Book review: Sharks: At your service

December 2021

Review by J. Albert Mann
For Points East

Sharks: At your service
by Mary M. Cerullo, Photographs by Jeffrey L. Rotman, Tumblehome, Inc., 2021, 40pp, $17.95

A trip to the aquarium sparks an instant passion for sharks in Cerullo’s young protagonist

Marina catches sight of her first shark – a Sand Tiger Shark – or rather, it catches sight of her with its coal-black eye staring out from within its watery tank home. After this, Marina only has eyes for one creature in the aquarium: SHARKS!

Seamlessly mixing fiction with non-fiction, SHARKS will have readers wading into this underwater adventure right along with Marina. Cerullo and Rotman offer up page after page of “an alphabet soup of sharks, from angel shark, basking shark, and cookie cutter shark to wobblegong, yago, and zebra shark.” Alongside these stunning photographs this team provides a feast of facts for young readers to sink their teeth into. Did you know that sharks can have up to twenty rows of teeth? Or that a shark loses some of those teeth every time it takes a bite?

Like any budding scientist, Marina leaves the aquarium on a mission to learn more. Armed with both books and her imagination, she sees the sharks from the pages of those books popping up everywhere she looks…the smooth and agile Caribbean reef shark driving a sports car, the hungry Tiger shark collecting garbage (to chow down on, of course). At story’s end, readers will also be imagining themselves as underwater photographers, marine biologists, and shark activists.