Greetings, Sharkling! (How to Be an Earthling)
An alien named Spork has come to Earth to learn about our world, so what better place is there to go than the local school? As a member of the class, Spork joins Newton, Jack, Grace, and other students on a field trip to the aquarium! But Spork has a lot to learn, not only about Earth, but about Earthlings, and when a lie gets out of hand, Spork finds himself face to face with a ferocious shark!
Greetings, Sharkling! is a pretty ambitious book for young readers. In 60 pages, it tackles the importance of honesty, the funny (and not-so-funny) consequences of cultural gaps and misunderstandings, the scourge of bullying, and the curiosities of language, metaphor, and idioms. That’s quite a laundry list.
And the book manages to cover all of that without ever feeling preachy or unnatural. This is a book where readers, kids, and aliens learn together, experiencing how words and choices affect all of us. It’s simple, elegant, and very insightful storytelling. Greetings, Sharkling! doesn’t waste a single page of opportunity.
It helps that Spork is both intentionally and unintentionally hilarious, though.
Lori Haskins Houran, Jessica Warrick, Illustrator