#CBR7 Review #81: Neighborhood Sharks by Katherine Roy

In the first season of 30 Rock, Tracy Jordan admonishes Kenneth the Page to “live every week like it’s Shark Week.” It’s an injunction that The Chancellor and I take very seriously. Shark Week is like a national holiday to us. My students have even suggested that I wear a GoPro the next time I watch Shark Week so that they can enjoy me watching it (um, never. I enjoy my sharks in private). This last weekend, I graduated school for the last time (no, really. Getting a PhD is good enough for me. IT’S OVER. I’M DONE WITH SCHOOL), and as part of my celebration, The Chancellor, my sister, my aunt, and my in-laws went to the local independent bookstore. And what did I find on the shelf but the gloriously informative and illustrated book Neighborhood Sharks? I might have squealed in public.

This text looks like a children’s book but is a gorgeously informative narrative for all ages (but maybe older children over the wee ones. There is a depiction of a shark attack on a seal, and it’s not Victorian in nature at all). Katherine Roy takes us to the Farallon Islands near San Francisco, where great white sharks are hunting and occupying the waters. She examines the reasons for sharks’ supremacy as apex predators, including some terrific graphics and anatomical pictorials. The illustrations are all hers, and she wrote the text based on her careful research and trip to the Farallons. With her book, Roy marries art, biology, and science, and it is a rollicking good time.

Are you a person who likes sharks? Are you interested in apex predators? Do you like terrific and colorful illustrations? Then run, don’t walk, to your local bookstore or library and check out this wonderful book. After all, Shark Week is a mere few months away…


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