Shark-Mad Stanley Shark-Mad Stanley Grouth (Strange Relations)

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9780786805945: Shark-Mad Stanley Shark-Mad Stanley Grouth (Strange Relations)

Stanley, who loves sharks and knows all about them, fantasizes about having one for a pet and considers all the things he would need to feed and take care of it.

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Review:

There isn't a creature in the world Stanley doesn't adore. Pigeons, snakes, penguins, worms, elephants, you name it. But the animals Stanley goes really mad over are... SHARKS! Even though he's never met one, he knows a lot about them from his good friend, Dennis, who also happens to be Stanley's pet goldfish. In many ways, goldfish are a lot like sharks. They both have fins and gills, eat their meals underwater--why, they're even related! ("Though they are distant relatives and rarely keep in touch.") Stanley figures if he can look after a goldfish, he can probably look after a shark. Or can he?

Griff (a.k.a. Andrew Griffin) has created a delightfully humorous story, with plenty of honest-to-goodness shark facts painlessly thrown in for good measure. Big-headed, sparsely coifed Stanley and his glum pal Dennis (you'd be glum too, if you were going to have to share your home with a massive cannibalistic relative) are a terrifically appealing pair. Griff's clever computer-generated illustrations are full of verve and personality, with witty, often subtle details. The small print on the shark food packaging reads: "No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. People may accidentally be included in this product. Store in a damp environment. Not suitable for vegetarians." This picture book, however, is suitable for vegetarians, carnivores, and any other dry-land critters. A simple, interactive CD-ROM is included, with games, facts, screen saver, and much more. (Ages 4 to 7) --Emilie Coulter

From Publishers Weekly:

Striking an uneasy balance of jokes and science, this quirky volume introduces Stanley, a large-headed cartoon character who loves critters of all kindsD"He even loves SHARKS!" Noting that the boy "learns a lot" about sharks from Dennis, his pet goldfish, British author Griff interjects some cursory information on the physical features, behavior and varieties of sharks on bulletin board-like spreads, while additional spreads feature stylized artwork with nonsensical fantasies of what it would entail for Stanley to have a shark as a pet. The boy compares the needs of sharks to those of goldfish: one illustration shows Stanley taking Dennis on the bus in a water-filled baggie; the next shows a crane lifting a shark to transport it home. An accompanying CD-ROM, tucked into the front cover, offers a screen saver featuring Dennis swimming around in his bowl (but, curiously, no shark), a pair of passable interactive games and facts about sharks that duplicate the text of the book. The disc, too, comes up short: its gateway imageDa silhouette of Stanley's houseDgives kids the option of entering only one of the four rooms; a click on the other spaces brings up the statement that these will be "available with future titles." Given the package's disappointments, readers may not stick around to sample subsequent releases featuring Stanley. Though Griff infuses his pictures and text with doses of humor, he includes too little substance and too much filler to satisfy children interested in learning about sharks. Ages 4-7. (May)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Griff
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