Nicola Davies, (text) & Nicola Kinnear, (illus), Ariki and the Giant Shark, Walker Books, July 2018, 144 pp., RRP $12.99 (pbk), ISBN 9781406369793.
This is the first in a new series from Nicola Davies. It is set a long time ago on a very small island in the Pacific Ocean. Ariki is a foundling, and orphan who washed up and was taken in by the island’s people, but she is still considered different, and outsider. She belongs to the sea, heart and soul, and feels more at home there than anywhere else. When a giant shark arrives at the island, the islanders feel threatened and decide to send a party of warriors to kill it, but Ariki feels certain that the shark is no threat to them. Can she convince the adults of this before it’s too late?
This is a very enjoyable chapter book for independent readers. Ariki is a great character, and like all fictional orphans, has a mysterious back story which will no doubt be revealed over the series. The setting and the plot are very interesting and keep the audience engaged throughout. Recommended for primary school and public libraries.
Reviewed by Rebecca Kemble