S. & S./Simon Spotlight. (Critter-Cam). Jun. 2023. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781665927352; pap. $4.99. ISBN 9781665927345.
K-Gr 2–Follow a shark’s ocean adventures through a video-cam attached to its head. A predator’s life may be exciting, but it can be lonely; all the fish swim and hide whenever Shark comes near. Maybe Octopus will play, maybe dance? Yes! They dance together until Shark has to go. The face of a huge creature fills the camera lens—it’s a whale, and its mouth is open and ready to catch all the sea creatures in its path. “Everybody, swim!” warns the shark and saves the day. But now the shark is hungry. Palatini and Yaccarino’s “Critter-Cam” collaboration employs the visual device of a video frame and record button illustrated on the right-hand page of each spread to show what the camera sees—the shark’s viewpoint. On the verso, readers are privy to the action. The spreads have different underwater landscapes that feel confusing and could make figuring out who sees what tricky. Short sentences on each page support first reading experiences. Repetition of single words with a clear bold typeface supports beginning word recognition.
VERDICT For young shark lovers. A predator that acts against type makes for a fun, gentle narrative.

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