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SURPRISING SHARKS

Author: Nicola Davies

Illustrator: James Croft

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Publisher: Candlewick Press,

Material: hard cover

Summary: Did you know there are more than 500 species of shark? We hear lots about great whites and hammer heads, but there are lots of other sharks ... from the Dwarf Lantern Shark that is just 6 inches long to the Whale Shark that is more than 39 feet. This is a nonfiction picture book that describes less commonly known sharks.

Type of Reading: family reading, anytime reading, independent reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 5 to 9; read yourself: 8 to 12

Interest Level: 5 to 10

Age of Child: Read with and by a 7-year-old girl.

Young Reader Reaction: The first time through, our daughter wanted to look at the pictures of all the sharks she knew. She loved reading the opening question about the "giant man-eating killer" and then yelling "shark." In other readings, she settled in to look more closely at the different species and what they could do.

Adult Reader Reaction: This is a fascinating book. The brightly colored illustrations help visually tame what could be a frightening subject, even for kids who are fascinated by sharks. I learned a lot from this book.

Pros: Anyone who wants to learn more about sharks and go beyond the killer white, will enjoy all of the information in this book.

Cons: Make no mistake, even with the cute drawings, this is a nonfiction title about sharks, and the word "kill" and "killing" is found throughout. The author talks about a species of shark where the babies eat their siblings in their mother's belly.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is a very interesting book, and your child is likely to thumb through and/or read it several times. Still, unless they are really into sharks, this is one they'll grow out of.

If You Liked This Book, Try: SHARKS: BIGGEST! LITTLEST!   DIZZY   IF A DOLPHIN WERE A FISH

Educational Themes: Whether you want to look at specific species or shark characteristics, this book is filled with useful information for learning. You can contrast/compare species, and you can use the diagrams to identify sharks (and non-sharks) on various pages, too.

Notes: A Reading Tub volunteer submitted this review. S/He borrowed the book from the local library.

Literary Categories: Nonfiction - picture book, animals, nature

Date(s) Reviewed: July 2009

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