Tuesday 15 August 2023


Jawsome by R.J. Timmis (Allen & Unwin imprint Albert Street Books) Paperback, Graphic Novel, Junior Fiction, RRP $15.99 ISBN 9781761068591

Reviewed by Karen Hendriks 

Rebecca Timmis is an award-winning author-illustrator based on the Gold Coast of Australia. She is the clever creator of the popular Mertales series. Her pen name is R.J. Timmis.

Jawsome is about four sharks which by day go to school and by night they’re a famous rock band. Their parents insist that they keep their identities secret. It’s all going swimmingly well until Squidley Whistleblower arrives, he is determined to find and expose Jawsome. Somehow, they all get involved in the mysterious disappearance of chum, a shark’s favourite food. All of this is woven into the main theme about keeping their identity secret.

R.J. Timmis is spot on with her junior fiction writing, not only is her topic choice - sharks perfect but her action-packed story is well written. Her humour and wit shine on every page and the page turns have such engaging hooks. The vocabulary is super clever, Timmis has created her own shark puns which are woven into every page. They are funny, clever, and not overdone. The main characters are sharks which is kid appealing and beautifully lends to the humour. But it’s cool- Hunter promised not to eat us. She’s really somefin’ else. Timmis has masterfully woven sub plots into the text that support the main problem of Jawsome keeping their identity a secret. Her humour is really appealing and age appropriate. 8pm: Watch twenty horror films back-to-back on Netfins.

The cartoon-like illustrations enhance the text and ham up the humour. The shark world is convincing and believable. The characters are engaging, and the setting creates such eye candy for the reader. I laughed out loud at the Chumville Chopera House image because we all know which famous icon it looks like. The facial expressions of the characters are loads of fun and the black pages with white fins that break the chapters are great. I like that kids can copy the illustrations and create their own shark and sea characters. The illustrations and words are a winning mix in this action-packed book.

Jawsome is an awesome graphic novel for children six and older. Friendship and humour are important to this age group and this story celebrates both. It’s engaging from start to finish with gripping page turns. Parents and teachers will love this book as much as the children. After all, who doesn’t love a good laugh with sharks?









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