Friday, July 8, 2011

Happiness is...a good book. (Summer Reading edition #12)

I’m a Shark
Author: Bob Shea
Pages: 32
Age Range: 3+
Published: 2011
Genre: Picture Book/Fiction
Cover Score: *****
Overall Grade: *****
Rating: G
It may have just been the mood I was in but I found this book hilarious!  I giggled all the way through it!
Our main character, Mr. Shark, is boasting to a nearby crab and fish how cool and brave he is.  He doesn’t cry when he gets shots or close his eyes in scary movies. If there was a dinosaur in the ocean it would be scared of him and a giant squid would surely ink himself with fear. But is the shark afraid of anything? Nope. Not the dark, not a big hungry bear, not even a spider! Wait, a spider? Where?! There’s a bit of panic when the shark thinks that the spider might be on him, or might have actually been dressed up as the squid. Phew, no spiders. Then it’s the sharks turn to ask and the crab and fish admit that they happen to be afraid of sharks!
The humor is silly enough for the youngest of readers to get a kick out of and yet clever enough to enchant older readers who will feel that they are getting the jokes the shark himself is missing. (And by older readers I mean me!) The juxtaposition of bears and spiders underwater (and of course of sharks being afraid of spiders) is great stuff. Shea’s child-like illustrations with thick sketch outlines and bold graphic colors are marvelous and add to the hilarity.  I love the illustrations of the bear wearing big swim flippers and trying to hide behind a lamp and the shark with lip quivering getting his shot via sword fish. Perfect for read-alouds, and boys in particular, this one is a winner!
(And if you like this one, give “Dinosaur vs. Bedtime” a try. It’s my favorite of the 5 or 6 others of his I’ve read.)

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