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I Am the Shark

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What makes the great white shark (one of) the greatest fish in the sea? FIN-d out in this hilarious fish-out-of-water story that's perfect for Shark Week and all year-round!

Don't miss this one. -School Library Journal, Starred Review

Hi! I am Great White Shark, and if you get this book, you'll read all about ME--the greatest shark in the sea!

Not so fast! Greenland Shark here, and as the oldest shark in this book, that makes me the greatest.

Did someone say fast? I'm Mako Shark, and I'm the fastest shark in this book! Eat my bubbles!

Wow, I'm Hammerhead Shark. You don't need my special eyes to see that there are lots of great sharks in this book. Sink your teeth into it now!

New York Times bestselling author Joan Holub makes a splash with bestselling illustrator Laurie Keller to deliver an entertaining undersea story filled with the greatest shark facts in the ocean!

48 pages, Hardcover

Published May 4, 2021

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About the author

Joan Holub

308 books1,188 followers
NY Times bestselling children's book author:
GODDESS GIRLS series + HEROES IN TRAINING series (w Suzanne Williams); THIS LITTLE TRAILBLAZER a Girl Power Primer; ZERO THE HERO; I AM THE SHARK. Lucky to be doing what I love!

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5 stars
99 (34%)
4 stars
132 (46%)
3 stars
47 (16%)
2 stars
4 (1%)
1 star
1 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 57 reviews
Profile Image for Melki.
5,674 reviews2,324 followers
March 14, 2022
The reader gets to learn all about a variety of sharks as the Great White learns that he is not the biggest, smartest, or sneakiest shark in the sea. Fun, fishy, AND informative!

With terrific illustrations by Laurie Keller.

Profile Image for SOMDReigel.
892 reviews
April 13, 2021
Adorable book! I Am the Shark is impressively informative in a fun and entertaining way. Children will be drawn to this book. There is a lot of information on sharks and their world but also offers valuable life lessons through the search for self-worth. An encouraging read to feel good about yourself and your uniqueness.
Bonus is a fact section and additional resources.
Recommend for all readers. Perfect for school, daycare, and home libraries.

Reviewed by Comfy Chair Books/Lisa Reigel (April 13, 2021)
ARC/PDF file provided by The Children’s Book Review
Profile Image for Gmr.
1,189 reviews
May 1, 2021
Here we have a toothsome, friendly shark ready and willing to claim whatever title he can! Whether it be the fastest shark (which he's not), the oldest shark (again, not), the sneakiest shark (still not him!), or something else entirely (totally him and so fitting!), he's here to let the world know just who he is while revealing a myriad of sharky facts along the way! Like...did you know both sharks and people have FIVE senses? Or how about that some sharks have to keep swimming to breathe underwater? Yeah...AMAZING, right?! So, while we're getting our edutainment on, our friend the shark is getting a little down in the mouth. Just before he sighs his final sigh, with a little help, he figures out just what his particular shark type is REALLY known for, and the book's ending is that much brighter for it!

So, take a swim under the sea with a sharky friend who reminds us that while we all want to be the best, we all have our own best to be best at...and that's the ABSOLUTE BEST THING EVER!

**ecopy received for review; opinions are my own
Profile Image for Martha.
1,248 reviews9 followers
July 26, 2021
Shark titles are one of the most popular requests of young children in a library, along with mermaids, and unicorns of course. Yet finding a shark book that is also a funny story about a conceited shark (a great white shark) who thinks he's better than any of the other sharks is so clever. Young kids have spongelike brains when it comes to recalling shark facts, by featuring the most admirable quality of each shark from the Whale Sharks to the Dwarf Lantern Shark, each shark boasts about why they are the best, as the listener laps up all the fascinating true facts about these predators. Laurie Keller's animated brilliant illustrations make this story come alive, as the reader gobbles up all of the facts. The shark fact page with detailed descriptions of specific sharks, and the bibliography make this a perfect title to introduce as a read aloud or a research introduction for eager young customers.
Profile Image for Erin Buhr.
Author 5 books33 followers
July 16, 2021
Hilarious and informative. This shark book is so well done. It is loaded with interesting information about sharks - some the usual facts but some that are less common. It is also well paced, uses page turns well and is funny. This is such a fun read aloud. They hint at a bear version coming next and I so hope that true.
Profile Image for Jeannie.
593 reviews2 followers
August 5, 2021
What a great way to introduce younger children to sharks. Holub puts it right on their level. The great white shark learns that he’s not the greatest as hammerhead, the whale shark, the angel shark, and a variety of others tell of their claim to being the smartest, the largest and the sneakiest, etc.! This speaks to the importance and uniqueness of individuals and the diversity among us. There are surprising and fascinating facts. Laurie Keller’s drawings make this a delightful read. As with other shark books, this will gather no dust.
Profile Image for Kristen.
244 reviews12 followers
March 3, 2022
A challenge of parenting they don't warn you about is when your offspring develop different literary tastes than yours. As a the fantasy loving mother of a non-fiction inclined little, there was a steep learning curve in finding books that appealed to her sensibilities but weren't dry or riddled with inaccessible language.

