You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat: Books for Shark Week
2018 is the 30th anniversary of Shark Week and Discovery Channel is planning lots of fun new shows (and bringing back some old favorites) for this year’s celebration. They’re also incorporating more educational aspects (especially the importance of conservation efforts) into programming, in response to recent criticism. If you’re planning to tune in, here are some top-rated titles about these magnificent creatures. Although they were written for children, readers of all ages will definitely find new amazing tidbits and fun facts.
Young independent readers ready to tackle short chapters in a nonfiction reader should pick up Hungry, Hungry Sharks. This is a basic overview of sharks, their characteristics, eating habits and more.
I’m a huge fan of the I Survived series, and hope Lauren Tarshis never tires of writing them. Reluctant readers and avid readers alike devour these fast-paced historical fiction novels. I Survived the Shark Attacks of 1916 features the terrifying shark attacks on the New Jersey coast through the experiences of a young boy.
If you want a sweet nonfiction read aloud, Little Shark is your best bet. Written by master informational picture book creator Anne Rockwell, this is an engaging look at shark life through the eyes of a small shark.
On the other hand, if you want something purely fun and creative, don’t miss Shark vs. Train. A shark and a train compete in various contests to decide who’s the strongest of them all.
Published in 2016, Shark Week: Everything You Need to Know is a browser’s delight of all things shark related, complete with amazing photographs. Everything you ever wanted to know about sharks — from their defense mechanisms to their everyday habits — is covered.
While modern nonfiction books about sharks usually include information about shark conservation, If Sharks Disappeared is a serious nonfiction picture book just about the importance of shark conservation. Readers wanting more in-depth information should check out Mission Shark Rescue: All About Sharks and How to Save Them; published by National Geographic, it is a mix of intriguing information about sharks, and practical things we can all do to help sharks have a healthier environment.
Neighborhood Sharks: Hunting With the Great Whites of California’s Farallon Islands received a Robert F. Sibert Honor (which honors outstanding children’s informational books) citation in 2014. It’s a captivating look at the great white sharks that live only 26 miles from San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, and the scientists that study them.
The creativity and ingenuity in children’s nonfiction publishing is astounding; I don’t know if there’s been a better time for attractive, unique, and fascinating informational books for children and teens, including board books. Sharks: Nature’s Perfect Hunter is one of the latest entries in the super-popular Science Comics, which present science topics in a comics/graphic novel format. Not only does it cover the basic in-and-outs of shark life, it also introduces readers to various species of sharks, how they adapt to environments, and more.
Finally, National Geographic’s The Ultimate Book of Sharks is another fact-filled browsable delight of everything you would ever want to know about sharks, complete with National Geographic’s legendary photographs.
Jennifer Schultz, Collection Services Development Librarian
Fauquier County Public Library