

Children are likely to request multiple readings of this compelling told and lovingly illustrated true story.
– School Library Journal

Based on a true story—there is a photo of the real Elizabeth in the illuminating afterword—this is a superior addition to shelves featuring wild animal personalities.
– Publishers Weekly

School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
Washington Post Best Kids’ Books of the Year

Lynne Cox is an American long-distance open-water swimmer, motivational speaker, and author. Over the course of more than 35 years, spanning a period equal to 8 Olympic Games, Lynne accomplished swims setting world records and opening borders, contributed to medical research, supported environmental causes, and inspired people to overcome great obstacles. She is best known for her swim across the Bering Strait from the United States to the Soviet Union 7 August 1987. She twice held the overall record for the fastest crossing of the English Channel from England to France and has completed over 60 challenging swims around the world.
Lynne is a gifted speaker, sharing her inspirational story around the world. She motivates audiences by describing how one can overcome extraordinary obstacles to achieve great things. Lynne’s books have documented her extraordinary athletic accomplishments (Swimming to Antarctica), chronicled her inspiring adventure saving a baby grey whale (Grayson), documented the world of exploration (South with the Sun), and shared her 40-years of expertise with her fellow athletes (Open Water Swimming Manual). Lynne published a children’s book – Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas. Her sixth book (Swimming in the Sink) was published in September 6, 2016 and released in paperback in June 2017, telling more of Lynne’s inspirational stories. 

Visit Lynne Cox at https://www.lynnecox.com

Brian Floca is the author/illustrator and illustrator of numerous award-winning books for children, including Locomotive, winner of the 2014 Caldecott Medal, Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11, Lightship, and The Racecar Alphabet.

Brian has illustrated Avi’s Poppy Stories series, Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan’s Ballet for Martha: Making Appalachian Spring, Laura Amy Schlitz’s Princess Cora and the Crocodile, and, most recently, Hawk Rising, by Maria Gianferrari.

In addition to the Caldecott Medal, Brian’s books have received four Robert F. Sibert Honor awards for distinguished informational books, a silver medal from the Society of Illustrators, and have twice been selected for the New York Times’ annual 10 Best Illustrated Books list.

Brian was born and raised in Temple, Texas, and now lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Visit Brian at http://www.brianfloca.com