Enter "I Am the Shark." Stuffed to the brim with real life shark facts, charmingly illustrated, and with enough of a narrative that Mom doesn't have to fight yawns. Sold. There is also a nuanced theme in here about not comparing your talents with others and embracing the things that you do well. A great family or classroom book. All my kids, not just the sciencey one, were hooked on the sharks and their unique, engaging personalities.

Profile Image for Olivia.
2,971 reviews66 followers
May 3, 2021
I AM THE SHARK is a fun and educational picture book about self-confidence. A great white shark is introducing the reader to himself, but he is soon to learn that he is not the biggest, smallest, fastest, or other superlative shark. Through conversations with other sharks, who hold those superlatives, and pages with additional facts, children get to learn about sharks and laugh while doing it.

What I loved: The cartoonish images and silly conversations make for a delightful read. Facts are worked in through the text in a way that did not feel like nonfiction but manages to teach a lot about different sharks. The ultimate message of the story is about self-confidence - it's tough to be the best, as the great white shark learns, but that doesn't mean that he's not great at things. This additional lesson on top of the shark facts makes for a really fun story that children will enjoy in and out of the classroom.

I would recommend this book for elementary school aged readers so they will get the jokes and appreciate the denser learning pages with facts. The font is printed clearly and is easy to read, and the colorful illustrations make this one that is sure to be a hit. For sensitive readers, the shark does decide to chase down a snack (fish) although this is also cartoonish in depiction.

Final verdict: I AM THE SHARK is a delightful and educational book about sharks and self-confidence. This would be great in a classroom lesson about sharks, for shark enthusiasts, or just for fun at home.

Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
13 reviews
May 4, 2021
When all of your kids tell you this is a good book, then you have a keeper on your hands! This brand new book was a joy to read! A perfect mix of silliness and shark facts. I love when a non-fiction book lends itself to rereads by excellent presentation of information. No dry facts here!

The Great White Shark tries to find what he is "great" at. After several one-ups by other sharks, he does a little general shark research. Eventually he does find what he is "great" at and the reader has found out quite a few things about sharks in general.

Sharks included in this book are, The Great White Shark, Wale Shark, Hammerhead Shark, Angle Shark, Dwarf Lantern Shark, Mako Shark, Greenland Shark, and Tiger Shark. A page in the back of the book gives more facts about each individual shark.

When I took this book out of the package I was immediately struck by its weight. This is a quality book with heavy glossy pages that will stand up to all those rereads and page turnings it will be put through.

As an adult I learned some things about sharks and will likely remember them better because of the amazing and fun presentation. My children loved the humor in the story line... even my 14 year old.

A fun book for all! Shark lovers, and shark likers. And maybe even those who don't care for sharks now.... but might after enjoying this book!

I would like to thank Crown Books for Young Readers for sending me a free copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions are my own (and my children's).
Profile Image for V.
686 reviews8 followers
April 12, 2021
I am the Shark is funny. Educational, too. I smile and chuckle as I think about what most stands out. It's the voice of the narrator, a great white who wants to be the superlative... something. As great white's claims to be the biggest, fastest, smartest, or oldest shark in the book are debunked, readers learn shark extremes, such the sneakiest and smallest sharks, as well as basic facts like how sharks swim and what their bodies are made of.

I am the Shark provides a young audience with a solid foundation and opens the gate to further shark research. Because the poor great white is so desirous of being the greatest at something and becomes increasingly despairing, adult readers can have a LOT of fun with voices. I get really into dramatic readings sometimes, and this is a good option for that. If you have an emergent reader who is already interested in sharks, the bright illustrations, interesting facts, funny scenarios, and sparse text (on most pages) make for a high-interest independent reading selection. A two-page spread of shark facts and an annotated diagram of the great white's body would present challenges for early readers, so adult support would be ideal. I am the Shark offers laughs and learning for its audience, regardless of reading ability and age.

