Monday, April 1, 2013

Nugget & Fang

Booklist (March 15, 2013 (Vol. 109, No. 14))

Grades K-2. Most picture books don’t come with a subtitle, but it so happens this subtitle neatly sums up the plot. Two unlikely underwater friends are torn apart when the minnow goes to school for the first time and finds out the “truth” about the shark. Nugget and Fang (you can guess which one is which) are introduced as perfectly compatible as they swim in deep ocean; one’s grin is huge and toothy, and the other’s is small but wide. But when the minnow keeps being told about the dangers of the shark, he begins to have doubts and swims “far, far away.” Slack’s bright blue scenes are full of action, reaction, and witty details, but they also manage to capture the loneliness of the once-happy shark. (That fanged frown is huge.) Luckily for Fang, the author believes in happy endings and has the shark save the day for Nugget and nine fellow minnows, who all become Fang’s friends. Ridiculous? Yep, but goofy good times anyway.

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