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by Jim Arnosky & illustrated by Jim Arnosky

Pub Date: July 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-590-48166-5
Publisher: Scholastic

Arnosky turns his usual artistry and care to a subject sure to find a ready audience. Opening with a series of questions about sharks, he proceeds to answer them with a clear text and vivid, well-scaled illustrations (the gaping mouth of a 10-foot tiger shark appears life-size, split over two double-page spreads). Basic information, such as the different sorts of shark, how sharks sense their prey, and the ever-fascinating duplicate rows of teeth, is presented lucidly. Expatiating and defining text can be found located next to the appropriate parts of the illustrations, as with an extra tidbit about shark skin that appears with a magnified detail of it. It would be an altogether respectful and refreshingly unsensational presentation except for the information that deals with shark attacks. Explaining that sharks can swim extraordinarily close to shore, the text marvels that “shark attacks on people are extremely rare”—without indicating exactly how rare. In a later discussion of shark food, people are listed along with baby whales and swimming dogs—once again, with no accompanying mention of how unlikely one is to become shark supper. Regrettable. (Picture book/nonfiction. 4-8)