Neighborhood Sharks

Neighborhood Sharks: Hunting with the Great Whites of California’s Farallon Islands, written and illustrated by Katherine Roy, was a nominee for the 2016-17 South Carolina Children’s Book Award.

Neighborhood Sharks is a perfect fit for young (and not-so-young) shark enthusiasts. This book tells readers about the great white sharks that hunt just thirty miles from San Francisco.

Each fall, great whites circle the Farallon Islands, an area off-limits to all humans except the scientists who study these massive predators, and search for energy-rich elephant seals. The shark’s biology makes it uniquely suited to prey on these seals and continue the food chain that is so important to the ocean’s ecosystem.

Author/illustrator Katherine Roy depicts the sharks’ feeding cycle and biology in vivid, stunning paintings that make readers want to know more. Sources and suggestions for further reading at the end of the book provide readers with options to do just that.

Neighborhood Sharks is a great addition to studies of animals, the food chain, and the impact animals can have on the ecosystem. This book definitely has a place in school libraries, public libraries, and classrooms.


Carnivores, written by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Dan Santat, was a nominee for the 2015-2016 South Carolina Picture Book Award.

It’s not easy being at the top of the food chain. Lions, sharks, and wolves may seem like ferocious carnivores, but they have feelings, too. They want to be liked by their neighbors, but it’s hard to make friends when their neighbors are so delicious.

In an effort to curb their carnivorous ways, the lion, shark, and wolf decide to become vegetarians…but that doesn’t work out so well. Then, they come up with a plan to disguise themselves in an effort to fit in…but that doesn’t end well, either. What’s a lonely carnivore to do?

Sometimes, all a lonely animal can do is embrace what makes them who they are…and find a few friends just like them.

Carnivores would be a great addition to elementary studies of animals. It’s a fun book about carnivores, and it could inspire some young readers to write their own books about animals’ eating habits. The pictures in Carnivores are hilarious, the narrative is equally funny, and these two elements combine to create a laugh-out-loud experience that readers of all ages will enjoy.

FYI, any readers who liked the sharks in Finding Nemo will be delighted by Carnivores.