Koli the Great Shark
By Tamra Werner
Baby shark dodododo…
We have all heard the song. Maybe even sang it. It’s catchy, and some would say, annoying, but little kids love it. The great thing is the tune puts sharks in a good light, just like Koli.
When my older kids were young, we told nightly stories about their fictional puppet friend Koli, The Great White Shark. The stories revolved around the adventures of this innocent little pup who was finding his way in the ocean world. Koli was never ferocious or attacked people, as we see in the movies. We know sharks are imperative in the ocean, and I vowed to write a book someday about Koli, and so far, I have written two.
Sharks have a bad wrap, and children learn that sharks are maneaters through media and movies. Children should be learning sharks are vital in balancing the ocean, yet they face many dangers, including humans. When I set out to write my books, I did extensive research on the great white. I read numerous articles, talked with scientists, aquariums, and research organizations to accurately portray the facts about this intriguing creature. My goal is to entertain and educate children about the great white shark and teach them to respect our marine life and oceans.
Koli, The Great White Shark, has vulnerabilities similar to children. In KOLI’S BIRTHDAY ADVENTURE, Koli experiences stranger danger and learns the value of healthy eating habits. In the second book, KOLI’S FRIENDSHIP ADVENTURE, he meets his new best friend, Meka, the remora, and learns about loyalty, pollution, and how scientists are helping sharks. Both factually based fictional books include an additional STEM section that beautifully illustrates shark facts children (and adults!) understand.
Instead of exposing children to negative marketing about sharks, adults can introduce happy songs, the SharkBytes app, and books like Koli, The Great White Shark that dispel negative connotations associated with the species. Adults should foster respect for marine life and teach the importance of protecting our environment to ensure a healthy future. Hopefully, educating children at a young age may help save our sharks and inspire marine biology careers.
Koli’s Friendship Adventure is a licensed partner with OCEARCH. A portion of the proceeds benefit their research and STEM programs.