4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
The Shark in the Park is a children's book with a unique and thrilling blend of the imagination and the realistic authored by Mark Watson and illustrated by Pablo Michau.
The sole character in this book is a grade school student named Michael. One day Michael is on his way to the bus stop for another day at school. As he is passing through the park to meet the bus, he spies a shark that is swimming through the ground! He barely avoids being eaten by the shark alongside his bookbag and the story carries on from there.
Despite the theme and the Jaws like great white shark, I did not find the book to be too scary for young children. The entire story is also written in short, but entertaining, rhyming verses. The narrative flows well but there are a few advanced words scattered through the book. I viewed these instances as teaching opportunities for my little audience. I also appreciated that the professional quality of the illustrations in this book. The dynamic graphics are perfectly in tune with the story. Michael and the shark seem to be in constant motion.
The first half of the test audience, my five year old son, loves The Shark in the Park and was thrilled by the every bit of the story. When asked what he likes about the book he has two answers. He loves that it has a shark that swims underground and he loves the ending. He always gets a huge kick out of the quirky conclusion of the story and loves to laugh about it. Go figure, a five year old boy who loves sharks. We also enjoyed discussing the content of some of the illustrations. In the interest of full disclosure, the other half of the test audience was not as interested in this book; but to be fair, three year old girls don't seem to be the target market here.
This book has themes of facing and conquering your fear. I like the fact that while at first Mark is terrified of the shark, he starts to find ways to confront it. This theme is emphasized by the lack of other characters within the book indicating that Michael must defeat his own fears.
The Shark in the Park by Mark Watson and Pablo Michau is a fun read for kids of preschool and elementary school age. Therefore, I give this children’s book a rating of 4 out of 4 stars. I would recommend this book for children, especially boys, who are between the ages of 4 and 10 and enjoy a bit of excitement in their stories.
The Shark in the Park
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon
Like anonanemone's review? Post a comment saying so!