Smart About Sharks

illus. by Owen Davey. 40p. diags. index. Flying Eye. Aug. 2016. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9781909263918.
Gr 1–4—Tongue-in-cheek headings, descriptive text, and art with a retro color palette make this an alternative take on the typical shark book. As fun to read as it is informative, this title covers the diet, hunting techniques, social life, size, and biology of eight orders of sharks. The layout is well designed, and the illustrations, rendered digitally, are appealing and detailed. The color palette consists of earth tones, muted golds and turquoise, and corals—colors perfectly suited to the undersea world of sharks. Some subjects receive an entire spread, such as the body diagram of a Caribbean reef shark. The work culminates with a warning that much of the shark population is at risk and a brief explanation as to why. Tips for ecologically sensitive living that are accessible for readers (recycling plastic, eating sustainable seafood, and being aware of energy usage) are also included.
VERDICT Consider this amusing and edifying work for summer displays and artsy kids who also happen to like sharks.

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