One word: WOW. Okay, two more words: Wow! Wow! This book is interesting for two main reasons, it brings science to the public without getting too technical and it is giving you a look at a woman (Eugenie Clark) who did not just do well in a “man’s world” but excelled. The afterwards tells of Clark in more detail. Such as, yes, you realize right off when you see “woman” and “science” you know she will face discrimination. As soon as you see when she was growing up and doing her research, you know she faces discrimination. However, the afterwards tells you she was Japanese-American. And in the 1930s and 1940s, that was something that could have stopped her altogether, but she did not let it.
This is a biography where the facts are there but has a feeling of a story, but keeping the non-fiction format. It is also in the picture book format, but not for young readers due to the amount of text and no “real action” that grabs the reader. If your child will sit for a story or can read on their own (or with help) this is for that reader. The story of The Shark Lady is eye opening, as much of what we now know about sharks comes from her discoveries about sharks.
The illustrations are most likely trying to capture the sleekness of the shark and the coolness of the water. I am not sure if they are watercolor, but have that feel. The realistic of them makes them a story in themselves.