Sharks and Whales

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
While this book discusses sharks, whales, dolphins and porpoises, the emphasis is firmly on sharks; factual errors follow hyperbolic scare tactics guaranteed to keep readers out of the water. ``Great White Shark--a loner. Man-eater. The White Death. The most dangerous creature alive.'' A description of the Porbeagle includes ``man-eating monster''; for Tiger Shark, these words: ``among the most feared of the man-eating sharks''; also, ``Many people believe that blue sharks have also devoured victims of downed planes and disabled ships.'' Obvious errors include naming ``sleeping shark'' as a species rather than phenomenon, placing bull sharks 3000 miles up the Amazon and stating that makos swim at an incredible 60 mph. After incorrectly nicknaming the whale shark ``checkerboard shark,'' the section on whales et al. begins without a reasonable clarifying transition. Condescending, speculative paragraphs again mingle with hyperbole for less threatening, but equally misleading, results. There are several illustrative errors and more than a few excesses; composition is generally questionable, if not poor. Ages 7-10. (May)
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-- The fierce fish, the sharks, and the intelligent mammals, the whales, couldn't be two more different species to combine into one volume--they share the ocean, and that's their only commonality. Yet this picture book-size and -format introduction to selected characteristics of sharks and whales will fill a browsing niche. The underwater action is vividly portrayed in Johnson's beautiful watercolors. Each entry is a short paragraph or less, marked by awkward descriptions of such amazing appearances as the Hammerhead or the peculiar dogfish habit of eating boating equipment. ``Sperm Whale'' follows ``Whale Shark'' with no explanation of why these two species are linked or how this connection is made. Other books on whales for this age group include Susan Harris' Whales (Watts, 1979), which gives a total picture of whale life and Gilda Berger's Whales (Doubleday, 1987). Shark books abound--take your pick. --Frances E. Millhouser, Prince William Library System, VA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780448090771
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/5/1989
  • Series: Deluxe Illustrated Ser.
  • Edition description: Rev. ed
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 20.00 (w) x 20.00 (h) x 20.00 (d)

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