Sharks All Around – Shark Detective; Clark the Shark


Olien, Jessica. Shark Detective! New York: Balzer + Bray, 2015. 978-0062357144. 32p. $17.99. Gr. K-3.

During the day Shark lives a lonely life in the big city, but at night he watches too many detective shows, eats junk food, and falls asleep dreaming of being a detective. There’s no explanation for why Shark lives on land, in an apartment like a person, which makes this book all the funnier. Not surprisingly, people he approaches trying to help solve the mystery of a missing neighborhood kitty typically run off screaming. Well, Shark finds the kitty; they become fast friends, and Shark decides to help kitty find his missing mousey toy. The colorful and simple illustrations are quite fun and this is one of those picture books with lots of visual gags that adults will enjoy as much as the kiddos. Recommended as a read aloud or read together. THOUGHTS:  I just so happened to receive a copy of Clark the Shark afraid of the dark by Bruce Hale and decided to pair these for a very fun read aloud and compare/contrast discussion with kindergarten students. Most of us are fascinated by sharks but especially the wee ones, and it is fun to have books that treat them whimsically instead of as scary monsters.

Picture Book    Kathie Jackson, Plymouth Meeting Friends School



Hale, Bruce. Clark the Shark: Afraid of the Dark. New York: HarperCollins, 2015. 978-0062374509. 32p. $17.99. Gr. K-2.

Clark the Shark is all ready for his first sleepover: “Balloons? Check. Games? Check. Snacks? Double check.” But, he is afraid of the dark and afraid to admit that to his seemingly brave friends. The party starts out smashingly with games, karaoke, and dancing, but when Benny Blowfish starts the ghost stories, Clark and his friends are spooked. They swear they see scary monsters which wind up just being shadows. Then the truth comes out, they are all “a little” afraid of the dark. So, they decide to create a rhyme as a group that will remind them that there is nothing to be afraid of. Really cute illustrations, nice pacing, and an enjoyable read aloud, this is a great addition to the Clark the Shark series for young reads that includes Tooth Trouble, Dare to Share and others. THOUGHTS: I’d recommend this to read to a class or one-on-one, and it would be fun to use as a themed pair with another book like The Dark by Lemony Snicket and Jon Klassen or the classic Ira Sleeps Over by Bernard Waber.

Picture Book    Kathie Jackson, Plymouth Meeting Friends School

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