HOW TO SPY ON A SHARK by Lori Haskins Houran

HOW TO SPY ON A SHARK

Age Range: 4 - 6
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Houran invites readers along as a group of marine biologists tracks and follows a juvenile mako shark.

The marine biologists use a net to catch the young shark, attaching a tag to the pup’s pelvic fin. They then use a robot to track and monitor the shark, keeping tabs on its movements and eating habits. At the end of the day, the scientists (two women and one man, one Caucasian and two of indeterminate ethnicity) pull up the robot and wave goodbye to the sharks. Unfortunately, the author misses the mark in choosing to write in second person. “Take a boat ride / out to sea / until you spy a fin. // Get all set / to get all wet / and splash! / go diving in.” Instead of tagging along on an adventure, readers may feel like they are being given orders and instructions, and many will feel uncomfortable or not up to the task. The simple illustrations bring readers up close to the action, but they are not part of it, as the text suggests. Backmatter gives a little more information about the topics presented—sharks fall asleep when they are turned belly up; makos can swim up to 35 mph—but this would have captured more interest within the body of the text.

The dichotomy between the adult tasks and the simply worded rhyming text makes this one to skip. (Informational picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-8075-3402-1
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Whitman
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2015




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