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Reviewed by Janelle Fila for Readers' Favorite
Sharky Marky and the Big Race by Lance Olsen is a really cute children's picture book that pits Sharky Marky in a race against his friends and other animals in the water kingdom. The reader has to help Sharky Marky count down to give him enough speed to race around competitors like Octo Eddy, Meanie Marlin, and Peter Puffer. With vibrant colors, beautiful illustrations, and cute, rhythmic rhyme, Sharky Marky is sure to become a family favorite to be read over and over!
I appreciated the opening pages that showed illustrations of all of the characters within the story. I can definitely see these characters spinning off into a series or each having their own adventures. I loved the creativity of the story and how it included both colors (in the stoplights) and numbers (in the race car drivers' positions) within the story. It also encouraged readers to read aloud and "help" Sharky within the story. Kids enjoy stories where they can participate and where that participation supposedly helps the characters, so I thought that part of the story was genius.
The illustrations are also beautiful and very vibrant, and really bring the reader into the underwater racing adventure. I think children will love it and I recommend it for any young person looking for a fun, adventurous, exciting, crowd participating book they can get behind and enjoy. Prepare to read this story multiple times!