Super Shark Encyclopedia by DK Books

Super Shark Encyclopedia truly lives up to its name – beautifully presented, mountains of facts, and information intelligently ordered to make this a book children can grow with – from basic information suitable for grade school interspersed with more detailed information useful for older kids/middle school.  It’s the type of book that is so incredibly well done that it should be in every library and school. Certainly, it’s a fantastic home resource as well.

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Although the focus is on sharks, other deep sea creatures are also presented. The book breaks down as follows:

Amazing anatomy (discover what makes ocean animals ideally suited for their environment – fins, tusks, teeth tentacles, colorful camouflage, spines, etc.).

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Animal athletes (jumpers, flyers, surfers – from boxing with crabs to thrashing around with a thresher shark).

Life stories (survival techniques from krill/safety in numbers to parrotfish covering themselves in slime.

Supernatural senses (some animals have extraordinary abilities – from sensing electrical signals to detecting light that other creatures can’t see).

Exploring the deep (all the incredibly strange and fascinating creatures at the greater ocean depths).

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While parents and kids may at first be interested in the shark aspect, there really is so much more here. Illustrations, photographs, call out boxes (e.g., ‘California horn shark at a glance, including size, habitat, location, diet) help tell the story.  There are fun facts, interesting comments, and a slew of very interesting tidbits. But it is rarely presented in block paragraph form – instead everything is presented brightly and in creative and engaging ways that encourage young readers to devour the topic. Never does the book talk down to kids or strike a false or syrupy note.

Because it is so incredibly informative and beautifully presented, this is an easy 5 star, highest recommendation. I’ve rarely seen a better ‘encyclopedia’ type of presentation on the subject of sealife. As well, I’ve gone over it with my 11 year old many times and she loves to explore the various sea creatures and their facts – it’s definitely a hit with her. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.

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