cover image Sea Surprise

Sea Surprise

Leo Landry, . . Holt, $15.95 (64pp) ISBN 978-0-8050-6645-6

Landry's (Eat Your Peas, Ivy Louise! , reviewed May 9) spry if slight underwater tale opens as mermaid Kate asks her buddy Dave, a shark, what they should do that day. Dave spontaneously responds, "Let's bite something." (He "was bored, and boredom always made his teeth itch.") Dave's desire to bite becomes a recurring theme that supplies a large dose of the story's humor. On a visit to Eel, an electrical eel who laments that he's lost his "zap," Dave offers to help by giving the eel's tail "a good bite." Instead the ailing fellow promises the hungry shark a bite of plankton pie if he and Kate can "help him get his zap back." While the duo works on a plan to do just that, a despondent Eel convinces himself that they have forgotten all about him. Though their own plan misfires, all ends well and, in the process, Dave learns a lesson "to be a bit more cautious when biting." Brief chapters, simple sentences and subtle repetition make this a good choice for independent readers eager to plunge into early chapter books. Landry's rudimentary halftone artwork illustrates this light lark. Ages 7-10. (June)