A mother and her shark-enthusiast son don’t quite see eye to eye.
Young, white, redheaded Stevie wants nothing more than to act like a shark, especially if it annoys his mother. When his mother (also white) asks him to stop inhaling his pancakes at breakfast, Stevie pauses only to reply that “bull sharks tear apart food with their teeth. All fifty rows of them!” When she begs him to sit still, Stevie merely quips that whale sharks die if they stop moving. Throughout the entire day, Stevie’s mom’s earnest pleas to her son for good (or just human) behavior are met with fact after fact about sharks. But when the day comes to an end and Stevie settles down with a final sleepy whisper that he loves sharks, his mom quietly admits that she loves them too. Despite Montatore’s illustrations subsumed in energy that aligns with Stevie’s enthusiasm, the almost manic spreads seem to reflect his mother’s frenzied, put-upon perspective, making the narrative more hers than Stevie’s. Without any kind of transition from the narrative’s conclusion, the remainder of the book showcases an epilogue of several more shark facts, and though each compares to a recognizable piece of kid life (“no early bedtime for them!”; “hide-and-seek champions!”), the two parts of the book feel unintegrated and spliced together.
Fascinating shark information in a muddled package. (Picture book. 4-8)