Our Overall rating: 4.5
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A Shiver of Sharks

July 30, 2013

By: Carisa Kluver

The Digital Media Diet

Learn the special names for each group of sea animals ...

This is Little Bahalia Publishing's sequel to Julie Hedlund's first book app, A Troop is a Group of Monkeys. This title focuses on the creatures of the sea, featuring Pamela Baron's gorgeous illustrations with light but polished animation and well-crafted interactive elements. Each page has a different animal grouping shown with the proper plural term for a group of each marine species.

From a swarm of eels to a herd of seahorses, children will enjoy learning about the unique (and often comical) names for scores of sealife that go way beyond your usual school of fish. Among my favorites was the smack of jellyfish and fever of stingrays, plus the lovely narration is there to help you hear a proper pronunciation of escargatoire of snails!

The text is simple, but well put together, with subtle alliteration and nicely paced rhyming text. Colorful and engaging illustrations come to life with a combination of interactive and animated elements that will surprise and delight young readers. Most enhancements are well-tailored to the narrative, reinforcing rather than distracting from reading comprehension. While this app does not highlight as narrated, children can tap on any word to hear it spoken aloud.

Quality seascape sounds for each page also do a lovely job evoking a sense of being underwater. Educational enhancements are bundled into the app in the form of a detailed parent & educator section. This guide lists grade level, common core standards met, Bloom's Taxonomy and page-by-page discussion questions.

Overall, A Shiver of Sharks is an exceptional new release and terrific app for young learners. Top-notch production values and well-integrated enhancements create a seamless reading experience. Extension activities and curriculum alignment with common core standards provide extra educational value as well. The perfect book app for ocean lovers, including an interactive ending that encourages keeping the ocean clean!

Highly recommended.

This app has been thoroughly evaluated by our staff. Please click on the 'star ratings' tab above, to see how it fared in all nine of our rating categories. See synopsis tab for more details about the storyline.

All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.


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A Shiver of Sharks

July 30, 2013

By: Carisa Kluver

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Julie Hedlund/Pamela Baron


Length (time):
6 - 8 Minutes

Based on non-digital book: No

Allows Own Narration:

Uses Motion: Yes

Age: 3 - 8

English •

Length (pages):
18 Pages


Story Synopsis - A Shiver of Sharks

From iTunes:

"A Shiver of Sharks" is the delightful ocean SEA-quel to the critically-acclaimed app "A Troop is a Group of Monkeys" by Julie Hedlund. This interactive book for kids introduces some of the fun plural nouns for ocean animals. You already know about a "school of fish," but how about a "cast of crabs" and a "battery of barracudas"? This rhyming story, written by Julie Hedlund and illustrated by Pamela Baron, is fun to read and play with. Featuring original singalong music by Tim McCanna. Arr, ahoy mateys! "A Shiver of Sharks" has just floated onto the App Store shores!

Each of the animal groups comes to life on the screen and invites young readers to enjoy interactive play while reinforcing the vocabulary words on each page. The pelicans scoop their mighty beaks into the water for fish, and the gorgeous jellyfish dance and change color under your fingers. 

Be a good ocean visitor! Readers can help the swordfish avoid a harpoon, protect the animals' habitat by cleaning up the sea floor, and more. This story is tied to Common Core standards and includes information for teachers and parents on how to enhance a reader's comprehension with reading strategies and activity ideas.


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Orientation: Landscape

Format: iPad


Read to Me, Read Myself, Home, Volume On/Off, Music On/Off, Page Guide, Reading Strategies, Curriculum/Teacher Resources, Links to: Facebook, Twitter, Web, AppStore

App Release Date:


Size: 360.75 MB

Version: 1.0

Lite Version Available: No



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