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Misunderstood Shark

Owl has a balloon. Monkey does not. What will happen next? Hint: this is not a book about sharing.

You misunderstood! I wasn't gonna eat him. I was just showing him my new tooth!

There must be some misunderwaterstanding.

Misunderstood Shark
By Ame Dyckman

Every beachgoer knows that there's nothing more terrifying than a... SHARRRK! But this shark is just misunderstood, or is he? In a wholly original, side-splittingly funny story, New York Times bestselling author Ame Dyckman and I take this perennial theme and turn it on its (hammer)head with a brand-new cheeky character.

The filming of an underwater TV show goes awry when the crew gets interrupted by a... SHARRRK! Poor Shark, he wasn't trying to scare them, he's just misunderstood! Then he's accused of trying to eat a fish. Will Shark ever catch a break? After all, he wasn't going to eat the fish, he was just showing it his new tooth! Or was he? Explosively funny, clever, and even full of fun shark facts, this surprisingly endearing story gets to the heart of what it feels like to be misunderstood by the people around you. With a surprise twist ending, our Misunderstood Shark will have kids rolling with laughter! 

I had so much fun illustrating Shark and his crew—I know that your young readers will eat it up. 

Published by Orchard Books (an imprint of Scholastic), Misunderstood Shark surfaces April 24 but is now available to preorder on Amazon, B&N and Indiebound today!



The live TV show “Underwater World with Bob,” staffed entirely by aquatic creatures, is suddenly interrupted by a shark who is about to consume a little orange fish right on camera. Once Shark realizes that he has an audience, he changes his tune. “You misunderstood!” he demurs, still clutching the terrified fish. “I was just... showing him my new tooth!” The host tries to play along, offering shark facts as Shark—smitten with his new public persona—claims that he is also being misunderstood when it seems like he wants to eat a baby seal or some beach-going humans (“I brought Band-Aids!” he roars). Shark is so persuasive that the octopus holding the boom mike declares, “The ocean gets its saltiness from the tears of misunderstood sharks! I read that somewhere.” Magoon’s cartooning is both funny and visually striking as the toothy, scenery-chewing Shark plays to the camera and zips through the green-blue water, barely resisting his primal urges. And the playful typography used for Dyckman’s rapid-fire dialogue makes her blooper-reel humor even funnier. Ages 4–6. Author’s agent: Scott Treimel, Scott Treimel NY. Illustrator’s agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (Apr.) —Publisher's Weekly


Misunderstood Shark

On the Road

In this video, super Shark editor Orli Zuravicky presents a little about Misunderstood Shark who just wants to show the world who he really is...

Behind the Scenes

Here are some development sketches I created while working on Misunderstood Shark. Click on the thumbnails to expand and read more about each.

Sketch Time Lapse

The drawing was ultimately not used in the book but its fun to see how a concept for a spread can change over time.


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