Fourteen sharks, each with a dedicated poem, lurk within these turquoise-watered pages.
Despite their immediate reputation as fierce predators, sharks are varied and have many different characteristics. In her picture-book debut, Brown explores not only the well-known great white and hammerhead, but also the lesser-known deep-sea dwellers. The layout of the text frequently mimics the shark under discussion: words form the cavernous shape of the gaping megamouth or drip down into the mustachioed-frown of the nurse shark. The cookie-cutter shark's poem spirals in toward itself to mirror the twist of the tiny predator's bite. And well-placed spaces heighten suspense: "your slinky stripes slide around / from below you wait. / and stalk your prey you wait." A smattering of informational text is also included for each shark. Kolar's streamlined digital illustrations show wide jaws and toothy grimaces, but blood is never shed. Shimmering blues of the surface fall away to the murky depths of the ocean floor.
An inviting format to spark shark discussions; however, it’s a shame that sources and backmatter were left adrift. (Informational picture book/poetry. 5-8)