CM April 19, 1996, 
1996. Vol. II, Number 27

image Shark Attacks & Spider Snacks.

Written and Illustrated by Roy Condy.
Richmond Hill, ON: Scholastic Canada, 1996. 62pp, paper, $5.99.
ISBN: 0-590-24622-4.

Subject Headings:
Animals-Miscellanea-Juvenile literature.
Animals-Caricatures and cartoons-Juvenile literature.

Grades 3 - 6 / Ages 8 - 11.
Review by Leslie Millar.



Track-Star Turtles

Think all turtles are slow? Think again.
Soft-shelled turtles are the fastest turtles alive. They're pretty funny to look at: with their flat, round shells and pig-like snouts, they resemble pan-cakes with noses. But these are some serious turtles. Not only do they bite, but one North American species can out-run humans on level ground!
The clumsy-looking creature is just as quick under water. It can easily outswim a brook trout, the fastest freshwater fish.

imageRoy Condy came to Canada in 1946, and now makes his home in Ontario. Shark Attacks & Spider Snacks is the first book he has written, although he has long lent his talent at illustration to the world of television, text books, and children's literature. Some of the titles he's illustrated include How to Get Rid of Bad Dreams; Christopher, Please Clean Up Your Room; and the Scholastic Student Organizer Diary.

In Shark Attacks, Condy has compiled several intriguing, little-known animal facts that will be interesting to all ages. Thirty animal facts are described, usually in less than a hundred words. Each mini-story has its own headline caption that relates to the fact being presented. The information is imparted with a cheerful, "isn't this fascinating?" sort of tone. Condy's black-and-white illustrations, cartoonish and filled with visual gags, perfectly suit the tone of the text.

The animals included range from fleas to sharks, and hale from all over the globe. The stories could be connected to many themes or subjects, and the short, info-bite format makes it ideal for reading aloud to a class, a few a day to pique interest. The pieces could be the starting point for creative writing activities, or inspiration into further research into specific animals.

This book deserves a place in the classroom or at home. The vocabulary used makes it more suitable for independent reading at a grade five and six level, but the content would be enjoyed by grade three and four students as well. It is good entertainment, and at $5.99, good value for your buck.

Highly recommended.

Leslie Millar is a substitute teacher and volunteer in Winnipeg schools.

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Copyright © 1996 the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364