A gallery of shark shapes and sizes, attitudes and appetites.
Bright (and forgivably inaccurate) colors saturate otherwise-simple spreads that catalog some of the many species of sharks that live in our planet’s oceans. Lilting text introduces different sharks in opposing and oversimplified terms: “Some sharks are bottom dwellers… / but other sharks are surface breakers” (referencing the goblin shark and the great white, respectively). Very general differences in ferocity (whale shark and bull shark), pickiness (basking shark and tiger shark), social habits (lemon shark and cookiecutter shark), and climate preferences (Greenland shark and hammerhead shark) frame each new pair of sharks, with each presented on its own spread—visually striking but counterproductive to the text’s attempt at continuity. More-specific facts and explanations are omitted, hopefully prompting curiosity that will send readers to their libraries or, if they’re lucky, their local aquarium, where Paul somewhat flimsily reminds them sharks can be visited up close. Unfortunately, and despite colorful and inviting illustrations, these same omissions also make this a book unlikely to be called on more than once or twice. Those with “Baby Shark” fans to satisfy should try pairing this with Shawn Loves Sharks, by Curtis Manley and illustrated by Tracy Subisak (2017), or Misunderstood Shark, by Amy Dyckman and illustrated by Scott Magoon (2018), to up both the entertainment and information values.
Less a romp than a stroll—enjoyable but a little sedate. (Informational picture book. 4-7)