Clark the Shark
Written by Bruce Hale
Illustrated by Guy Francis
Harper Collins 2013
Ages 4 – 8 years
Themes: Common Childhood Experiences (Adjusting to school), Behavior, Decisions/Making Choices
Synopsis: (from author’s website) Clark is a shark with zing, bang, and BOOM! Clark zooms into school, crashes through the classroom, and is rowdy at recess. Clark loves life—but when his enthusiasm is too much for his friends, Clark’s teacher, Mrs. Inkydink, helps him figure out a way to tone it down.
Opening: In all the wide blue seas, in all the wide blue world, the top school was Theodore Roosterfish Elementary. And of all the fish at Theodore Roosterfish, the biggest and the strongest was Clark the Shark. Clark loved school, and he loved his teacher, Mrs. Inkydink. He love to play upsy-downsy and spinna-ma-jig with his friends. Clark loved his life.
You’re gonna love this trailer.
Resources: HERE are some activities from the author’s website to use with kiddos. HERE is an activity booklet also from the author’s site. HERE is a back to school freebie from Read With Me ABC. She describes the activity and has a link to Teachers Pay Teachers to download the packet.
Why I Like This Book: I like this book because it is so authentic. There are so many kids in school that just love life. They radiate enthusiasm to the point that they drive everyone crazy. Sometimes they’re just too much. Just like Mrs. Inkydink tells Clark, they need to “Stay Cool”. Although Mrs. Inkydink tells Clark that he needs to “Stay Cool”, he has to figure out how to do it himself. He tries several times before he finds a solution. The solution involves rhyming. Anyone who reads my blog knows me well enough to know that if something in a picture book involves good rhyme then, “Hey! I’m all over it!” Clark has become my new favorite character. He has the charm and personality of Splat the Cat which I reviewed back in 2012. (Here’s the link.) Guy Francis‘s illustrations completely capture each personality in this delightful story.
To find more perfect picture books, head on over to Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and check out all the fantastic selections! Each book is reviewed by a picture book -lovin’ reviewer, AND includes activities to go along with the book. You will find a handy list right HERE.