October 12th, 2017
This week, we’re reading Sherman’s Lagoon, by Jim Toomey.
When you picture a shark, it probably doesn’t look like Sherman. Lazy, hapless, slow, and somewhat anxious, Sherman has little in common with his quick, lithe nonfictional cousins apart from his massive appetite. But for some reason, we can’t stop rooting for him when he’s out hunting sunbathers.
Sherman lives with his wife, Megan, who much more properly fulfills our idea o what a great white shark should be. She’s a keen, ruthless, domineering survivor and sometime-businesswoman who usually has her husband under her thumb– though, fortunately for him, she usually has his best interests at heart.
Sherman’s friends are a strange cadre of companions for an apex predator: Ernest, a mad scientist of a fish; Fillmore, a shy and bookwormish sea turtle; Hawthorne, a hermit crab who has a new get-rich quick scheme for every day of the week; and Thornton, a polar bear who, thanks to global warming, accidentally floated down to the Lagoon and now spends his days on a tropical vacation.
Beyond the endearing, if exasperating, characters that populate the Lagoon, Jim tells thoughtful and conscientious stories that educate us about marine wildlife and conservation issues. Whether it’s exploring how water temperatures are affecting the ocean to explaining the cruelty behind shark finning, Sherman’s Lagoon is consistently not only funny, but whip-smart and inspiring.
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