Science Comics: Sharks: Nature's Perfect Hunter

Science Comics: Sharks: Nature's Perfect Hunter

One of the most often visited sections in an elementary school library is that which holds the books on sharks. Young readers are fascinated with these sea creatures in all their various forms. So I can easily predict that the latest Science Comics title will see high circulation rates and probably need replacement quite quickly.

The book begins with an introduction by marine conservation biologist, Dr. David Shiffman. He tells of his own fascination with sharks and his appreciation for the book and its contents. The book itself is filled with diagrams and images of the different species of sharks. One scene which will make adults grin in recognition shows a man tossing chum and a shark rising out of the water just as it happened in the movie "Jaws." Other pages show a series of creatures from various time periods all declining to swim in the ocean because there are sharks in there.

There are incredible facts such as, you are "more likely to be hospitalized for being struck by lightning...than for getting injured by a shark." The part that sharks play in the complex ocean food webs, the range of their sizes (from fitting in the palm of your hand to whale proportions), and pages showing the various orders of sharks within the Superorder Selachimorpha will satisfy those thirsty for details.

The images and text work well together to illustrate the amazing range of adaptations sharks have developed since their first ancestors appeared (an estimated 400 million years ago). With over 500 species, there are many opportunities for variation. Some species have phosphorescence. Thresher sharks use their tails as whips to stun their prey. Some species like the mako are even warm-blooded. One ability that will captivate readers who enjoy the gross and gruesome shows a shark turning its stomach inside out to expel what it cannot digest.

Folk lore and pop culture are also included. The Hawaiian legends of shapechanging shark gods, movies such as "Jaws," and the popularity of shark fin soup are all covered. Historic events like the early twentieth century shark attacks (covered in one of the I Survived books by Lauren Tarshis), as well as the more recent survivor story of Bethany Hamilton are also discussed.

Back matter includes a large spread showing the shark family tree, a glossary, and suggested phrases to use instead of the vilifying "shark attack." At the bottom of the glossary pages are illustrations of various shark egg cases (a.k.a. mermaid's purses).

Highly recommended for elementary and middle grade readers who enjoy nonfiction and books about animals.

128 pages   978-1626727878   Ages 8-13

Recommended by:  Suzanne Costner, Library Media Specialist, Tennessee USA

See more of her recommendations:


For over 400 million years, sharks have been the ocean's top predator! They're vital to our ecosystem, but their importance is often overshadowed by our own fear―even though they hardly ever threaten humans.

Dive in for an intimate look at the dynamic hammerhead, infamous great white, primordial megalodon, and the gentle nurse shark, the rare species that will let a scuba diver pet them! This book is filled to the gills with jaw-dropping illustrations and razor-sharp facts that shed light on these fascinating creatures of the deep, including their undersea terrain, cunning adaptability, and staggering variety.

Every volume of Science Comics offers a complete introduction to a particular topic―dinosaurs, coral reefs, the solar system, volcanoes, bats, flying machines, and more. These gorgeously illustrated graphic novels offer wildly entertaining views of their subjects. Whether you're a fourth grader doing a natural science unit at school or a thirty year old with a secret passion for airplanes, these books are for you!--from the pubilsher

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