Subscribe to The Horn Book

Review of Slickety Quick: Poems About Sharks

brown_slickety quickSlickety Quick: Poems About Sharks
by Skila Brown; illus. by Bob Kolar
Primary    Candlewick    32 pp.
3/16    978-0-7636-6543-2    $16.99

Brown begins this playful and illuminating collection by taking a bite out of the most infamous of these ocean predators, the great white shark: “you’re no bully, / just a big attention hog. So / move over. Let another shark / swim to the beat.” And thirteen other sharks do, each one featured on its own double-page spread, giving the subjects plenty of room. Verses almost as varied as the sharks themselves introduce such species as the wobbegong, goblin shark, and frilled shark: “Lean and / long, teeth / needle- / strong, / with foggy, / empty / eyes.” Creative type placement and size emphasize physical attributes, behavior, and/or temperament. Reflecting the poems’ different moods, Kolar’s dynamic digital illustrations in blues, greens, and browns immerse readers in the underwater habitat. Brief factual asides in smaller type enhance the profiles, sometimes dramatically so. 
The whimsical-looking spiral-shaped poem for the cookie-cutter shark, for example, takes on a more threatening tenor after you learn that “they bite their prey…then spin around, removing a hunk of flesh and leaving a cookie-shaped hole in their victim.” Though lacking documentation, this book 
offers an accessible and engaging appreciation of these fascinating creatures. Pair with Nicola Davies’s Surprising Sharks (rev. 1/04)…though maybe not at the beach.

From the May/June 2016 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

About Kitty Flynn

Kitty Flynn is consulting editor for The Horn Book, Inc.

Comment Policy:
  1. Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  2. Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  3. Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Terms of Use.

Speak Your Mind