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Smart About Sharks Hardcover – August 9, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 1–4—Tongue-in-cheek headings, descriptive text, and art with a retro color palette make this an alternative take on the typical shark book. As fun to read as it is informative, this title covers the diet, hunting techniques, social life, size, and biology of eight orders of sharks. The layout is well designed, and the illustrations, rendered digitally, are appealing and detailed. The color palette consists of earth tones, muted golds and turquoise, and corals—colors perfectly suited to the undersea world of sharks. Some subjects receive an entire spread, such as the body diagram of a Caribbean reef shark. The work culminates with a warning that much of the shark population is at risk and a brief explanation as to why. Tips for ecologically sensitive living that are accessible for readers (recycling plastic, eating sustainable seafood, and being aware of energy usage) are also included. VERDICT Consider this amusing and edifying work for summer displays and artsy kids who also happen to like sharks.—Gretchen Crowley, Alexandria City Public Libraries, VA
This book’s engaging informative content is rivaled only by its uncommonly sophisticated illustrations. [ ] An all-around superior nonfiction resource.
I love children’s books that are as delicious for kids as they are for adults, and Smart About Sharks is exactly that. With a sumptuous textured cloth cover, an appealing gray-tinted palette of earth tones playfully punctuated by pink, and a retro encyclopedic design, Smart is filled with fascinating bite-sized shark facts that were completely new to me.
A beautifully illustrated compendium of facts about sharks [ ]
Kids love sharks. Owen Davey's Smart About Sharks is going to jump off the shelves and demand to go home with these kids. What's not to love? There are great infographics giving out wild information (wait until you see all the different kinds of teeth found in sharks across the world), bright, brilliant artwork with a retro feel to it, and tons of facts about sharks, including a debunking of their status as maneaters: if you're on a surfboard, you look like a seal, and the book has the artwork to prove it.
Books For Kids
The skillful assembly of geometric shapes and patterns captures the essence of [Davey’s] carnivorous, cartilaginous subjects.
Each page is perfectly balanced with educational facts intermixed with lively sharks that look as if they are swimming in and out of the pages. This well researched book will immerse all readers in fascinating facts about the most well-known predator of the seas.
I learned a great deal that I didn't know about sharks, and I think that a 7 or 8-year-old would have a great time with this book. [ ] More importantly, this book is a great introduction to nonfiction reading for children.
PRAISE FOR PREVIOUS BOOKS BY OWEN DAVEY
On Owen's previous book in the series, Mad About Monkeys, an ALSC Notable Children's Book
Tackling a topic as general as monkeys is a tall order for a picture book, but this one succeeds admirably. [ ] Davey keeps things lively by relating specific traits of various monkey species [ ] and these serve not only to pique readers' curiosity, but also to highlight the primates' diversity. The design of the book is stellar, interweaving text and stylized-but-accurate illustrations into a vibrant, cohesive whole that stands out for its appeal and clarity. A vast amount of information on monkeys is expertly delivered in both text and image without patronizing either readers or monkeysa delight.
Kirkus, Starred Review
A semi-irreverent tone and stylish images combine to create an arresting and informative guide to simian nature.
Full of bared fangs, long tails and witty descriptions, this elegant book is likely to commend itself even to readers a good deal older than those for whom it is designed.
Wall Street Journal
Davey’s striking illustrations and bold graphic design are the highlights of this compendium of facts about monkeys. He deftly draws on their varied and unusual physical features to produce eye-catching images that will attract browsers.
School Library Journal
Owen Davey presents a stunning and richly informative primer on these marvelous primates. [ ] With art that calls to mind Charley Harper and the golden age of mid-century children’s book illustration, Davey explores the glorious diversity of these weird and wonderful creatures, their sophisticated social life, and their elaborate communication style [ ]
This nonfiction picture book colorfully and innovatively educates readers about various types of monkeys from around the world without being pedantic. Jazzy illustrations resembling a graphic arts styled poster accurately depict several species of monkeys. [...] helpful examples, guiding illustrations, and comical phrases like But why such colorful bums?’ I hear you ask” will leave readers feeling like they are on a lively safari.
On Owen Davey's children's book, Night Knight:
"An outstanding picture book.”
"Davey, a British illustrator, uses a striking palette of ocher, orange and cinnamon in this delightful debut, which recreates the imaginative pre-bedtime rituals of the aspiring titular knight. Simple, sweet and bound to induce sleep."
The New York Times
Davey creates a visually striking celebration of the last imaginative hurrah before bedtime.
Every spread of this visually stunning British import is suitable for framing. Hip, stylized, beautifully composed cut-paper collages evoke the rich ornamentation of any self-respecting medieval fantasy, all saturated in a warm palette of deep gold, burgundy, rusts and oranges on what looks like handmade paper...A visual feast for very youngest fans of knights and castles.
On Davey's previous book, Laika:
"Owen’s trademark folky style makes his wordless books just as appealing to adults as they are to children, allowing him to bridge gaps between audiences in the most effortless of ways.”
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