Shark Nate-O

CATTIE, Becky & . illus. by Daniel Duncan. 40p. little bee. Apr. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781499804966.
PreS-Gr 2—Nate loves all things sharks. He loves them so much, his friends call him "Shark Nate-O," an allusion to the once-popular B movie. But how can he be like his favorite animal when he doesn't know how to swim? Determined, Nate works with his coach every day until he's swimming as strong as a shark. Cattie and Luebbe's story about facing your fears and accomplishing goals is endearing, but the ending with Nate quickly beating seasoned swimmers in a match feels a bit over the top. It will be a delight for children learning how to swim, and the few puns and pop culture allusions thrown in ("We're going to need a bigger float") will entertain adults. Duncan's sketch-heavy illustrations give a "kid drawn" approach to the piece and lighten the mood, and the addition of some interesting shark facts at the end is a nice touch for those readers just in this for the aquatic beasts.
VERDICT An interesting and fun addition to the "learning to swim" picture book set that is perfect for one-on-one and small group sharing.

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