Gilbert the Hero

PreS-K—Gilbert the shark takes his little brother, Finn, out to play despite his friend Rita's complaints that the youngster will be no fun. The "sea-saw" catapults the younger fish too far and too hard. Finn takes a kick to the stomach by a sea urchin shell being used as a soccer ball. He eventually finds some fun in a seaweed swing, but that's boring for the older fish. When another fish zooms by on a skate fish, Gilbert and Rita take off on the skate. Along comes a gigantic whale, looking for lunch. Gilbert manages to free his brother from the swing one step ahead of the creature, and they hide out in a sunken boat. The whale chomps down on it, gets a mouthful of splintered wood, and retreats. Then Gilbert turns to tell Rita and Finn that the whale has gone, but can't find them. They're just hiding and emerge with a big "Boo!" That's their version of "tide-and-seek," a game that even Finn can play. The story depicts the universal frustration older children often feel when a younger sibling tags along. The mostly green illustrations are ink and watercolor with minimal details of underwater life. Gilbert's fans will enjoy this new title.—Ieva Bates, Ann Arbor District Library, MI
Shark Gilbert (Gilbert in Deep) returns for another unsurprising undersea outing. Little brother Finn isn't much fun at the park. When Gilbert leaves Finn unattended, a killer whale nearly devours him, but Gilbert manages a last-minute rescue. In the end, the terrifying attack is laughed off as a game. Serene, sea-green illustrations and ocean puns downplay the danger of the situation.

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