Friday, April 13, 2018

PPBF: Shark Lady

And now on to today's Perfect Picture Book Friday pick

Shark Lady, a biography of biologist, Eugenie Clark
Shark Lady
The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became The Ocean's Most Fearless Scientist

Written Jess Keating
Illustrated by Marta Alvarez Miguens

Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, 2017
Ages 4-8, 40 pp, 730L

Ocean, Animals, Biography

It was Saturday, and Eugenie wanted to stay at the aquarium forever. She wanted to smell the damp, salty air and stare at the glittery rainbow of fish. She wanted to keep watching her favorite animals...The sharks.

Shark Lady follows scientist Eugenie Clark's life from fascination with sharks as a child to her ground-breaking studies as a marine biologist. The book focuses on the misrepresentation of sharks and uses it to strengthen the theme: that Eugenie Clark was also misunderstood. As a woman scientist, she faced opposition as well as challenges she set herself in her field work. The back matter includes a timeline, shark facts, and other interesting bits.

What I Love:
With multiple degrees and awards to her credit, Clark is a great role model for young readers. Keating's text is readable, and re-readable. The art is playful and colorful, perfect for attracting readers of both sexes, even ones who aren't interested in the subject. I love the underlying idea that we look too much on the outward appearance and tend to misjudge both animals and people. While Keating's What Makes A Monster? is somewhat heavy-handed, Shark Lady sets just the right balance. The entire book is designed to be engaging from the charming endpapers to the clever "Shark Bites" of information in the back where the author includes, not just more information, but deeper, funnier, or more kid-friendly factoids.

You'll find all the picture book nominees for the CYBILS Award* on Perfect Picture Book Fridays. Here's what you may have missed so far:
Hatching Chicks in Room 6
Once Upon A Jungle


Craft a paper fin hat to wear
during the playground games.
Courtesy of Susan's Site
1. Play Fishy Fishy Sharky Sharky or Minnows and Sharks during recess.

2. For snacktime, mix up some gummy sharks and blue Jello or a watermelon shark.

3. PBS Parents has cooked up a shark-themed coding game for women's history month.

4. TeacherVision is a great resource for classrooms, from biographical worksheets on Eugenie Clark, to shark matching pages.

5. Learn more about Eugenie Clark at The Marine Laboratory & Aquarium or read her bio on National Geographic, published after her death.

6. Take a field trip to The Georgia Aquarium or a facility near you.

7. Check out these and more Perfect Picture Books at your local library.

Reviewed by Maria
Reviewed by Penny

Reviewed by Sue
Reviewed by Vivian

Reviewed by Joanne
Reviewed by Susanna

Have you reviewed a Perfect Picture Book along this theme? Please leave the link in the comments below. Thanks!

Check out all the recommended titles for Perfect Picture Book Friday
for Friday, April 13, 2018 available on Susanna Leonard Hill's blog.

*As a CYBILS second round judge, I was asked to review a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.


  1. I love true stories about strong women in science. Excellent role models for readers. I had a hard time reaching your site and had to scroll down to see your review on the right.

  2. Replies
    1. It's cute, right? Wish I could've found a better photo though. Thanks.


Thank-you for taking time to share your thoughts!