Book Review: The Great White Man-Eating Shark

The Great White Man-Eating SharkThe Great White Man-Eating Shark – Margaret Mahy
Published by Hachette NZ – July 2015

Norvin has small eyes, sharp teeth and a pointy head – just like a shark! If you were pretending to be a great white man-eating shark just imagine what you’d get up to.

When this Early Reader edition of Margaret Mahy’s brilliantly clever The Great White Man-Eating Shark arrived for us to review, Tiny’s eyes grew wide and he stared at me for a moment before asking, “Is this one really for me?” When I assured him that yep, it was, he was silent for a moment, before hugging the book to his chest and whispering, “I love this story.”

We’re read it previously, but this red* Early Reader edition is perfect. Tiny’s appetite for reading keeps on growing, and he’s now at a point where he can pick up a book and work out the vast majority of new words on each page. The great thing about this book is that it’s a story he is already familiar with, so he can practise his reading without losing the meaning of the words. However, as he is just a beginner reader, he also loves to be read to and we have sessions where he reads some, and I read some, which suits us both.

The print is large, well-spaced and easy to read. There are only a couple of sentences on each page, giving the book the feel of a chapter book, without being daunting.

Jonathan Allen’s illustrations are simple, expressive and really quite marvellous. They are a little quirky and suit the story of shark-like Norvin perfectly.

The Great White Man-Eating Shark is a classic, hilarious and clever story that will appeal in any form, but this Early Reader edition is perfect for encouraging your children to pick up a book and get lost in the amazing world of Margaret Mahy.

* Hachette NZ have published a series of blue Early readers – ‘perfect for sharing and reading together” – and red Early readers – “the next step on [the] reading journey”.

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