cover image Shark and Lobster's Undersea Adventure

Shark and Lobster's Undersea Adventure

Viviane Schwarz, Author, Viviane Schwarz, Illustrator, Joel Stewart, Illustrator , colored by Joel Stewart. Candlewick $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7636-2910-6

Irrational fear propels the silly undersea antics of best pals Lobster and Shark in this paper-over-board offbeat volume—an intriguing stylistic cross between picture-book and graphic-novel. Shark confides to Lobster one day that he's scared—of tigers. "I've heard of them! They walk on their teeth , they glow in the dark , and they eat you up !" confirms Lobster. In their zeal to protect themselves from the stripey menace, the friends construct a fortress, an act that attracts attention and help from a cuttlefish and a cadre of spiky crabs, who supply 700 rocks and a piano. The crew decides that a monster is the only sure-fire security solution and they fetch a huge, ugly sleeping one from deep below. When said monster awakes, tiger phobia suddenly becomes low on the list of worries, as evidenced by the sea creatures scattering willy-nilly, and the remnants of the black-and-white piano keys. Creating a fun sense of deep-water exploration, husband-and-wife team Schwarz and Stewart (The Adventures of a Nose ) serve up a clever, vertically oriented format here. The hand-lettered speech bubbles and comics-like panels that alternate with full-page and full-spread illustrations, flooded with Stewart's ink-lined and digitally colored zany characters add to the appealing visual zing. Kids will savor knowing more than the undersea heroes, and appreciate the tale's triumphant message. Ages 3-6. (June)