Ame: HOWDY, Mr. Schu! HOWDY, readers!
Scott: Ahoy, John!
It is always a double super fun day when you both visit Watch. Connect. Read. I’m thrilled you dropped by to share Misunderstood Shark’s cover. Ame, why in the world is Shark misunderstood?
Ame: THANKS for having us, Mr. Schu! Well, it seems our big toothy buddy, Shark, is ALWAYS about to CHOMP someone! Even during the LIVE broadcast of the Fun Facts-filled TV show, Underwater World With Bob Jellyfish! But each time Bob reminds Shark that we (“THE PEOPLE!”) can see him, Shark has a perfectly reasonable (even helpful!) explanation why Bob misunderstood Shark’s open-mouthed intentions. So, guys, is Shark REALLY misunderstood? Choose for yourself April 24th!
Scott, what was the most fun thing about working on Misunderstood Shark?
Scott: Drawing the characters. We have an emotional Great. White. Shark. of dubious intent. Totally fun to draw. We have a gullible jellyfish reporter and his subservient news crew—they’re a chorus of mini-squids and a big-headed octopus. A cute baby seal too! Those creatures are high on the fun-to-draw scale. Fun to research as well. For a while there my studio was an Oceanographic Institute. The Magoon Lagoon!
Ame, what ran through your head the first time you saw Misunderstood Shark’s cover illustration?
Ame: I thought, “Scott and our team (at Scholastic’s Orchard Books) NAILED IT!” on our gotta-grab-it cover! The FABULOUS popping colors! The GENIUS use of Shark’s fin in the title design! The HILARIOUS look on Bob Jellyfish’s little Les Nessman face! And of course, there’s Shark himself. His mischievous grin! His bushy eyebrows! His OH-SO-HUGGABLE 2,000 POUNDS OF AWESOMENESS! (Plus his tattoo’s pretty sweet, too!)
Scott, did you laugh out loud the first time you read Misunderstood Shark’s manuscript?
Scott: I did. I still do! Shark’s proclamations of innocence become more comical as he tries over and again to convince us that he’s misunderstood. I think readers might see a little of themselves in Shark—and find that truth funny. Not that our readers are meat-eating sharks mind you, but instead they might identify with how hard Shark tries to shape his own narrative and affect how he wants to be perceived by others. Also, poor Bob the jellyfish makes me laugh—he’s in a little over his head!
Ame and Scott, please finish these sentences:
Reading aloud brings characters to life! No laboratory or lightning needed—just your voice.
...to my kids is sacred time for me for which I will always be grateful. On a lighter note—I just also like the chance to do funny voices & accents when I read aloud!
Mr. Schu, you should have asked me how I REALLY feel about Shark. Truth is, I love our rascal Shark with all my heart! (Even after the little “misunderstanding” with my cat.)
...you should have asked if I’ve ever seen a shark in the wild. I was at the beach with my family one day and we saw a giant ocean sunfish fin (a Mola Mola) swimming along the beach and thought it was a shark. I misunderstood it to be a shark!
Look for Misunderstood Shark on April 24, 2018.