Saturday, March 6, 2004
Davies, Nicola. 2003. SURPRISNG SHARKS. Ill. by James Croft. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press. ISBN 0763621854 [Suggested Grade Levels 1-3]
SUMMARY and ANALYSIS
This book offers the reader a colorful and fun book filled with informative and interesting facts about sharks. Some sharks shed light, while others can puff themselves up like a balloon. Both of these features are defense mechanisms to protect sharks from becoming a meal for some of the larger sea creatures out there. We are introduced to the 16 inch Cookie-Cutter Shark, which looks huge next to the tiny Dwarf Lantern Shark, topping out at a mere 6 inches. Of course, the great white and whale shark are included as well. The great illustrations done by James Croft are colorful, detailed and accurate depictions of the various types of sharks discussed.
While there are numerous books in print on this very topic, zoologist Nicola Davies, has taken her expertise in the underwater world and brought some fascinating details to the surface. There are two, separate double-paged diagrams that illustrate the internal and external features that make sharks unique. There are great explanations on some of the behaviors sharks exhibit, like the fact that they are always hungry and always looking for something to eat. SURPIRSING SHARKS if full of surprising facts! Did you know that sharks seldom attack humans and that pigs kill more people every year than sharks! This book would be an interesting and colorful addition to any juvenile nonfiction collection.
This would be great as reinforcement for any type of lesson on marine life or ocean studies.
Children can realize the great contrasts in the size of these sharks by using this book as a basis for a measurement exercise. Give students a ball of twine and have them cut pieces to represent the length of the various sharks discussed in the book. Comparative language exercises can be included as well, using phrases such as "bigger than", "longer than," etc.
Other books about sharks:
Arnosky, Jim. ALL ABOUT SHARKS. ISBN 0590481665
Field, Nancy H. DISCOVERING SHARKS AND RAYS. ISBN 091042332
Kalman, Bobbie, et al. SPECTACULAR SHARKS. ISBN 0778712982
Other books by Nicola Davies about underwater life:
BIG BLUE WHALE. ISBN 0763610801
ONE TINY TURTLE. ISBN 0763615498
WILD ABOUT DOLPHINS. ISBN 0763614548
By Marianne Follis