279. The Shark King by R. Kikuo Johnson

The Shark King by R. Kikuo Johnson  (US) - (Canada)
Toon Book, Level 3

Pages: 39
Ages: 7+
Finished: Oct. 19, 2012
First Published: Apr. 10, 2012
Publisher: Toon Books
Genre: graphic novel, easy reader, mythology
Rating: 5/5

First sentence: "Long ago in Hawaii, a young woman named Kalei was searching for her favorite food ..."

Publisher's Summary:  "From the islands of Hawaii comes the electrifying tale of Nanaue, who has to balance his yearning for Dad’s guidance with his desire for Mom’s nurture.

Award-winning cartoonist R. Kikuo Johnson transports young readers to the lush, tropical shores of his native Hawaii. Emerging readers, fluent or not, will be thrilled when they experience the transformative powers of this stirring literary work."

Acquired: Received a review copy from Candlewick Press.

Reason for Reading:  We've been reading the Toon Books since they first came out but now due to my son's age, he's just interested in Level 3+ now.  So we continue to read each new title of interest to him.  He read this aloud as his reader.

Ds was taken with this mythological tale of a "shapeshifter" right from the beginning pages.  He has become very good at predicting what will happen and was delighted when his early prediction here was finally revealed.  He was fascinated with the Hawaiian culture and the strange little boy who was growing into a shapeshifter like his father.  A well written story, with beautiful art work.  The tale is haunting and odd, yet appealing.  Ds wants the book for his own bookcase.  This is a high honor to bestow any book as he has no interest in owning books and for one to appeal so much to him, that he wants to own it and have it in his room is praise indeed!  I would very much like to see more work from this author.


  1. I read this book awhile back and totally agree with your review. I adore this series and I like that the more of the books are being geared towards slightly older readers.


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