People generally thought that sharks were dumb eating machines. After some study, I began to realize that these ‘gangsters’ of the deep had gotten a bad rap.— Eugenie Clark
Whether you love them or fear them, this Children’s Book Meetup is sure to help you understand a little bit more about one of the ocean’s most well-known predators – sharks!
On Saturday, December 5, 2020 the Florida Museum and the Alachua County Library District (ACLD) met to talk all things sharks by diving into the book Swimming with Sharks, a richly illustrated picture biography of scientist Eugenie Clark’s groundbreaking shark research by Heather Lang. This event was part of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Big Read.
The NEA Big Read is a series of free events building community in Alachua County by uplifting the stories of women in science. The program is a partnership between the Florida Museum of Natural History and Alachua County Library District.
The event kicked off with an introduction to the life of famed shark scientist Eugenie Clark, (also known as the “Shark Lady”) and the various shark species found in the book by ACLD children’s librarian Lisely Laboy.
Once orientated to the book, author Heather Lang joined to tell us more about what drew her to writing about Eugenie Clark, how she researched the book, and what it was like to meet Eugenie Clark herself!
Next up, marine biologists Lindsay French, STEM Education Coordinator at the Loggerhead Marinelife Center, and Shannon Corrigan, Postdoctoral Researcher in the Florida Program for Shark Research teamed up to tell the audience more about how they became scientists, what it’s like to study sharks for a job, and even more shark facts!
Check out the full video to sink your teeth into this fin-tastic event and to hear all the questions sent in by the jaw-some audience!
To read more books about sharks and women in science, check out this list curated by Lisely Laboy and the Alachua County Library District.
Read-a-Likes – Woman Scientists
- Me…Jane by Patrick McDonnell – Holding her stuffed toy chimpanzee, young Jane Goodall observes nature, reads Tarzan books, and dreams of living in Africa and helping animals.
- The Girl Who Drew Butterflies by Joyce Sidman – Joyce Sidman explores the extraordinary life and scientific discoveries of Maria Merian, who discovered the truth about metamorphosis and documented the science behind the mystery.
- Spring After Spring by Stephanie R. Sisson – Stephanie Roth Sisson writes about revolutionary environmentalist Rachel Carson. Begins with Carson as a young girl who developed a love of writing, the environment, and biology.
- Life in the Ocean by Claire A. Nivola – A picture book biography tells the story of Sylvia Earle’s growing passion for the wonders of the sea and how her ocean exploration and advocacy have made her known around the world.
- The Girl Who Thought In Pictures by Julia F. Mosca – Describes the life and accomplishments of the animal scientist and designer of cruelty-free livestock facilities, from her early life and autism diagnosis through her journey to become a livestock expert.
Read-a-Likes – All About Sharks
- If Sharks Disappeared by Lily Williams – A nonfiction picture book tracing the repercussions of what would happen if sharks disappeared from our planet.
- The Ultimate Book of Sharks by Brian Skerry – An in-depth guide to sharks includes information on where they live, how they eat, the challenges they face, and whether or not certain species pose a danger to humans.
- Do Sharks Glow in the Dark? by Mary K. Carson – What do you want to know about shark life? With a fun Q&A format and eye-catching photographs, do sharks glow in the dark? Tells you everything!
- Sharks: Nature’s Perfect Hunter by Joe Flood – Presented in comic book format, this in-depth introduction to sharks examines their undersea terrain, their cunning adaptability, and their staggering variety.
- The Great Shark Rescue by Sandra Markle – Presents the story of whale sharks – The largest fish on the planet. Facing threats from commercial fishing as well as climate change, they were categorized as endangered in 2016.
Download the library’s printable: NEA Big Read Swimming With Sharks Book List