SAVE YOUR FRIENDS! by Hyewon Kyung


by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 3 - 7
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After a large fishhook dangled by a passing vessel becomes stuck in its mouth, a shark swims through a group of marine animals, accidentally swallowing several.

The animals—a clownfish, a puffer fish, a seal, and more—and their worried friends and parents enlist readers’ assistance to free them. “Hello, friend! I need your help. Please turn the page. SAVE ME” reads one representative plea, and sure enough, on the next spread, that fish is free on verso while another one is stuck in the shark’s maw, which gapes open on recto. While the major elements of compositions are static, Kyung keeps pages fresh with humorous dialogue and expressive faces on her sea creatures. The shark initially comes across as a bully, but by the end, readers learn that its mouth is open due to the hook, and like the other animals, it needs their help. Once the hook is free, the shark thanks its new “friend”—and then playfully chases a sea turtle. The backmatter, entitled “Save the Sharks!” consists of a series of shark facts in speech balloons, like the rest of the book’s text. These include their sizes, diets, habitats, and physical peculiarities, but there is no mention of why the shark needs saving. Given the shark’s dilemma, readers may be puzzled not to see fishing addressed at all.

Children will enjoy the interactive nature of this funny book during storytime or while sitting in a lap. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: July 2nd, 2019
ISBN: 978-0-06-268315-1
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Greenwillow
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2019


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