Hark! A Shark! All About Sharks from the Cat in the Hat's Learning Library
by Bonnie Worth
Illustrated by Aristedes Ruiz and Joe Mathieu
I love a good non-fiction picture book! This title has a lot going for it. It is well researched by professionals. This photo of the front matter shows that experts in both marine life and literacy were consulted in the writing of this book. Children can absolutely have informative AND entertaining books at their disposal.
I love that the both the science and the reader are shown respect by presenting the subject matter with the most possible accuracy.
Another thing I feel is essential to good children's non-fiction is a glossary and resources for learning more about the topic at hand. This book contains both of those elements, as well as an index.
Regardless of how "good" a title is according to adults, however, the true test is in whether children will read it or accept it as a read-a-loud. This book, with over 4 stars on amazon, fulfills both of those requirements! Hark a Shark! is written in the rhyming style of Dr. Seuss, using the characters from the popular Cat in the Hat reboot that is aired on PBS. The illustrations are whimsical and aid in the presentation of the information. The language used is fun but accurate. In this example, you can see the characters learning about skin grafts using shark skin.
The book holds my kids' attention pretty well. I do think that dividing the book into some sort of section would have been beneficial to the presentation of the information. The cool thing about this book is that it's a great read-a-loud title because it follows the fun structure of Dr. Seuss, but it's also a fantastic choice for independent reading. I'm a big fan of this book, and I will also be looking for more of the Learning Library's titles. We own Would you Rather be a Pollywog? at our house and that has also been popular with my kids.