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Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite
Meet Zella, the fourteen-feet-long bull shark in the storybook The Scary Gray Shark by Brian L. Tucker. Zella's black eyes never blinked and she swam all by herself in the dark waters of the ocean. People on shore were scared of her and they wanted Zella to stay far away. Everyone thought she was scary and she had no friends till she met Leah, the bottle-nosed dolphin who saved her when she swam close to Leah's dolphin family. Leah asked Zella to be her friend. Though Zella tried to scare Leah by saying she was a bull shark and could eat Leah, the latter was unfazed. She told Zella nobody would be her friend since she talked to a shark. They swam together to the deeper water and they had fun together from sunup to sundown. The tides pulled them in and pulled them out and while Zella rested on the bottom, Leah kept watch on the surface of the water. They knew the sun would come up again and they could do this all over again.
This heartwarming story is about friendship despite being from different backgrounds, and children will love reading how Zella and Leah enjoy playing with each other despite their differences. Katerina Dotneboya brings the characters and story to life with her wonderful illustrations. It is a good story for tutors to use for read-aloud and storytelling sessions in classrooms to help their young students understand acceptance, tolerance, and friendship in an entertaining way, mainly because children can be from diverse backgrounds. A lovely story that offers education as well as entertainment for young readers.