Book Review: Shelby

I picked this book up at the Tulsa Zoo in 2006. I knew that we should have a book with the same name as my baby sister. And since Shelby is Eva’s godmother I figured this would be a good book for her to read to Eva when she comes and visits. However, I spend a lot of time reading this to Eva.

Author and Illustrator
The story was written by Stacy A. Nyikos and she lives in Tulsa, OK. If I had planned ahead for my next trip I would have tried to get an audience with her to interview her for this blog. She has two other books, Squirt and Dizzy. The illustrations were done by Shawn N. Sisneros who also worked with Stacy on Squirt.

The Story-
The story is of Shelby, a Lemon Shark that lives in the roots of a knotty old tree. Shelby is afraid, she is afraid of the other fish. She is afraid that she cannot make friends because she will scare all of the other fish with her large teeth. And Shelby is lonely.

One day a large beast comes to her home and threatens the lives of the other fish. A call for help is raised and Shelby must summon more courage than she has ever had to reveal herself an help those fish she desperately wants to befriend.

This is a great story of using our talents and accepting ourselves. It is also about fear and how it prevents us from living our lives to their fullest. But overall it is a story of accepting one’s own self and having courage. Some excellent messages for children and adults alike.

In the back of the book are many facts about the lemon shark. And at there are supplemental materials for the Shelby book including a quiz and questions to talk about with your child. Might be nice for homeschoolers. The materials are a free .pdf download.

Read to Me Dad Ratings

  • Story – Excellent and it rhymes well.
  • Re-Read-Play-ability – Excellent, I read it often
  • Illustrations – Excellent – The fish are so colorful.
  • Message – Excellent – Using your talents selflessly for the enjoyment of others.
  • Plot – Good – A nice little story that introduces characters and events that occur in an easy to follow manner.
  • Characters – Shelby is a wonderful character that illustrates how you must be brave to overcome fear and doubt.
  • Does Eva Like It – She enjoys the bright colors and I like to sing the book to her as well as change voices.
  • Recommended Ages3 to 8

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