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“Readers will soak up the vividly illustrated underwater scenes alongside the important message to follow their passions… children from marginalized backgrounds will be especially heartened by Márquez’s encouraging tale… A magical story for budding scientists.”
Kirkus Reviews

Mother of Sharks

Written by Melissa Cristina Márquez
Illustrated by Devin Elle Kurtz
Published by Penguin Young Readers Group

As the sun sets over another gorgeous day at la Playita Del Condado in Puerto Rico, Meli doesn’t want to go home. She loves the ocean more than anything, and with only five minutes left at the beach, she knows exactly where her last stop should be: the tidal pools. They are small universes of their own teeming with critters and creatures of the ocean. While looking into the pools, she meets a crab, Jaiba, who takes her on a dreamlike underwater adventure, teaches her about the importance of shark conservation, and reveals Meli’s ultimate destiny: to become the Mother of Sharks.

Blending the autobiographical with the fantastical, Melissa Cristina Márquez shares her incredible story not only to dispel myths about these misunderstood creatures but also to pave the way for Latinas in STEM. Paired with Devin Elle Kurtz’s vibrant, emotive illustrations, this picture book is an irresistible journey through the wonders of the ocean and, above all, a rallying cry for marine conservation.

Look for the Spanish version, Madre de los tiburones

Primary ISBN: 9780593523582
Publication Date: May 2023
Available As: Hardcover, eBook
Memoir, Picture Book, Age 05 or older

Community Represented:

Themes: , , ,

Setting: Puerto Rico

Character's Place in the Immigration Journey: In Home Country

Book Creator(s) Connection to the Community Represented: Own Voices/Lived Experience

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Creator Book Talk

Meet Melissa Cristina Márquez