I had forgotten I had read Swimming with Sharks by Heather Lang (illustrated by Jordi Solano). Therefore, when picking up Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean’s most Fearless Scientist by Jess Keating I figured it was the first time I had been introduced to Eugenie Clark. While reading, I realized it was the same person. The nice thing was, they are so radically different that even if you have read one you can read the other and enjoy it, too.
Shark Lady is a straight forward story-biography that gives all the facts, in a fun, non-preachy, fiction, story way. There are pages at the end of the book that give more facts in a more traditional manner. There is also a timeline of Clark’s life. The bright colored illustrations of Marta Alvarez Miguens pop off the page, bringing the “killing machine” of sharks to life in the way Clark saw them.
If you are looking for a more realistic looking presentation, then Lang’s is the one you want. However, Keating’s book has its own charm as well.
This book is for the five to seven crowd. It would be a nice book to give to a child interested in the ocean or sharks. This would be the perfect addition to the classroom library, as well as lending itself to an easy read-aloud. This fin-tastic story is a must read for all of us. And I guarantee you will have a swimmingly good time as you do!