Tuesday, May 1, 2018

PICTURE BOOK REVIEWS: Dude!/Misunderstood Shark


Aaron Reynolds, the author of Nerdy Berdy and Creepy Carrots! teams up with Dan Santat, the Caldecott–winning illustrator behind The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend to create the hilarious, gnarly summer adventure picture book, Dude!

Dude! You have to read this book.

It's totally about this platypus and this beaver who are friends. They want to go surfing but dude, there's this shark who's in the ocean, too.

But don't worry. This shark approaches and you'll never guess what happens.


This is one of my new favorite books.  After reading it to several groups of kindergartners I can safely say that this is a winning book.  Aaron Reynolds and Dan Santat make for a thoroughly marvelous team.  While the book only uses one word throughout (Dude!), the way it is used makes for a delightfully hilarious romp. The story makes for an awesome read aloud and could also be used to demonstrate that how a word is used determines it's meaning.

A platypus and a beaver arrive at a beach and after indulging in an ice cream cone, set out to surf.  Even a warning sign next to some nasty looking rocks doesn't deter them. Even though beaver says, "Dude!"  Out surfing, the two buddies have a good time (platypus isn't thrilled about the bird poop that lands on his head, although beaver finds it hilarious) until they see a shark fin in the distance.  But the encounter doesn't turn out the way one might think resulting in more use of the word dude and a surprising ending.  This book is fabulously well done.  In fact, I think I like it better that Beekle.

Every beachgoer knows that there's nothing more terrifying than a... SHARRRK! But this shark is just misunderstood, or is he? In a wholly original, side-splittingly funny story, New York Times bestselling author Ame Dyckman and illustrator Scott Magoon take this perennial theme and turn it on its (hammer)head with a brand-new cheeky character.

The filming of an underwater TV show goes awry when the crew gets interrupted by a... SHARRRK! Poor Shark, he wasn't trying to scare them, he's just misunderstood! Then he's accused of trying to eat a fish. Will Shark ever catch a break? After all, he wasn't going to eat the fish, he was just showing it his new tooth! Or was he? Explosively funny, extraordinarily clever, and even full of fun shark facts, this surprisingly endearing story gets to the heart of what it feels like to be misunderstood by the people around you. With a surprise twist ending, our Misunderstood Shark will have kids rolling with laughter!


As Bob the jellyfish and his camera crew get ready to film an episode of their underwater TV show, a shark shows up.  Bob tries to get the shark not to eat a live fish on live TV while the shark protests that viewers have misunderstood, he was just showing the fish his tooth.  After several further episodes involving misunderstandings, Bob starts to believe that the shark is telling the truth and may in fact just be misunderstood.  Of course, young readers will know better as there is plenty of evidence that the shark is doing exactly what he seems to be doing. Some young listeners will see the ending coming, but others may still be taken by surprise.   This book might be kind of scary if it wasn't so funny and light-hearted. 

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