Shark Baby

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Shark Baby
“Who am I?" wonders Shark Baby. When his “mermaid’s purse" egg case is torn loose in a storm, he finds himself on a journey through different ocean habitats: kelp forests, coral reefs, and seagrass meadows. He learns what kind of shark he isn’t, but not what kind he is. He needs to find the “mermaid" to learn where he belongs, but the ocean is big and full of dangers. Will he find out who he is—and what he can do—in time?

This fictional story includes a 4-page For Creative Minds section in the back of the book and a 47-page cross-curricular Teaching Activity Guide online. Shark Baby is vetted by experts and designed to encourage parental engagement. Its extensive back matter helps teachers with time-saving lesson ideas, provides extensions for science, math, and social studies units, and uses inquiry-based learning to help build critical thinking skills in young readers. The Spanish translation supports ELL and dual-language programs. The interactive ebook reads aloud in both English and Spanish with word highlighting and audio speed control to promote oral language skills, fluency, pronunciation, text engagement, and reading comprehension.

Written by Ann Downer, Illustrated by Shennen Bersani
32 pg, 8.5 X 10, Ages 4.8, Grades PK-3, Lexile: AD 700, AR: 3.7, F&P: N
Hardcover 9781607186229 $17.95  
Paperback 9781607186342 $9.95  
Spanish Paperback 9781628553512 $11.95  
EBook 9781607186700 Purchase Here
Spanish EBook 9781628551594 Purchase Here
Keywords:   behavioral adaptation, physical adaptation, self-confidence, social-emotional skill development, life cycles, ocean habitats, life science, marine animals, compare/contrast
Animals in the book:   horn shark, pajama shark, octopus, manatee, manta ray, sea lion, swell shark
Vetters:   Thanks to Jason Robertshaw and the education staff at Mote Marine for verifying the accuracy of the information in this book.


A short, sweet story about discovering one's identity and finding one's place in the world. - School Library Journal

Highlights a side to sharks not often found in picture books? - Kirkus Reviews

Discovering his true identity allows Shark Baby to become secure in his surroundings. A resource-packed activity guide motivates students and teachers to learn more. - Library Media Connection

Author/Illustrator Info:

Ann Downer has never lived very far from the ocean. When she was little, her uncle took her to a beach to see horseshoe crabs, and she has been interested in sea creatures ever since. She spent part of her childhood in and around the Pacific Ocean, living first in the Philippine Islands and then in Thailand. Now she lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, not far from the Atlantic Ocean. With her husband and son, she likes to go looking for sea creatures in tide pools in Maine. She once had a chance to go out in a very small boat with some scientists who study whales, and got to listen to the whales coming up for air. She used to be scared of sharks (she still is, a little!) but mostly thinks they are some of the most beautiful and fascinating creatures on Earth. Ann helped edit two books about the ocean for grown-ups: Oceans: Heart of Our Blue Planet and Underwater Eden: Saving the Last Coral Wilderness on Earth. She is the author of five novels for young readers and Elephant Talk, a book about the ways elephants communicate.

Shennen Bersani is an award-winning illustrator with 2 million copies of her books cherished and read by children, parents, and teachers throughout the world. Her art delivers heartfelt emotion, the wonders of nature and science, and creates a unique joy for learning. Some of Shennen's other illustrated works include River Otter's Adventures; Night Creepers; Cheetah Dreams; Animal Partners; Astro: The Steller Sea Lion; Home in the Cave; The Glaciers are Melting!; Once Upon an Elephant (CBC Children's Choice Book Award); Salamander Season; Sea Slime: It’s Eeuwy, Gooey and Under the Sea; The Shape Family Babies; and Shark Baby for Arbordale. She is also the author and illustrator of Achoo! Why Pollen Counts. Shennen lives with her family near Boston. Visit her website at


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