Great White Shark (Carcharodon carcharias), South Africa, Atlantic Ocean. (Photo from Discovery Channel)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. For shark fans, that is.

Alright we get it, your fascination for sharks never happened because of Jaws. But these predators of the deep blue sea are actually respectful and beautiful creatures. Also, they are ancient. Did you know that there were sharks in the oceans of earth long before the first animals had begun to colonize the land surface? Their history stretches back for at least 400 million years, a vast period of time which makes the 2-million-year-old history of humans seem insignificant by comparison. And which also puts us lower on the food chain. Gotta respect that.

Andy Samberg of SNL fame swimming with sharks in the Caribbean? That’s not all that’s happening this week in Discovery’s 24th annual Shark Week, which kicked off on July 31.

There’s a shark week video frenzy with all the thrills, chills and craziness that videographers can think of.  A huge Twitter following and loads of facts on these fierce predators. You can even Go Shark Yourself!

We’re still terrified of being bitten in half. Good thing we came across these funny shark illustrations from Phil Watson:

Here are other interesting shark finds for young readers:

“Shark Wars” the first in a series of shark-themed children’s books by author Ernie Altbacker. It’s an epic story prehistoric about shark clans who have maintained balance in the ocean over the years. However, overfishing and rising sea temperatures have resulted in a shortage of food, which has led to battles and corruption among the shark clans. The story centers around a reef shark named Gray, who leaves his home and ventures to “Deep Open Water” to bring peace back to the oceans and discover his destiny.

“Nicole in the Surf is my Turf” is a book commissioned by the Save Our Seas Foundation to educate children about the Great White Shark, a truly magnificent creature, and dispel the myth that we are part of their diet. This fantastic children’s book is written by Lulu and Tee and is based on an actual Great White Shark called ‘Nicole’.

– Red Robbin Books also released “Shaun the Shy Shark” – a creature so shy that the sight of a jellyfish made him wobble, and even a shrimp was known to scare him. It’s a dazzling tale from the depths of ‘following a dream’ and ‘being different’.

Happy Shark Week everyone! And don’t forget, you too can save the sharks.