Thursday, June 30, 2016
Slickety Quick: Poems About Sharks. Written by Skila Brown and illustrated by Bob Kolar. Candlewick Press, Random House. 2016.$22.00 ages 5 and up
you dip and dive all day.
Pointy snout, bullet nose,
bold eyes that never close,
graceful as the water flows,
bay to bay to bay.
Blue shark, blue shark ... "
If you work with kids in the library or the classroom, or you have children of your own, you will know exactly the ones who are spellbound at the thought of sharks ... and cannot get enough information to suit them. You will always be on the lookout for that new book! You should look no further than Skila Brown's new poetry book about fourteen different sharks, each with its own particular characteristics. As you will see, they are not all the same!
In this exploration of the frightful creatures that lurk in deep waters. Ms. Brown chooses not only the most recognizable of the lot - the great white and the hammerhead - she also includes some that are not so well known to many of us. Each is given a full double page spread to present its most important and telling attributes. I greatly admire the way the text is presented, always in keeping with the character of the shark itself.
For instance, the bull shark:
"Tenacious, aggressive, and stocky,
you ambush your prey at the shore.
You'll eat anything,
button, boat, fin or wing;
you chomp it up, then search for more.
You sneak into freshwater rivers
before your prey finds time to flee.
You give them a bump,
taste a bit of their rump;
you're just an old bull of the sea."
Then she adds a tiny bit of additional detail:
"Bull sharks are unpredictable animals. They head-butt their prey before taking a
bite of them and can even tolerate freshwater, sometimes swimming into rivers!"
Shark aficionados are going to gobble it up, you know they are!
Bob Kolar's digital images accurately and menacingly show those creatures who strike fear in the hearts of many, and admiration and interest in so many others. Muted shades of green, blue, brown and grey place us in the water with them, as light plays all around them and from many angles.