Shark in the Dark

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The shark has been lurking in the deep, dark sea, searching for a fishy snack. He’s big and he’s mean and he’s always hungry. Tired of fleeing the shark, the other seas creatures come up with a plan. If they all work together it might be possible to teach the shark a lesson he’ll never forget. With a lively rhyming text; bright, expressive illustrations; and a playful die-cut cover, this is one shark’s tale that will be a hit either at story hour . . . or feeing time.

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Cort, Ben New York, NY 2009 Hard cover Good. Sewn binding. Paper over boards. 32 p. Contains: Illustrations, color. Intended for a juvenile audience.

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Overview

The shark has been lurking in the deep, dark sea, searching for a fishy snack. He’s big and he’s mean and he’s always hungry. Tired of fleeing the shark, the other seas creatures come up with a plan. If they all work together it might be possible to teach the shark a lesson he’ll never forget. With a lively rhyming text; bright, expressive illustrations; and a playful die-cut cover, this is one shark’s tale that will be a hit either at story hour . . . or feeing time.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—The best part of this book is the cover, which has a cutout resembling sharp teeth through which readers can see a hungry shark surrounded by frightened fish. In rhyming text, children learn about the creature that just ate but wants more, the "shark in the dark." Many kinds of fish are highlighted as they see their potential attacker. While they are escaping, they chance upon a friendly squid that comes up with a plan to make sure that the shark never eats in their neighborhood again. The last page shows an illustration of all the fish forming a whale, and the text states that working together is the best way to solve a problem. Young children will probably love looking at the appealing cartoons, and the text will pull them right into the story. However, Lio Lionni's classic Swimmy (Knopf, 1963) tells the same story.—Susan Lissim, Dwight School, New York City
Kirkus Reviews
The smaller sea creatures live in fear of the hungry shark..until they come up with a plan. In bouncy verse, Bently describes the ongoing pursuit of the turtles, shellfish, flounders et al., by the sharp-toothed predator: "All of the fishes were flustered and bumbling- / ‘Here comes the Shark and his tummy is rumbling!' " Racing away, the fish find a shrewd squid hiding in the wreckage of a sunken ship and explain their predicament. Squid has an idea...Cut to the shark, who spies a small, appetizing fish in the distance. The closer the shark gets, though, the larger the fish seems. It's a . . . WHALE!-and many times larger than the shark, who swims away for his life. The final two-page spread shows the story's surprise twist (imagine Swimmy) and shares its tidy lesson: "when we all got together, / We taught him a thing he'll remember forever." Bently's appealing text stumbles in its scansion more than once and gets little help from Cort's pedestrian, seemingly movie-inspired illustrations. Forgettable, despite its child-magnet subject. (Picture book. 3-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802798411
  • Publisher: Walker & Company
  • Publication date: 5/26/2009
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 3 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 10.70 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

PETER BENTLY studied languages at Oxford. He enjoys visiting schools and sharing his writing. Inspired by living close to the sea, Shark in the Dark is Peter’s first picture book. He lives in England with his wife and children.

BEN CORT studied illustration at Harrow College. He is also the illustrator of Aliens Love Underpants and a line of novelty phone books. Ben is also interested in photography and computer-manipulated imaging. He lives in England.

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