Shark Lady: The True Story Of How Eugenie Clark Became The Ocean’s Most Fearless Scientist (Jess Keating)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Shark Lady: The True Story Of How Eugenie Clark Became The Ocean’s Most Fearless Scientist, written by Jess Keating and illustrated by Marta Álvarez Miguéns, a biography of the pioneering ichthyologist and her dedication to changing the world’s mind about sharks.

When she was a child, there was no place Eugenie would rather be than the aquarium. She spent hours at a time watching the fish swim and learning about their species, habitats, and behaviors. And there was no type of fish that Eugenie loved more than the sharks; while many people saw them as mindless eating machines, Eugenie saw fascinating and intelligent creatures. Eugenie dedicated her life to studying sharks and other marine life, fighting discrimination against her gender and public views of sharks the whole way. Eugenie refused to be scared – of the sharks or the people – and made breakthrough discoveries that have changed what we know about sharks to this day.

This is the second biography we’ve read on Dr. Clark, and we enjoyed this one just as much. While Swimming With Sharks by Heather Lang was a more in-depth biography for older readers, this one is the perfect way to introduce Eugenie and her love of marine biology to younger ones. The text is written in a more story-like narrative, which allows little readers to follow her childhood and early career. The illustrations are wonderful, full of color, joy, determination, and just a hint of fantasy that inspires readers to see the world through Eugenie’s eyes. The length is perfect, JJ loved all the sharks and fishes, and I loved the message: girls can be and do whatever they dream of… they simply have to dive in. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

Swimming With Sharks: The Daring Discoveries Of Eugenie Clark (Heather Lang)

Hello, everyone! Today’s book is Swimming With Sharks: The Daring Discoveries Of Eugenie Clark, written by Heather Lang and illustrated by Jordi Solano, a beautiful and inspiring illustrated biography of pioneer ichthyologist and marine biologist Eugenie Clark.

Young Genie had no greater fascination than sharks. As a child in the 1920’s and 30’s, she spent every moment she could at the aquarium, or in front of her aquariums at home, studying fish, especially the graceful, powerful sharks. Despite there being almost no female ichthyologists at the time, and NONE who studied sharks, Genie would not be deterred. She went to school, studied hard, and braved the ocean to follow her passion. She became one of the world’s foremost researchers in sharks, their biology, and their behavior. She helped to inform people’s opinions on sharks, reshaping their reputation from mindless killing machines to often timid, and sometimes gentle, creatures. And no matter how much she learned, she continued to press her face to the glass, staring at the animals of the deep on the other side, and wonder…

This was a fantastic biography of a groundbreaking female scientist, who defied both convention and popular opinion to become a respected authority on sharks. The story is as much a love letter to these incredible and deeply misunderstood animals as much as it is to Eugenie, which is great for little ones who want to learn more about sharks as well. The art is gorgeous, and capture both the animals and Clark’s love of them well. It’s a bit long for baby bookworms, but older kids would love this one: a powerful and beautiful story of scientific curiosity. Baby Bookworm approved!