Shark Week! Here Are 20 Titles for Young Readers to Get Excited About

Hand these picture books, nonfiction, and transitional titles to children looking forward to Shark Week, or to those who enjoy all things shark-related.

Shark Week, a week of programming focused around the large ocean animals, has grown in popularity over recent years. This year's Shark Week falls during the last week of July. For young readers who are excited about sharks now or all year long, here are 20 titles to share.


Transitional Titles 

Can Clam Go?: Ready-to-Read Pre-Level 1 by Adam Lehrhaupt. illus. by Pauline Gregory. S. & S. ISBN 9781665907972.
K-Gr 2–The first of the “Shark Chums” series, this lighthearted “Ready-to-Read” book will entertain emergent readers with an underwater party of sea creatures who get along swimmingly, thanks to a friendly, zippy shark. 

Big Shark, Little Shark, and the Missing Teeth by Anna Membrino. illus. by Tim Budgen. Random. ISBN 97805933021181. 
PreS-Gr 2–Big Shark and Little Shark are together again, and this time one of them has a loose tooth. The story provides a brief lesson in opposites, as well as trivia for young shark-loving readers. This Level 1 book is perfect for emerging readers and will circulate well in primary libraries.

Wild Sharks! by Martin Kratt & Chris Kratt. illus. by various. Random. ISBN 9781984851154. 
Gr 1-2–This brief presentation on sharks in general and then eight types of sharks is noteworthy for its connection to the authors’ programming on PBS. Familiarity with the Wild Kratts shows and the popularity of the subject may bring increased attention to this title, which will function more as a read-aloud than as a beginning reader.

Clark the Shark: Friends ­Forever by Bruce Hale. illus. by Guy Francis. HarperCollins. ISBN 9780062912596.
PreS-Gr 2–This Level 2 beginning reader book stresses the importance of listening to your friends. The text is appropriate for beginning readers, and the illustrations are fun, with the anthropomorphic creatures and the blending of sea details, such as corals and sponges growing in what appear to be garden beds, with ordinary human details like houses and clothes that are only found above the ocean.

Baby Shark’s Big Show! Yup Day by Pinkfong. HarperCollins. ISBN 9780063158917.
PreS-Gr 1–Emergent readers learn about saying yes to new opportunities from the song and television character Baby Shark. Baby and Daddy Shark don’t see eye to eye when it comes to trying new things, until Baby Shark suggests “Yup Day,” a day devoted to saying “yes” to new adventures.

Snarky Sharky by Lou Treleaven. illus. by Angelika Scudamore. Lerner. ISBN 9781728438504.
Gr 1-2–In Snarky Sharky, a very grumpy shark’s friends try to figure out why she is always so grumpy and rude in the mornings. This is part of a good early reader series for students who like silly words and sounds, friendly characters, and a slightly longer plot. 

Clark the Shark and the School Sing by Bruce Hale. illus. by Guy Francis. HarperAlley (I Can Read Comics, Level 1). ISBN 9780062912572.
PreS-Gr 2–Hale and Francis bring Clark the Shark from picture books to graphic novels with this lighthearted school drama. Clark and his classmates are preparing for a musical program, but Clark has a dilemma: He can sing and he can dance, but he can’t do both at once. A satisfying beginner comic book set in an underwater school with themes of perseverance and teamwork.

The Shark Report by Derek Anderson. illus. by author. Penguin Workshop. ISBN 9780593093382.
Gr 1-3–Benny McGee has learned a lot about sharks for his report, but he is bewildered when a great white shark follows him home from school. He decides to let him in and learns even more things about sharks. A very simple beginning chapter book with charming photos.

Hide! by Steve Henry. illus. by author. Holiday House. ISBN 9780823437733.
PreS-Gr 1—In this beginning reader, two friends—Mike the elephant and Pat the fish—go on a boat ride together. While Mike naps, Pat sees other fish in the ocean, and jumps out of his bowl to join them for some fun. But the arrival of a shark makes for a little too much excitement, and Mike must jump in to save Pat. This is a solid choice for those beginning to recognize sight words and visual clues. A winner for most easy reader collections.

[Read: Shark Week and Earl Grey Tea: Bob Shea and Brian Won on The Yarn Podcast]


Picture Books

Sharky McShark by Alison Murray. illus. by author. Little, Brown. ISBN 9780316706872. 
K-Gr 2–Following along the lines of Aesop’s story about the lion and mouse, this tale features a big blue and white shark who is the bully of the sea. A reasonable purchase for libraries needing additional anti-bullying books for younger readers.

