Finding a Friend

Shark Stories

Children - Animals
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 02/06/2024
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Author Biography

Traci Swain’s love of writing began after taking creative-writing courses at a summer camp when she was 12. Working in the publishing industry for more than a decade allowed her to help foster the joy of reading for many students. Finding a Friend was Traci’s debut book and was an immediate teacher favorite. She hopes her stories will help encourage a love of reading, inspire creativity, and build confidence.

When Traci isn’t creating books, she spends her time traveling, hanging with family and friends, and checking things off her bucket list. Her biggest feat to date—climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite

In Finding a Friend, written by Traci Swain and illustrated by Kadysha, Deep Blue, a Great White Shark, shares tales of her quest for friendship in the ocean, a journey marked by numerous rejections from various sea creatures. However, with perseverance and guidance from her wise sea star friend, Cushy, Deep Blue doesn't give up. Her persistence pays off when she meets Peter and Pepper, a pair of African penguins. This is the moment when Deep Blue learns that she is a large predator, while the penguins are skilled swimmers with a penchant for travel. Surprisingly, Deep Blue expresses a desire for friendship and promises not to eat the penguins. The penguins, in turn, welcome the idea of future meetings, and Deep Blue and Cushy celebrate the newfound friendship.

Finding a Friend is part of the Shark Stories series. Traci Swain's message through Deep Blue's story of inclusivity and diversity, by featuring a wide range of marine animals with distinct personalities and characteristics, is one most adults will appreciate being portrayed for their younger readers. There is also an educational component through encounters with a variety of marine life that describe the species, their habitats, and their unique role in the ecosystem. The illustrations by Kadysha are extraordinary, employing a palette of shimmering jewel tones and breathing life into every aspect of Deep Blue's journey. I did find that the text was a little on the loquacious side, and it is unlikely a child will be able to read it on their own, but I certainly believe this book will enjoy a great deal of success in group settings. Recommended.