By Becky Hong

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SHARKS: and Other Dangers of the Deep By Simon Mugford

I am so excited to tell you about this fun board book today. We received it from a friend almost a year ago, and it has been in constant rotation with my 4.5-year old ever since. First of all, I love it when books are passed down through a family or friends, our copy is loved and well-read and I love thinking about who we will one day pass this one on to.

This book is so cool in that it talks about the anatomy of sharks, different facts about them and there is a glossary in the back for words they use throughout the text (i.e., nocturnal, scavenge, etc.) What we really love, is the “danger jaw rating.” Each animal is rated on how dangerous it is, from zero jaws to 5 jaws! My son LOVES telling me how many jaws an animal is rated! When he pretends to be a shark, he tells me “I’m a great white shark, I have 5 danger jaws!”

Another really great feature of this book is that they draw the shark silhouette next to a silhouette of a person so that you can get an idea of scale. Especially with little kids, I think it’s hard for them to understand just how big some of these creatures can be! We can tell them an eagle ray can be 13 feet across, but that doesn’t mean much when in the book they only look to be about 4 inches across. Maybe they see videos or see a few of them in an aquarium, but seeing every animal compared to a human (or human hand) really starts to give them a grasp of how big these amazing creatures can be!

The book also talks about other ocean animals, like electric rays and blue-ringed octopuses. I love this because it shows that you don’t need to be big, or be a shark to be dangerous. On the flip side, they also make it very clear that many sharks are not dangerous to humans.

Any book that can teach a child that the world is bigger than their immediate bubble scores points for me, and the more they learn about and love the ocean now, the more they will understand that we need to respect and protect it.

Does your kiddo have a favorite ocean animal right now?


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