It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of TOON Books, a delightful line of comics/graphic novels for children. I’ve read and reviewed almost every book in the TOON Books line here on The Bluestocking Society, including Jack and the Box, Stinky, Mo and Jo: Fighting Together Forever, Luke on the Loose, Benny and Penny in The Big No-No, Benny and Penny in The Toy Breaker, Zig and Wikki in Something Ate My Homework, Nina in That Makes Me Mad, Benjamin Bear in Fuzzy Thinking, Zig and Wikki in The Cow, and Chick and Chickie in Play All Day. I enjoyed each of these books, but I think The Shark King is my favorite of them all.
The Shark King, by R. Kikuo Johnson
The Shark King is a magical folktale that takes place in Hawaii. It opens with Kalei being rescued from the shark king. She marries her rescuer and soon bears Nanaue. He is placed in a unique situation in which he has to choose between his mother and his father.
I really enjoyed this nuanced story. I loved the Hawaiian and folktale feel to it. The pictures and story are precisely in sync. It’s divided into three chapters and is perfectly suited for the second- and third-grade crowd.
TOON Books are stories in comic book form for young readers. The series advisor is Art Spiegelman, author of the well-regarded Maus graphic novels. Each TOON Book has been vetted by educators and is recommended for elementary school-aged children. I love the idea of introducing children to the comic book/graphic novel form and highly recommend TOON Books to early readers.
Check out TOON-Books.com for a great interactive experience and more information about the line.