Sharks, you either love them or you don’t. I can’t say I would like to get close to one but I think they are interesting creatures so that is why I decided to take a look at DK’s Sharkpedia. This book has so much information packed into it and I learnt a lot just a few pages in, as the book progressed I really appreciated reading about shark stats, looking at the detailed pictures and learning about the difference species.
Sharkpedia 2nd Edition by Nancy Ellwood & Margaret Parrish
Published by DK Books
Date: 27 November 2017
Calling all shark trackers!…We’ll hit our favourite shark haunts and hideouts and study lot of different sharks…and, of course, those celebrities of the sea… A combination of these words were the introduction to the book and they really packed a punch. I was inspired to go on the journey with Professor John and study these mysterious creatures and hopefully to dispel some of my fears. A good beginning to the book certainly sets the scene of what is to come and in this case I was not disappointed.
The pictures throughout the book are something special, with an up close look at the different species I was able to see just what fascinating creatures they are. With a combination of drawn pictures and photography I was able to look at the normally unseen world of these feared fish.
It seems fear has been associated with sharks since ancient times, it was interesting to learn about the folklore associated with these species – with ancient stories saying that sharks were sorcerers sent by spirits and people believing that when people died their ghosts entered the bodies of sharks.
Perhaps one of my most favourite sections of the book is the double page spread on getting acquainted with the shark. Here I learnt a lot, such as there are more than 400 species of sharks, and that baby sharks are left to fend for themselves. The best part is the diagram of the inside of a shark – now don’t worry guys there is no blood or guts I promise. There is, however, explanations about their teeth, brain, heart and breathing abilities. With all this knowledge your young reader will just about know everything there is to know about sharks.
The book addresses shark attacks and I think this is an important aspect of the book, it’s a reality as they move closer to the shore and may help dispel some of the fear associated with these creatures. In this section, it also gives suggestions of how you can protect yourself should you encounter a shark while swimming or scuba diving. The readers are also being introduced to the topic of conservation and I think the alerts throughout give children a good understanding of how endangered some sharks are, and how numerous countries are trying to protect some of the more vulnerable species.
The book has been well written and is fairly easily understood. Some of the pages may overwhelm the less confident reader, as there is a lot of information jammed onto most pages; I know I glanced at a few pages and couldn’t decide where to begin. There is something for everyone in this book, including a mention of Nemo and Moby Dick which are loved by young and old.
There is so much more I could say about this book but I need to leave something for you to read. DK continue to excel in the thoroughness of information that children understand and there is everything you could possibly want to know about sharks in this book.
Hit the comments if this book interests you or if you have already read it, I would love to know your thoughts.
Thank you to DK Australia and Penguin Books for the opportunity to read and honestly review this book.