JURASSIC SHARK by Deborah Diffily


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 7 - 9
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In this luridly written prehistoric episode, a massive Hybodus feeds—“Her jaw snaps shut on the squid, ripping through their flesh . . .”—then gives birth after she “bites a hunk of flesh from” a larger predator to drive it away. In digitally created art, Carr (who gets top billing on cover and title page) tones the gore down a bit, hazing out the wounds and clouds of blood. But an opening view looking right down Hydobus’s throat seems to be an enlarged detail from a later scene, and the connection between text and pictures grows occasionally tenuous, as when the shark gives birth not on a “coral reef” as stated, but a patch of sand. Worse, the author imputes feelings and behavior to her toothy matron without offering supporting scientific evidence for it. Next to the likes of Arnold’s Giant Shark (2000) and the plethora of more authoritative reconstructions, this showcase is just empty calories. (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-06-008249-6
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2004


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