cover image Clark the Shark Loves Christmas

Clark the Shark Loves Christmas

Bruce Hale, illus. by Guy Francis. Harper, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-06-237452-3

Clark the Shark’s personality is as big as ever in his fifth picture book, which focuses on the Christmas preparations at Theodore Roosterfish Elementary. The eyes of Clark’s aquatic classmates widen with alarm as he carols loudly and throws his weight around while decorating a kelp tree, but Clark’s biggest challenge comes when it’s time for Secret Santa: he’s so focused on figuring out who is getting him a gift that he doesn’t put much thought into his gift for Benny Blowfish. Come gift-opening time, Clark feels twinges of guilt and remorse, but Hale lets him off the hook pretty easily—Benny loves the Captain Suckermouth comic book Clark had originally purchased for himself. It’s a light, breezy reminder that the giving beats the getting where Christmas gifts are concerned. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. Illustrator’s agency: Shannon Associates. (Sept.)