Shark Wars: Creatures of the Deep Go Head to Head

illus. by Simon Mendez. 80p. (Animal Wars). glossary. photos. TickTock. 2015. lib. ed. $12.99. ISBN 9781783251483.
Gr 3–5—Shark and underwater enthusiasts will enjoy this speculation about how various creatures of the deep would fare in one-on-one competitions. Though fairly light on facts and research, this volume is high on the entertainment factor. Designed to grab readers' attention, the book introduces battles with a full-spread illustration and a paragraph of text. The following pages go into more detail about each animal, with a "Battle Features" chart, which rates creatures based on a variety of factors, including brute strength, killer ability, and brainpower. None receive a perfect score, but the results of the fights might be surprising. Colorful graphics and digitally manipulated photographs won't cause too many nightmares (only a few depict blood, and some show the battle scenes moments before an actual bite occurs), but they might result in some reluctant swimmers. Some images are more realistic than others. For instance, the dragonfish and deep-sea angler look like scary Halloween decorations with sharp teeth. Despite the title, not all battles involve sharks. Well-known favorites (the great white shark, the great barracuda) and lesser-known species (crown of thorns, lionfish) alike are covered. Key vocabulary terms are highlighted throughout. Appended is a results page, which lets kids know the victor of each fight.
VERDICT A title likely to find a following based on its topic.

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