Title: Surprising Sharks
Author: Nicola Davies
Illustrator: James Croft
Publisher: Walker Books
Genre: Children’s picture book, Non-fiction, Nature
Book format: Paperback
Description: If someone says “SHARK!”, do you think giant, man-eating killer? Then you’re in for a big surprise! Most real sharks are not at all what you might expect…
*Free copy provided by publisher as part of the ‘Nature Storybooks: Every Wonderful Word is True’ collection, for review…
Review: This is a very interesting and fun book which really will surprise you! Shorter than A4 in height but slightly wider this picture book is filled with lots of thick and colourful glossy pages with some great images and text. ‘Surprising Sharks’ is all about the world of sharks and is a great way of introducing kids to these fascinating creatures. Being part of the Nature Storybooks series the book is actually a non-fiction and contains lots of interesting facts and fun pictures.
The book begins by dispelling the big myth that sharks are scary man-eating creatures. Most sharks aren’t and it goes on to describe several sharks with interesting features that make them anything but scary to humans. As you read through the book you learn about different types of shark and how to tell if a creature even is a shark. This particular section is interesting as there are two pages showing the outer and inner parts of a shark and even as an adult I learned some interesting facts, like how the skin is made to be hard wearing and how the jaws are attached to the rest of the body and how they move when biting on prey. There are lots more interesting facts about sharks and then at the end of the book there is some great information on how dangerous sharks really are to humans and how the reverse is much worse.
The illustrations are quite simple but very fun. I love the bright colours and the way all the different sharks look. It’s quite a fun and colourful book compared to some of the ones found in the Nature Storybooks collection but I love it all the more for this and I think lots of kids will love this style of illustration too. The front and back double pages of the book are filled with images of different sharks, their names and sizes displayed next to them and the sharks are all shown next to each other in their relevant sizes which makes the Dwarf Lantern and the Cookie-Cutter sharks look so tiny and quite cute!
I really have enjoyed reading this book even as an adult and I know I would have loved this book as a child. The book is just so informative and it really changes your perspective on sharks, I actually quite like them now! The book has a page at the back on how to use this both as a parent and a teacher and this book does support Key Stages 1-2 of both science and English making this not only a fun and informative read but also a great book to use as a teaching aid for kids, whether at school or home. I really recommend this book to anyone interested in teaching kids about sharks or even if you are afraid of them to have a read as it might just change your mind and make you see them in a new light.
-Review first appeared February 2018 – now republished here.
What do you think of this book? Did you know there were so many different species of sharks? Do you like sharks or do they make you nervous? Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