Posts tagged ‘sharks’

SHARKS MADE SIMPLE

Sharks: Amazing Facts & Pictures for Children, Issue No. 2

Written by Hathai Ross

 

The author has written a simple reference book that will provide young readers with the essential facts on these fascinating sea creatures. Hathai begins with a history of sharks, pointing out to young readers that they existed before the dinosaurs. She includes a few simple photos to illustrate fossil remains. In the next chapter, Ross discusses anatomy and function. Ross provides a quick glimpse of different types of sharks and their special qualities like electrical sensors, and an exceptional sense of vision, smell, and hearing. Before concluding, Ross tries to convince her readers that despite movie depictions, there are reasons not to be afraid of sharks. She delves into their unique characteristics, and the organizations working to protect them.

 

Much of the book is written in the form of question and answer. That enables young readers to follow easily, but it does break up the flow of the narrative. This book is laid out more in the form of a reference book or research tool. I don’t think that will deter readers who are fascinated by these creatures and would like a quick, comprehensive overview. The illustrations and diagrams vary in effectiveness because some are difficult to see. Recommended for animal enthusiasts and children seeking information for a research project.

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THREE DIVERSE STORIES

Oliver and Jumpy: Stories 31-33

Written by Werner Stejskal

Illustrated by Mario Tereso

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If you haven’t read any of the Oliver and Jumpy stories, you are in for a treat. Oliver is a stylish tomcat who is best friends with Jumpy and Joey, two kangaroos. The first tale takes place on New Year’s Eve in Oliver’s treehouse. Every year the crockery and cookery in his kitchen come to life to entertain Oliver and his friends. Children will delight as the colorful objects cook, clean, dance, and play music, a delightful and innovative way to celebrate New Year’s Eve. In the second adventure, the three friends are playing with the whales making their way down the coast to Antarctica. But Joey gets a bit too rambunctious when he goes for a swim and a shark comes up to eat him. Oliver will have to devise a clever ploy to save his friend’s life. The third tale is reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland. When Oliver enters a special door of a local castle, he transforms himself into a tiny creature. Oliver becomes a tour guide for us as he leads readers through the minuscule world of caterpillars, beetles, ants, and lady bugs. We will learn what it is like to a speck in a big universe.

Beautifully illustrated with color that is a feast for young eyes. These stories teach preschool and primary school children important moral lessons and appreciation for animals, plants and the world we live in.

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A SEA-SATION!

The Dragon Dreamer

Written and illustrated by J.S. Burke

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The author of this book is multi-talented. She is a marine biologist, teacher, chemist, artist and geologist. In this book targeted for middle grade students, she somehow manages to weave these disparate elements together in a well-written educational fantasy adventure.

The story shifts between two groups: the golden dragons who are in danger because their life-giving copper supplies are running low, and the octopuses who live on undersea reefs. The main protagonists, Arak, the dragon, and Scree, the octopus healer, will be thrown together by a chance accident. They will work together first as trading partners and later as loyal friends. Each of them will lead their people to safety as they face extinction. Though they speak different languages, they learn to communicate. Burke does a masterful job of character development by uniquely combining the elements of caring, cooperation, romance and diversity. She successfully weaves together an intricate plot that celebrates diversity and intertwines ancient myths and legends with the scientific facts of marine biology.

Readers are taken on an exciting page turning adventure in which you empathize with characters as they face each new obstacle. At the same time, almost without realizing it, you are learning about the food chain, volcanoes, sharks and giant squid. The glossary included at the end is a nice resource for the scientific background. Targeted for readers ages nine and older, the book has a wider appeal for young adult and even adult audiences. A book that entertains while providing an education is a welcome addition to any bookshelf. Highly recommended !

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WHAT IS A TRUE FRIEND?

Rocky’s New Friend – Blade, the Shark

Written by James Paul and Alice Forest

Illustrated by Fahmi Fauzi

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This kindle book is marketed for children age three to eight, but is probably more appropriate for children at the upper end of that range. The book makes a good independent early reader. Younger children will not be able to appreciate the full impact of the moral lessons, though they will enjoy the colorful illustrations. Fauzi does a good job of enhancing the story line, but at the same time not making the images too frightening for the younger child. The story is a good selection for families with siblings across this age span.

Rocky is a beautiful neon blue angelfish who tends to be mischievous. His best friend, Gaga, a bright orange angelfish loves to play hide and seek with him in the coral reefs of the Pacific Ocean. They are both afraid of the Moray eels who often bullied them. One day while swimming alone, Rocky decides to swim out into the deeper, dark waters and encounters a shark named Blade. This shark wants to play; Rocky decides it is very cool to hang around with a shark. He begins to ignore Gaga as well as his parents’ warnings that appearances can be deceiving!

On another day while Rocky and Blade are swimming together, they encounter a surprise. Will Blade turn out to be a true friend? What will happen to Rocky’s friendship with Gaga? Sometimes the truth is difficult to swallow. Read this book of less than thirty pages to find out.

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