The only thing Bobby wants for his birthday is a pet shark. So you can imagine his disappointment when his parents get him…a puppy. Everyone knows shark lovers can never become dog lovers. Or can they? Full of humor and heart, this book explores the idea that sometimes, getting exactly what you don’t want turns out to be exactly what you need.
Land Shark is one of my favorites! This book about a clever little boy obsessed with sharks is so witty and always makes me laugh. It’s also fun to learn some facts about sharks while you’re reading, and I love the fun illustrations and details in the pictures.
The illustrations for this story are beyond amazing and add so much additional detail, emotion, suspense and depth to this story that was already pretty great to begin with. As a mom, I don’t love the destruction that this dog wreaks without consequence all across the house, but I do love the awesome vocabulary and the fact that although it does take a while, the little boy is able to adjust his expectations and revel in the wonderful gift he WAS given.
Beth Ferry is the author of numerous books for young readers, including Stick and Stone, Land Shark, Ten Rules of the Birthday Wish and The Scarecrow. She is inspired by two main things: word play and the sea. Luckily, Beth is an avid reader who lives close to the beach so inspiration is never far away. In addition to picture books, Beth has begun writing graphic novels. Her first graphic novel for young readers, Fox and Rabbit, was published in April 2020. Learn more at www.bethferry.com.
Ben was born in Leamington Spa in 1980, and developed a very early interest in things artistic, designing programme covers for school productions and even coming first in his local library colouring-in competition. From there he went on to study animation at Surrey Institute of Art & Design, graduating in 2003.. He then gained valuable experience working on Tim Burton’s “Corpse Bride” before moving to Brighton to work as ‘Head of Animation’ in a media company, focusing on Character and Background design.
He was also part of the Animation team creating the BAFTA winning ‘Big and Small’ CBeebies website. Since 2008, Ben has been working as a Children’s Book Illustrator from his shared studio in Brighton and he also produces screen prints and digital artwork to exhibit. He illustrated ‘Callum’s Incredible Construction Kit’ which won the Bishop’s Stortford Picture Book prize 2013.
We love Land Shark. It captures so well the closed-mindedness and stubbornness children can sometimes demonstrate, but also their cleverness and open hearts. Can you tell us more about how you came up with the story?
Land Shark was inspired by a friend’s new puppy. Our dogs were full-grown and I had forgotten how much destruction puppies can wreak. I’m not sure how I forgot, but I did. Sitting on the beach one day, the idea popped into my head that dogs were a lot like sharks, especially when it came to biting. I did some research and found lots of similarities and learned a lot about sharks! I love adding bits of nonfiction to my books if possible, such as tiger sharks eating garbage.
Update on Land Shark: We now have a five-month old bulldog named Chaucer and I have found that I’m living my own book! He has chewed our kitchen wall, 5 electrical cords, all my kitchen stools and any shoe he can get his teeth on! He is truly a little land shark.
We know you live close to the beach, so are you a dog lover or shark lover?
Dog lover for sure. Ever since I saw Jaws as a kid, I have been afraid to venture too far out into the ocean. Silly, but true.