We are riding the crest of the Shark Week wave here after the launch last night and are organizing our week around all things ocean! We’ve found a fun journal to plan our watching, studies and play and have the low down on the best shark books for fans of the fins.
First up, is this jawsome Shark Week printable journal from BookShark. The home school supplier has put together a selection of activities with enough variety to please everyone wanting to keep a toe in the water this summer. We completed the aims, book log and screen scheduler last week and then couldn’t resist cutting and gluing the shark world map. The shark-fact cootie catcher is also already a goner but we’ve plenty of fiction and non fiction writing still to get our teeth into. The download is free and instant as soon as you’ve verified your email address. Both the mum and teacher in me are thrilled with it!
So on to our readings. As I said last week, we cleared out the shark shelf in our local library and delved into the best of the local bookstores in order to bring you our favorite shark reads today. There really is a great range of material available on these popular creatures of the deep; we’ve tried to include something for all ages and interests and hope you enjoy them as much as we have.
‘National Geographic Kids Mission Shark Rescue‘ by Ruth A. Musgrove (UK) is older brother’s personal recommendation. The publisher has a large selection of very similar looking shark books under the brand (‘Everything Sharks‘ (UK) was slightly simpler with more pictures and shorter fact boxes for text, ‘Diving With Sharks‘ (UK) is the chapter version with longer narrative) but this one really had everything for him. Great real life action photography, detailed narrative, scientist interviews, quick fact sections and even cartoon strips; it is a very comprehensive read. If I’m honest I dislike having my narrative constantly broken up with other information but my non-fiction loving 8 year old couldn’t help but dive in and out of it all week!
DK Eyewitness also had a comprehensive range of shark titles on the shelves with this edition of ‘Shark‘ (UK) being our favorite. They all seemed to have a classic non-fiction, almost travel guide like feel to their layout. Again they had good photography, lots of easily accessible facts and information. They are bound to be a hit with most shark lovers thirsty for information. And I’m sure the visual encyclopedia (UK) will be going on a certain someone’s Christmas list this year!
Next up was my personal favorite, ‘Smart About Sharks‘ by Owen Davey (UK). The artwork in this really sets it apart from the others, but don’t think it won’t have teeth, the whimsical writing is full of facts and information that will still satisfy the learner in us all. Good for mind and soul! The detail in the tooth section was totally fascinating. Aimed at 5 to 9 year olds.
‘Shadow of the Shark Magic Tree House #53‘ by Mary Pope Osbourne (UK) is another fun read from the ever popular first chapter books series. The adventures of Annie and Jack are supported by the well constructed ‘Sharks and Other Predators‘ (UK). By the same author, these ‘fact finders’ are packed full of up to date images, facts and information which is closely referred back to the original stories. They are a really nice way to introduce fiction lovers to non-fiction and vice versa.
‘Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean’s most Fearless Scientist‘ by Jess Keating (UK) is an inspirational read for all. The beautifully illustrated tale shares how one women set out to change people’s minds about the misunderstood creatures which she so admired during a time when women weren’t meant to be scientist. We love a rebel girl! Peppered with facts, the daring tale should delight 4-8 year old readers.
‘If Sharks Disappeared‘ by Lily Williams (UK) is a lyrical and thought provoking approach to a big issue. At a time when many shark species face the threat of extinction, it explores the implications of what would happen to our oceans if they lose their top predators. The rich illustrations and charming narrator work well together. Again roughly in the 4-8 years age range, this book is bound to inspire budding marine biologists, conservationists and ecologists world wide.
‘Clark the Shark: Tooth Trouble‘ by Bruce Hale (UK) is one of a series of Clark the Shark books which are available in a number of different formats. I particularly like the ‘I Can Read!’ first readers; although my 3 year old is clearly miles away from independent reading I find the length and repetition perfect for transitioning him away from board books towards a more complex, involved story. The bold character learns little life lessons that pre schools and kindergartners might have to face and provides simple shark facts at the end. Little brother was particularly taken with ‘Tooth Troubles’, no doubt because of the extensive amount of time he’s spent at the dentist with big brother in the last month or so!
‘The Pout-Pout Fish and the Bully-Bully Shark‘ by Deborah Diesen (UK) sees the Pout-Pout Fish return with a moral story on how to handle playground bullies. Told with pleasing cadence and rhyme, this ever popular character’s tale will continue to capture the hearts of the preschool audience.
And for our littlest friends a book with real bite as promised! ‘Shark Bite!‘ by Little Bee Books (UK) lets children pull the interactive tab to make Mark the Shark bite or laugh. By the time they have done that a few hundred times he will certainly no longer be the scariest thing in the ocean!
Let us know which are your favorites and if we’ve missed any great titles off of the list.
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