Review of Shark Princess

Shark Princess Shark Princess
by Nidhi Chanani; illus. by the author; color by Elizabeth Kramer
Primary    Viking    80 pp.
9/22    9780593464601    $12.99
e-book ed.  9780593464618    $7.99

This first installment in Chanani’s comics series introduces sharks Kitana and Mack, best friends enjoying an undersea day together. When Kitana declares herself Shark Princess, Mack is confused (“What’s a princess? And why do you want to be one?”), but he plays along after Kitana agrees to explore a shipwreck with him. While poking around the wreckage, they find a crown, and Kitana encourages Mack to declare himself a princess, too. Chanani keeps a tight focus on her characters in each of her panel illustrations, giving just enough detail in the backgrounds to establish setting and movement. She has a lot of fun with language, tossing in puns (“she shore would”) and coining fishy lingo (“somefish”) for the early-chapter-book crowd. Mack isn’t sure he has what it takes to be a princess—that is until the duo stirs up some trouble, Kitana sustains a minor injury, and Mack saves the day. The story is gentle, but the theme—each of us gets to decide what to label ourselves—is deep.

From the January/February 2023 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Adrienne L. Pettinelli

Adrienne L. Pettinelli is the director of the Henrietta (NY) Public Library. She has served on several book award committees, including the 2015 Caldecott Committee, and is the author of Helping Homeschoolers in the Library (2008).

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing.