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Hark! A Shark
All About Sharks (Cat in the Hat's Learning Library)

Bonnie Worth

Average Review Rating Average Rating 9/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Random House Books for Young Readers

Published : 2013

Copyright : Bonnie Worth 2013

ISBN-10 : HB 0-375-87073-3
ISBN-13 : HB 978-0-375-87073-6

Publisher's Write-Up

Age Range: 5 - 8 years

In this latest installment of the Cat in the Hat's Learning Library, the Cat introduces beginning readers to all kinds of sharks! From the smallest (the dwarf lantern) to the largest (the whale shark), the most notorius (the great white) to the most obscure (the goblin), the Cat explains why sharks have lots of teeth but no bones; how their tough skin helps them swim fast and stay clean (inspiring scientists - and bathing suit manufacturers!); how pores along the sides of their bodies help them sense prey; that they have more to fear from us than we do from them, and much, much more!

Perfect for shark and Cat (in the Hat) fanciers, fans of the new PBS Kids preschool science show The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! will sink their teeth into this new addition to the series!

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Molly Martin (310517) Rating (9/10)

Review by Molly Martin
Book Source: Not Known
Rating 9/10

Bonnie Worth’s Hark! A Shark is a book all about sharks. Is a dandy edition to the home or classroom library for young science enthusiasts.

While the book does not have a table of contents

Pages 7 -41 provide text, illustrations and reading enjoyment
Page 42 is a glossary offering explanations of some vocabulary children may not yet know
Page 43 delivers a short list with brief explanation for Further Reading
Index is provided on pages 44 and 45

A list of other Cat in the Hat Learning Library is found on the inside back cover.

Illustrated by Aristides Ruiz and Joe Mathieu Bonnie Worth’s Hark! A Shark follows the format seen in others of the Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library; The Cat in the Hat romps across each 2-page spread.

Each spread includes notes, pictures, the girl and boy we know from others of the Seuss Learning series books, and what appears to be two small, frazzled hair, blue PJ wearing cousins of original thing one and thing two. While the illustrations are not exactly the same as original Seuss drawings, I doubt they are supposed to be. And, I have never found children I taught in the K 1 venue of elementary classrooms from California to Oklahoma have any dislike or concern that they are not.

The first informational box relates that People fear sharks, and that’s mostly because of films that star sharks with big, snapping jaws.

Leaves include rhyming data page while another has specific fact information regarding sharks and shark habits and behaviours. Some facts are presented in side bar type information boxes and some are simply facts presented as text.

A zany submarine, a selection of Great Whites, shark teeth, a factoid regarding cartilage, size comparison of Megladon, Great Whites, depiction of denticles, factoid that shark skin stays clean and is nearly gunk free, description of sharkskin, explanation for the durability of sharkskin are all addressed.

Facts and pictures of the huge Whale shark, no teeth; baleen gill rakers, notes regarding how sharks swim with mouth open, description of a diversity of sharks including Great White, Leopard, Nurse, Blue, Dwarf lantern, Mako, Woebegong, Thresher, Cookie Cutter, Dogfish, Megamouth, Whitetip Reef, Spinner, Puffadder Shyshark, Hammerhead, Lemon and the elusive Goblin Sharks are all detailed.

I found youngsters in the Primary Grade group K 3 seem to have an affinity for learning as much as possible about all things science and especially shark. Facts regarding feeding habits, how baby sharks develop, what baby sharks are called – pups, the biggest, smallest, fastest and slowest sharks are all facts Little Learners remember well.

This book offers a peek into how scientists tag sharks. Some don’t seem to mind the tags; while tagging others can get a bit dicey. Mermaid purses and what they really are, as well as information regarding that some pups develop inside the mom shark’s body while others are expelled as eggs in an egg case to develop and hatch at a later date is included. Not included is information that more eggs are produced and become pups than are pups born or hatched.

Illustrations are whimsical and child friendly; because most of my classroom career was spent in California classrooms, the sea, and its inhabitants, was something most of us grew up with. A large whale with barnacles was easily recognized as was a boat with the same creatures attached at and below the waterline.

All in all Bonnie Worth’s Hark! A Shark is a child friendly read, vocabulary may need to be explained in places, illustrations are attractive and pleasing to children.

I like the back pages notes that sharks are becoming extinct due in part to the utter disregard many on our earth have for these marvellous creatures. ‘People hunt sharks for oil and their remarkable skins and let’s not forget their dorsal fins’.

As with all Dr Seuss Library books, Hark a Shark is well made to stand up to many readings and years of use whether at home or in the classroom. Many of my original library of Dr Seuss books first used back at the beginning of my teaching career spanning nearly 4 decades are a little worn around the edges, or have an errant pencil mark here and there. All remain with pages intact and readable, and enjoyed by children today as they were on the first day they appeared in my classroom.

I don’t have all the books I have used, when I readied my room for my departure in California, thinking I would be retiring, each child chose a favourite of the books to take home to keep. Others have been given away over the years, however I do have some of the original package teachers received when Dr Seuss was first introduced to us and to children alike.

The only change I would like to see would be addition of a Table of Contents. As a rule Teachers introduce the concept in Grade 1.

Interesting read, lots of information, sure to please the target audience of 5 to 8 year olds, and more.

Happy to recommend for home, home school and classroom use, a must have for the classroom science table, home, public and school library.

Note: I realise the review is very detailed, on the whole children choose books by the cover, they do not often read reviews. Parents and other adults will read reviews; as a parent and a teacher I like to know what I might expect between the covers of a book I choose for my child or yours.
Molly Martin (31st May 2017)

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