Two intrepid librarians

Two intrepid librarians review the best nonfiction books for children

Monday, June 19, 2017

If Sharks Disappeared by Lily Williams

If Sharks Disappeared

Written and illustrated by Lily Williams
Roaring Brook Press> 2017
ISBN: 9781626724136
All ages
I borrowed a copy of this book from my local public library to write this review.

Note: Louise is responsible for all the reviews during 2017 while Cathy is on Sabbatical. She returns February 2018.

The first sentence in Lily Williams informational picture book asks readers this question: What is a healthy ocean? If you answered, “Its a balanced environment where many different animals and plants thrive.” You would be correct.  We know that a healthy ecosystem – here the ocean- is home to a wide variety of plants and animals. They thrive as long as everything is kept balanced.  Sharks are apex predators; they are at the top of the food chain.  “Losing an apex predator species can cause devastating effects in an environment.”

Can you imagine what would happen if sharks disappeared?  Each turn of the page explains in text and pictures just how quickly a once healthy ocean can become out of balance. With no sharks, the population of seals, sea lions, and other pinnipeds would potentially explode. At higher populations, they would eat more and more fish, and eventually, once there weren’t any fish left…´

You get the picture.

Though her first book, Williams knows her audience. Her illustrations are appealing, colorful cartoon-like that perfectly mirror her text. Instead of writing with a doomsday tone, she keeps the conversation realistic, yet, hopeful. For in the end, it really is up to each of us to make a difference.  

This is a perfect resource when discussing the impact humans have on the world.  If you still have a copy of Nicola Davies book, Surprising Sharks, pair the two titles for an engaging, enlightening read aloud.

Go here to see a short book trailer.
Back matter: glossary, an explanation to why sharks are in trouble, ways you can help save sharks, bibliography, author’s note, and additional sources. A fine example of nonfiction for kids.

I love what Williams writes as her dedication. “To Mom, for teaching me that your art can make a difference.”

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