How to Make a Shark Smile: How a Positive Mindset Spreads Happiness

Sourcebooks. Feb. 2020. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781492694724.
PreS-Gr 2–Ripple the dolphin is excited for his first day at a new aquarium. The fish are all hiding and sad. Ripple asks Bob the blowfish what is wrong. The fish have mistaken Ripple for Snark the shark, the meanest creature in the aquarium. Ripple challenges Bob to stare at his smiling face and not smile himself. Bob does smile and, impressed with Ripple’s joyous presence, he busies himself spreading smiles among other fish. Snark happens along and Ripple challenges him to smile. Try as he might to resist, Snark eventually gives in to his first toothy shark giggle. Wide-eyed and cute cartoon characters, produced digitally with bright colors, will appeal to young readers. The prose is mainly conversational and plentiful, which may make it challenging to read aloud to a wiggling group of children. However, the message of infectious positivity affecting the energy of those around you is delivered with enough humor and charm that young listeners should respond. The end pages contain tips for helping yourself and others develop a happiness mindset.
VERDICT A compelling and age-appropriate story on the mechanics of a positive mindset. A solid addition to most libraries.

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