Gentle Giant! Wandering Whale Sharks by Susumu Shingu
SUDDENLY, AN ENORMOUS SHADOW
BRINGING ALONG A CROWD OF FRIENDS.
There's that curved dorsal fin that screams "SHARK!"
What are those little fish thinking, swimming calmly along beside that sea-going eating machine?
DA DUM. DA DUM. DA DUM?
But have no fear! The monster is that outlier of the shark family, the whale shark. As big as a whale? Yes. A shark? Yes. But the whale shark is gentle giant, a looming leviathan that all the other fish love. Suckerfish attach themselves to his huge body, and schools of smaller fish swim along his huge sides in safety.
AND AN EXTRAORDINARILY HUGE MOUTH.
But no rows of gleaming teeth appear inside that wide mouth! Whale sharks are more like baleen whales, cruising slowly and taking in tiny plankton, tons of plankton. He has a certain majesty in his monumental movement, a languid, leisurely loveliness as he seems to drift along through the depths.
HIS MASSIVE BODY LOOKS SPECKLED WITH SNOWFLAKES.
Susumu Shingu's Wandering Whale Sharks (OwlKids Books, 2015), executed fully in shades of blue, gives young readers a look at an unusual creature of the deep, one of the good guys of our "planet of water." Shingu's language is as sibilant and luxurious as his subject, flowing as easily through the pages as his main characters floats through the sea, as his illustrations engulf the reader in the whale shark's watery world. Here's one shark readers will want to swim with! "A poetic and visually stunning introduction to one of the oceans largest and gentlest creatures," says School Library Journal's starred review.