Land Shark

illus. by Ben Mantle. 36p. Chronicle. 2015. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781452124582.
K-Gr 3—Ferry and Mantle offer a story and a character that readers will embrace. Bobby LOVES sharks and has a plan to show his parents that he deserves one for his birthday. The plan is simple: "STEP 1: Convince parents and STEP 2: Get shark." Unfortunately, his parents have a different idea. The rest of the story focuses on how Bobby handles the alternative "shark" that is his birthday gift. The illustrations lay a solid foundation and create excellent foreshadowing. The text flows nicely and is great for either a read-aloud or a read-alone. The pace will be attractive to younger readers and listeners, and the narrative presents opportunities for teaching vocabulary. The protagonist is immediately likable and engaging, even after his original scheme falls flat. This would be a good book for fans of Kelly Bennett's Not Norman (Candlewick, 2005), as both convey lessons on gratitude and making the best of situations.
VERDICT A delightful addition that will become a storytime favorite.

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