Interview With A Shark by Andy Seed, illustrated by Nick East

Publication Date: 27 May 2021

The Blurb

If you could talk to animals, what would you ask? Get familiar with 10 extraordinary ocean giants as they step up to the mic and share their habits, behaviour, likes and dislikes, favourite foods, and more. Each animal has its own story to tell… and its own attitude!

Features ‘interviews’ with a great white shark, blue whale, orca, sunfish, giant squid, narwhal, manta ray, octopus, conger eel, and angler fish. Plus, ideas for how to do your bit to help endangered species.

The Review

The second book in the fascinating series takes us into the blue to meet 10 amazing ocean giants. Having tested his tranimalator underwater, Andy Seed ventures beneath the waves to capture each animal’s unique voice and bring us fascinating facts about them, including the animal with the world’s largest poo, the creature with teeth on it’s tongue, and the species where the male attaches to the female and become a part of her!

Wit, warmth and humour are captured in Andy’s interview technique and brought to life in Nick’s vibrant illustrations in this fabulously fin, fact-filled non-fiction book.

A number of the interviewees talk about the human impact on their lives including over fishing, plastic and noise pollution, and climate change. Andy finishes with a brilliant section on what we can do to help these majestic creatures, followed by a fun quiz based on the facts we learn on our journey to the bottom of the oceans and back again.

Great for non-fiction fans, animal lovers and classes learning about predators. It’s bound to inspire curious minds to discover more.

The Guest Post

How to Interview a Shark (and live to tell the tale!) by Andy Seed

My new book, Interview with a Shark and Other Ocean Giants Too, illustrated by the amazing Nick East is a fun factual exploration of the lives of ten of the most spectacular sea creatures on the planet: the orca, the blue whale, the giant squid and the narwhal among others. But it was also exceedingly dangerous. I mean, how often do writers stare death in the face (and ask it questions)? Come on!

Interviewing a bull shark, three metres of bulk, muscle and bite, took a great deal of preparation. I mean, I don’t usually do a risk assessment when researching books for 7 year-olds but this was different. Sure, I could have gone on a safety training course, done a tropical diving masterclass or simply used a whacking big shark cage but that’s not going to get you a decent interview, is it? No, it had to be face to face, in the water, no harpoons or high voltage stun sticks. I just had to be brave.

And I survived, just! But it was worth it. As well as insights into the life of sharks, I found out how blue whales eat without teeth, what allows conger eels to swim backwards and why manta rays don’t wear clothes. I discovered that a sunfish baby has to grow 60 million times bigger to become an adult! So many amazing facts…

Then of course I asked them about humans and what they think about all that plastic in the sea. Awkward! But then there were lighter moments too – did you know that your average octopus knows lots of good jokes? Yes, some of my interviewees were a bit grumpy but others were witty, clever, fascinating and curious about our world too. And none of them took a bite out of me, not even the shark!

So, kids, if you want to have a chat with a savage-looking anglerfish or interview an orca, there are some golden rules:

1. You need a tranimalator – that’s a clever machine that can turn whale whistles, squid noises and fish gabble into English (and works the other way round too). Unfortunately I have the only one in the world, made from a broken waffle maker as it happens.

2. You need to be able to travel the world to both warm tropical seas and wild, freezing Arctic oceans and dive down, find the animals and not scare them away.

3. You need to persuade them to talk to you and answer your questions, without making them really cross.

Alternatively, I suppose, you could stay at home in a dry warm place and read some library books about sea creatures and watch some videos about them. You could find out facts and then write your own animal interview (about any animal in the world). Maybe you might be able to think what questions to ask and then write what you think they might say to answer. Then do pictures. You could. But it wouldn’t be a REAL interview like my book, oh no.

Interview with a Shark & Other Ocean Giants Too by Andy Seed, illustrated by Nick East (£9.99, Welbeck Children’s) is available now.

Huge thanks to Andy for that brilliant, funny guest post and to Welbeck Children’s for inviting me to take part in the blog tour. Do make sure you check out all of the other stops.


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