Review Blog

Oct 05 2016

Smart about sharks by Owen Davey

cover image

Flying Eye Books, 2016. ISBN 9781909263918
(Age: 5+) Highly recommended. Sharks. Non fiction. A finely detailed and fascinating look at sharks around the world is offered in this enthralling hard cover book. Like the diver on the front cover we are invited to dive down and look at what lurks in the waters beneath. And no one will be disappointed. I can imagine readers, particularly boys, poring over the information, the detailed illustrations and comparisons to educate and then trick each other with their vastly enhanced knowledge.
Sharks are fish and there are over five hundred different species of shark. And many of these are detailed on the pages before us. Each double page with its punning title, offers a different field of information, along with a host of interesting diagrams. One that fascinated me is entitled, 'Congratulations, it's a shark', concerning the offspring of these creatures. The shark has three methods of birth, I read, one is live birth, the second is eggs and the third is eggs inside the mother which hatch, the baby shark eating the rest of the yolk and sometimes its siblings to survive. Wow! readers, like me, will be entranced. Another page, entiscale, shows the various sharks drawn in relation to each other. The whale shark stretches across the whole page, while others are so small only their name gives their position away. And another, 'A bite to eat', of course shows us the teeth sharks are known for. Their rows of teeth can be replaced and one shark may get through thirty thousand teeth in its lifetime. Each page has a host of information and facts, and will keep the readers entertained for a long time. The illustrations beg to be perused with close attention and will not disappoint the most urbane of readers.
The book is rounded off with an index which points readers to pages with specific sharks, using both their common and scientific names. I loved this so much that I will now seek out Davey's other book, Mad about monkeys.
Fran Knight

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