Review by Cristina Zenato, “shark dancer”

I am thrilled to announce that shark expert Cristina Zenato, often referred to as the shark dancer, has graciously offered a review for the back cover of my book “Sophie and Max Show Some Shark Love”!

Children's books about sharks
Kindle ebook free until March 23, 2022

Cristina’s Review

“Sophie and Max lead us on a small adventure full of helpful teaching moments without taking away from the fun and joy of the narrative.

Cristina Zenato
Cristina Zenato

The wonderfully illustrated story teaches children that sharks are not dangerous to humans and need to learn more to protect them better. The drawings carry a beautiful sense of happiness about them, and they made me smile from the moment I opened the cover. The book is informative yet concise enough to keep the children’s attention while providing a generous amount of information about sharks, which is rare in a shark storybook.

I love that Jill speaks to children as adults; children have the ability to understand and process. We need to trust their power and know that when they learn young, they will never forget and take it with them for the rest of their lives.” 

About Cristina

Since 1994 Cristina has been an active shark behaviorist, underwater cave explorer, a champion for ocean conservation, photographer, speaker and writer.

She lives and operates in The Bahamas as a NSS-CDS Advanced cave diving instructor, KISS rebreather instructor, TDI mixed gas instructor and PADI Course Director. With over 20,000 dives under her belt, Cristina works with sharks in the wild and has conducted the exploration and surveys of numerous new cave systems.

Cristina Zenato shark whisperer
Cristina Zenato

Cristina’s tireless efforts to advocate for these beautiful creatures was pivotal in having the Bahamas declared as a shark sanctuary.

Sharks are critical to maintaining and improving the health of our reefs and oceans, and Cristina has been working with them and for them over the past 28 years. She is committed to shark education, teaching us about how important they are, while dispelling the myths ingrained in us from a young age that painted them as mindless man-eating machines.

She speaks worldwide in defense of sharks, has been interviewed and featured in magazines numerous times, and has even been featured on SHARK WEEK (Discovery channel). Now, countries around the world are beginning to see that a shark is far more valuable alive than dead, and Cristina is undoubtably a part of that shift in attitude. But it continues to be a struggle, and we are not there yet. Sharks are the most threatened and under-protected ocean species, and over 300 species face threat of extinction.

Cristina communicates with sharks in Bahamas through touch. The choice is the shark’s, and there are a few that will consistently seek her touch and relax on her lap on the bottom of the ocean. Others are more aloof, but interested.

Jill Smith sharks

She keeps a box full of the fishing hooks she has removed from the mouths of sharks as a result of that trust. Any time she can relieve their pain and help them, she will. Some seem to seek her assistance with this intentionally, and it makes one wonder, “just how much do they understand?”.

I had the pleasure of “sharking myself” with Cristina Zenato in the Bahamas a few years ago, and it remains one of the most incredible experiences of my life! I spent a week diving in chainmail with Cristina, observing their behaviour and immersing myself in their world.

It was glorious.

Jill Smith Sharks
“sharking myself”

And then I kissed her! So in love with these creatures. Thank you for sharing them with me, Cristina!

Sophie and Max Show Some Shark Love
Jill Smith Sharks
Excited to get geared up and in the water with the sharks!

Not only did I have the privilege of watching Cristina remove a large nasty hook from a shark’s mouth, but one shark even chose to relax with me as I pet it. As I gently stroked it from nose to dorsal fin, it sunk, and possibly fell asleep.

Sophie and Max ocean adventures
And then I kissed her!

“Sophie and Max Show Some Shark Love”

Release date: March 20, 2022

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