When Sharks Attack with Kindness

Andrews McMeel. Mar. 2021. 128p. Tr $12.99. ISBN 9781524864811.
Gr 5 Up–This heartwarming collection of short comics tells the story of a shark who just wants to make some friends, along with other sea life pursuing their dreams. The shark manages to find a sea full of friends, from a stingray who becomes a blanket in an undersea picnic to an orange-and-white-striped pilot fish who’s not only a pal—he also doubles as the shark’s neck tie. The quick comic timing (well-placed sight gags include seahorses admiring a picture of a regular horse) marry perfectly with the humorous writing to create a comic that feels like a warm hug. Using a primarily blue palette, Colmenares depicts a gentle, utterly appealing undersea world. Encouraging, funny, and whimsical, this book will delight young and older readers alike, who will take heart from the triumphs of the characters, who turn their “disadvantages” into strengths—a young shark is discouraged when all he can draw is “a few wavy lines,” but an older friend is impressed: “Wow, buddy! You drew an ocean!” And a narwhal who thinks that his horn is a liability realizes that it’s the perfect selfie stick.
VERDICT An ideal read for kids not yet ready for Sarah Andersen’s Sarah’s Scribbles or who just need a pick-me-up. This is a book that can be opened, flipped to a random page, and enjoyed over and over.

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