________________ CM . . . . Volume XV Number 12 . . . . February 6, 2009

cover Shark Attack. (Crabtree Contact).

Tom Jackson.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2008.
32 pp., pbk. & hc., $10.95 (pbk.), $20.76 (RLB.).
ISBN 978-0-7787-3787-2 (pbk.),
ISBN 978-0-7787-3765-0 (RLB.).

Subject Heading:
Shark attacks-Juvenile literature.

Grades 5-8 / Ages 10-13.

Review by Vanessa Sobkovich-Wiebe.

**** /4

excerpt:

Although they occur rarely, shark attacks on humans always grab headlines around the world. This fascinating book explores just what makes some kinds of sharks attack and the kind of damage powerful jaws and hundreds of teeth can do.

cover Monster Crocs. (Crabtree Contact).

Tom Jackson.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2008.
32 pp., pbk. & hc., $10.95 (pbk.), $20.76 (RLB.).
ISBN 978-0-7787-3785-8 (pbk.),
ISBN 978-0-7787-3763-6 (RLB.).

Subject Heading:
Crocodiles-Juvenile literature.

Grades 5-8 / Ages 10-13.

Review by Vanessa Sobkovich-Wiebe.

**** /4

excerpt:

Urban legends abound that prehistoric crocodiles still exist in lakes and rivers around the world. This book hunts down these monster crocodiles and features spectacular photographs of the largest ones found to date in all of their jaw-snapping glory.

These two titles cover information on past attacks, ways to prevent attacks and information on what to do during an attack. The information is brief and is a overview of the topic. The writing is concise with three sentences at most on a page.

     Each page of the books’ 32 pages is entirely covered in photographs with boxes and sidebars for text. There is little to no white space as colour photographs throughout the book capture the reader's attention and complement the wording on each page. The photographs show the real danger of the animals and include numerous close ups of teeth, jaws and pure animal instinct.

     The vocabulary in each book is appropriate for the age group. A glossary and index are included at the back of the book. A "Need-to-know data" page is located at the end of the book with a facts table with information on size, breeds plus largest and smallest species. A list of websites that the reader can go to for more information about sharks, crocodiles and attacks is provided.

     Shark Attack informs readers that all shark attacks are accidental. It is not in sharks’ nature to go after prey with such a small amount of body fat. Precautions to decrease your chance of a shark attack are included along with personal testimonies from shark attack survivors. Online resources include factsheets from Discovery Channel and National Geographic plus two shark conservation websites.

     Monster Crocs explores different types of crocodiles around the world and the threat humans and crocs pose to each other. Unlike the situation with sharks, all crocodile attacks are intentional as they are very territorial. Humans are advised to stay away from areas where crocodiles live and to leave them alone entirely. Although these water and land roaming predators have been around longer then humans, many species are becoming endangered or extinct. Information on different species, territorial behaviour and what we can do to help maintain crocodiles is covered. Online resources include the Florida Museum of Natural History, National Geographic and our very own Vancouver Aquarium.

     Tom Jackson is an experienced travel journalist and author on natural history and science books. Jackson is the perfect author for the “Crabtree Contact” series as he has graduated with a degree in zoology and worked at the Jersey Zoo in England. “Crabtree Contact” books are an excellent nonfiction reading books for middle grade reluctant or struggling readers. These topics are of high interest and always get people’s attention when talked. These titles will definitely appeal to this age group.

Recommended.

Vanessa Sobkovich-Wiebe is a Library Technician in a high school library outside of Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © 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
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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