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Reviewed by Maria Victoria Beltran for Readers' Favorite
Sofia the Nurse Shark is a children’s picture book by Alice Smith, with illustrations by Daniel Carrillo. In this story, we get to know a nurse shark named Sofia who lives in Elbow Reef within the beautiful John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in the turquoise waters of the Florida Keys. Sofia attends Elbow Reef Middle School and wants to be a veterinarian. Her dad is a plastic surgeon and her mom is a nurse. She has many friends in the Elbow Reef community and enjoys the fun and activities with them. This evening, she’ll be attending a big spring dance and all her friends will be there. She’s looking forward to spending time with her best friend, Faith the flounder. Her other friends Sameria the jellyfish, Ayanna, a Queen triggerfish, Stix, the arrow crab, and many others will also be attending. At the dance, they have fun but while they are having their snacks and punch, Bush the lionfish pushes Stix over the table. How will Sofia and her friends handle the bullying lionfish?
Alice Smith’s Sofia the Nurse Shark is an entertaining children’s picture story with exotic animals as characters. Smith takes us underwater and introduces us to the beautiful marine world of the Florida Keys. With personification as a literary device, children should easily relate to Sofia and the other characters in the story. The beautiful illustrations focus on the theme, storyline, and concept to enhance the text. It is both informative and fun to meet the colorful residents of Elbow Reef. It is also admirable how Sofia and her friends handle the bullying lionfish and this should send a message to children. Sofia the Nurse Shark is a simple story with strong and intriguing characters, where many lessons can be learned. Don’t miss the fun match and word search at the end of the book. Highly recommended!