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NEIGHBORHOOD SHARKS by Katherine Roy Kirkus Star


Hunting with the Great Whites of California's Farallon Islands

by Katherine Roy ; illustrated by Katherine Roy

Pub Date: Sept. 30th, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-59643-874-3
Publisher: David Macaulay Studio/Roaring Brook

Every fall, great white sharks return to feed on the seals and sea lions that migrate to the Farallon Islands just off the San Francisco coast, providing an opportunity for scientific study.

Combining informative text with expressive paintings, done in ink, pencil, watercolor and gouache, Roy explains how these apex predators function. The endpapers set the stage, looking out toward the distant islands through the Golden Gate Bridge in front and back at the California shoreline from high over the islands at the end. In an early series of stunning paintings, the shark’s meal is revealed in three spreads before the wordless fourth shows the strike; the water swirls, and the seal is captured in the shark’s toothy mouth. Bloody water surrounds the shark in the next picture. Subsequent pages explain why the seal is a perfect meal and highlight the shark’s streamlined body, warmed blood, superior vision, endless teeth, and projectile jaws that contribute to its success as a hunter. For this debut picture book, the author joined researchers who tag and follow these sharks, and she’s distilled their findings in a way that’s sure to attract young readers. The backmatter provides further information, sources and suggested reading.

Full of the eww factor, up-to-date facts and kid appeal, this splendid, gory introduction is not for the faint of heart! (Informational picture book. 7-10)