A counting board book based on the popular children’s song “Baby Shark.”
Mommy, Daddy, Grandpa, and Grandma help Baby Shark play hide-and-seek. As each character swims to hide, the turn of the page removes a soft, raised, vinyl shark from the scene. Rhyming text includes the number of sharks remaining along with the directive for the next shark, and each two-page layout includes a singable line such as, “Run and hide, doo doo doo doo doo doo.” (Woe betide the adult who doesn’t know the tune, as spoken, it sounds ludicrous.) The text and plot, such as it is, don’t always cohere. Grandma, for example, is invited “to play with me,” while all of the other sharks run (“running” sharks don’t quite make sense, but they do “run away” in the original song) and swim away. Baby Shark is told to “go hide-and-seek” in the end—haven’t they been playing all along?—but really it’s just seeking. These idiosyncrasies sink this book. The illustrations are plain and vary little from page to page. Tiny sea creatures playing instruments are cute, but like the tambourine-playing sea horse that appears identical on two separate pages, they add little. Younger readers who adore the song will surely be charmed by the book even though its quality reads like a hurried cash grab capitalizing on the song’s popularity.
Stick with the song; skip the book. (Board book. 6 mos-2)