Nugget & Fang (Tammi Sauer, author. Michael Slack, illustrator. Harcourt Children’s Books, 2013).
Nugget is a minnow and Fang is a shark – they have no idea that they are unlikely friends until Nugget is taught at minnow school that sharks are scary and want to eat him! This picture book favourite of many is now one of mine because its words and illustrations provide high entertainment value. The story also served as a launching point for a conversation with my 7 ½ year-old about friendship and Nugget making his own judgement about Fang’s character. Sauer’s clever puns will be appreciated by adult readers while children will be engaged by the well-paced plot, the pallet (blue with bright pops of colour!), and the expressive faces of the characters. The repeating lines tie the story together and also give children a chance to participate; there is no denying that “glug, glug, glug” is just plain fun to say out loud.