By R. Kikuo Johnson
Toon Books, $12.95, 40 pages
The divine Shark King marries a mortal Hawaiian girl, but returns to the sea before his son, Nanaue is born. Being the son of such unusual parents is hard. The boy’s hunger eventually gets the better of him, forcing him to steal fish from the local villagers. He becomes a one-boy famine before he is found out and forced to flee himself. This funny short novel is a good bedtime read.
The romance between Nanaue’s parents will attract girls, but the story is quick enough to not gross-out the boys. Even though Nanaue’s escape to the sea is tragic, it does have an upbeat ending. The simplistic artwork is cool to look at it, even without the text, and adds to the enjoyment of the book. The pictures of Nanaue dealing with his hunger are just hilarious. For such a small book, it also encompasses a wide variety of emotion, covering the boy’s sadness of missing his dad and his fear at being chased. This is a pleasurable book, especially when you need something that is melancholy with a touch of romance.
Reviewed by Jamais Jochim