Back matter offers further reading suggestions.

As per FTC guidelines, I hereby disclose partnership with The Children's Book Review.
Profile Image for Jane.
865 reviews16 followers
April 8, 2021
Joan Holub shows she understands young elementary students by choosing a topic that interests the age group. When I was a librarian, I could never keep the shark books on the shelves. Holub has written a story in I Am the Shark that tells readers many facts about sharks. The author uses humor in the text which will keep the interest of young readers. I really appreciate that she includes a fact section and additional resources for readers to check out, increasing its usefulness as a reference book.
Laurie Keller chose a cartoon-like style to create the illustrations for I Am the Shark. I think that students will enjoy the pictures, which complement the story well.
I Am the Shark would make a great addition to any school library. Young elementary students will enjoy this nonfiction picture book. There is nothing in the book to prevent it from being included in a Christian school library collection. I Am the Shark has the qualifications to be included in a Mock Caldecott unit.
This review was prepared in partnership with The Children’s Book Review
882 reviews6 followers
July 17, 2021
You can tell from the shark's smile on the cover of the book that there will be humor inside and that this shark is going to learn some type of lesson so immediately you have some great inferring when reading this book. Not only does this book give you great non-fiction information about sharks - I had no idea about the variety - but it looks at an individual's self-image and how vulnerable it is to the opinions of others. I am thinking of reading this book to my students during our unit about discovering things about ourselves so that they can realize that finding your value by comparing yourself to others does not work. You need to find what you like about yourself in order to find your value. Maybe that is a big lesson to get from this book, but I think it's a good start to the lesson.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
3,516 reviews44 followers
June 28, 2021
Clever and fun with bright, engaging illustrations, this book has a ton of good information about all kinds of sharks. Nothing is super in-depth, but it will leave readers wanting to learn more, which is perfect because there's a spread of extra information at the end. This could easily be poured over by a child who loves sharks and it would make a nice group read aloud at story time. It is pretty long, so be prepared to skip a spread or two, depending on the age of your audience.
Profile Image for Ellon.
3,331 reviews
July 16, 2021
This was a really cute book with lots of awesome shark facts. It was a little bit long though. I'm also not the biggest fan of books with real facts told by talking animals but this is just because they end up being hard to classify in the library. Like is this nonfiction? kind of? I also didn't like the plug for another book at the end, seemed unnecessary and self-indulgent.
I do like the humor in this book, the diagrams, and the facts. A shark lover will enjoy this book!
6,940 reviews26 followers
September 3, 2021
Great book to introduce a wide variety of sharks. Poor Great White wants to be the best at something but other sharks keep appearing who are better at each thing he names - biggest, sneakiest, fastest, etc. Readers will appreciate the humorous way shark facts are presented in the story portion and appreciate the informative text included as the story progresses. Great White does find something he is best at - best smile - as so many people take his photo.
Profile Image for Nadina.
2,437 reviews3 followers
October 6, 2021
Cute, quick and informative. This is a great non-fiction book for young readers. I love how it had storytelling elements while still giving facts about sharks. Good illustrations and a good amount of information.

*tagged under picture book because it is short kids non-fiction and has a picture book like format.
Profile Image for Ann Haefele.
1,185 reviews8 followers
May 19, 2021
This nonfiction picture book masters giving out shark facts while telling a story about a shark who wants to be the greatest in the ocean. The expressions on the main character, a great white shark, are priceless and made me laugh.
Profile Image for Eileen Winfrey.
946 reviews5 followers
May 19, 2021
Great White Shark thinks it's the greatest shark in the ocean, but all the other sharks each have a quality that is "better" than Great White's. Identity crisis ensues. Shark lovers will adore this informative, yet humorous, picture book.
Profile Image for Kasey.
226 reviews
November 24, 2021
This is a really cute picture book with facts about a bunch of different kinds of sharks. The story is about a Great White Shark who thinks he's the best. Turns out, though, he's a not the best at everything.
Profile Image for Liz.
1,538 reviews13 followers
May 17, 2021
I love that there are more and more non-fiction books that read like picture books! This one is funny! Great white shark must be the greatest at something, but what is it?
9 reviews
July 22, 2021
As a school librarian, I can see using this fun and informative book in science lessons with 1st-3rd graders.
Profile Image for Serenity.
1,038 reviews7 followers
July 24, 2021
Fun and funny non-fiction. Main text is sparse enough for younger readers but older kids (and shark fans who enjoy learning facts) can read the pages with more information.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 57 reviews

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