How to Avoid Being Eaten By Sharks… and other advice (John Larkin, illus Chrissie Krebs, Walker)
How do you avoid being eaten by sharks? Is the Earth flat or round? How do you translate parent-speak, pass a creative writing test, and elude alien abduction? Tongue-in-cheek, chapter-length answers to these five questions offer an eclectic, generally light-hearted guide to life in How to Avoid Being Eaten By Sharks… and other advice. Prolific author John Larkin delivers interesting information and fun facts about the natural sciences, history and language. We learn about tiger sharks, bull sharks and great whites, but the surprising statistics show that someone is more likely to die while taking a selfie than from a shark attack. Larkin then enlists the ancient Greeks, Isaac Newton and other scientists to discuss how we know the Earth is not flat. The book also unpacks old-fashioned idioms such as ‘let that be a lesson to you’ to explain generational differences in how people may speak. Writing is called the most important invention because it entertains, instructs, and facilitates the sharing of information. And finally, even if aliens exist, Larkin asks, why would they risk an encounter with violent, destructive humans? Larkin addresses the reader in a lively, colloquial voice with jokes and tales from his childhood. Chrissie Krebs’s energetic black-and-white comic-style illustrations heighten the hyperbole and give visual variety to every page. Readers aged 8–13 who enjoyed Terry Denton’s Really Truly Amazing Guide to Everything and Eddie Woo’s STEM books will also appreciate How to Avoid Being Eaten By Sharks.
Books+Publishing reviewer: Joy Lawn has worked for independent bookshops and blogs at Paperbark Words. Books+Publishing is Australia’s number-one source of pre-publication book reviews.