Oona and the Shark by Kelly Dipucchio. illus. by Raissa Figueroa. HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen. ISBN 9780063071421. 
PreS-Gr 2–In this sequel to Oona, Oona is an enthusiastic mermaid who makes friends easily with other mermaids and sea animals, including otters, pelicans, seahorses, and hermit crabs. She gets along with everyone except introverted Stanley, a large gray hammerhead shark who enjoys playing quietly with his seashell collection and avoids loud, energetic Oona whenever possible.

Shark Bait! by Jeff Szpirglas & Danielle Saint-Onge. illus. by Dave Whamond. Orca. ISBN 9781459823679. 
Gr 2-4–Orly loves sharks. Every year, she and her family go to the seaside to visit her grandmother, but she’s never seen a real shark. This year, Delta the infamous great white shark is reported to be in the area, and Orly can’t wait to get wet. Readers who like realistic fiction, sharks, ocean science, and friendship stories will enjoy this pleasant title.

How to Make a Shark Smile: How a Positive Mindset Spreads Happiness by Shawn Achor & Amy Blankson. illus. by Claudia Ranucci. Sourcebooks. ISBN 9781492694724.
PreS-Gr 2–Ripple the dolphin is excited for his first day at a new aquarium. The fish are all hiding and sad. Ripple asks Bob the blowfish what is wrong. The fish have mistaken Ripple for Snark the shark, the meanest creature in the aquarium. Snark happens along and Ripple challenges him to smile. Try as he might to resist, Snark eventually gives in to his first toothy shark giggle. 

Misunderstood Shark by Ame Dyckman. illus. by Scott Magoon. Orchard. ISBN 9781338112474.
K-Gr 2—Jellyfish Bob, television host of Underwater World with Bob, has Shark as his guest. Shark seems to be easily distracted but is intent on presenting himself in a positive light. Make no mistake, this is a fun addition to any collection, best for reading close-up and one-on-one.

Shark Nate-O by Tara Luebbe & Becky Cattie. illus. by Daniel Duncan. little bee. ISBN 9781499804966.
PreS-Gr 2—Nate loves all things sharks. He loves them so much, his friends call him "Shark Nate-O," an allusion to the once-popular B movie. But how can he be like his favorite animal when he doesn't know how to swim? Duncan's sketch-heavy illustrations give a "kid drawn" approach to the piece and lighten the mood, and the addition of some interesting shark facts at the end is a nice touch for those readers just in this for the aquatic beasts.

[Read: Read Wild: Shark Week!]



 I Am the Shark by Joan Holub. illus. by Laurie Keller. Crown. ISBN 9780525645283. 
K-Gr 5–If there were a competition for what’s the greatest kind of shark, which species would be the winner? This fun and exuberant book aims to answer that question. Kids are going to love reading this book and memorizing the facts, and teachers will love using this as a new kind of model for sharing informational texts.

The Shark Book by Steve Jenkins & Robin Page. illus. by Steve Jenkins. HMH. ISBN 9781328569493. 
K-Gr 4–Jenkins and Page have again teamed up for an in-depth look at an animal: This time their subject is sharks. The work is thoughtfully conceived and will provide hours of perusal for shark fans, no matter their age. An excellent choice for any library with people who are interested in sharks.

Are You Smarter than a Shark? Learn How Sharks Survive in Their Watery World! by David George Gordon. illus. by Josh Lynch. becker&mayer! kids. ISBN 9780760370452. 
Gr 2-4–Gordon and Lynch use humor and science to teach readers about sharks. The text is filled with facts that describe physical features, diet, senses, intellect, common shark varieties, and geographic locations. This solid resource is useful for children who need a little humor to help absorb the science.

Everything Awesome About Sharks and Other Underwater Creatures! by Mike Lowery. illus. by author. Orchard. ISBN 9781338359732. 
Gr 2-6–Lowery’s latest book focuses on sharks, bodies of water, and other underwater creatures. Jam-packed with information, the text provides maps, diagrams, fun facts, and silly jokes. A solid purchase for the oceanic and/or shark sections of any public or school library or home collection.

Chomp: A Shark Romp by Michael Paul. illus. by author. Crown. ISBN 9781524767020.
PreS-Gr 2—From gentle giants to fierce hunters, sharks vary in size, color, appetite, and habitat, making the underwater dwellers distinct in each depiction. Fans of his Roar: A Dinosaur Tour and the "Baby Shark" song will enjoy learning about the sharks that live under the ocean's surface. A strong choice for early elementary nonfiction shelves and a vibrant exploration of different types of sharks.

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