Dr. Katie Monnin
Assistant Professor of Literacy at the
University of North Florida

Plot While fishing for her favorite food, the delicious sea snail, in Hawaii, a young woman named Kalei is threatened by a very large shark. She is rescued by a young man, with whom she falls in love, and soon they are married and expecting a child. Little does she know that her husband is The Shark King, and right before he gives birth he must leave her, to prepare a place for their son at the bottom of the ocean. As she raises her son alone, she finds out that Nanaue has a lot in common with his father. How will Kalei protect him from others who might judge his unique markings? Will she be able to keep him safe?
Characters Kalei, The Shark King, Nanaue, father and son villager, villagers
Setting The beaches and ocean in Hawaii
Themes Identity, Family, Destiny, Transformation, Multicultural Appreciation
Suggested Literary Pairings

The Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, The Sissy Duckling by Harvey Fierstein, The Family Book by Todd Parr, Giants Beware by Jorge Aquirre and Rafeal Rosado, A is for Aloha: A Hawai’i Alphabet Book by U’ilani Goldsberry and Tammy Yee, The Hawaii Snowman by Christine Le and Michel Le, Aesop’s Fables