The Amazing Flight of Little Ray
November 2018 by V. R. Duin


Little Ray heard, “What's that, Mommy?”
“It's a pancake shark, my little Tommy.”
“ If it's a shark, why can't it get away?”
“ Maybe it can't figure out the way.”
(“The Amazing Flight of Little Ray”)

Little Ray describes Pancake shark as a name for the group of stingrays and other rays in the shark family.

Pancake Shark or Flat Shark are good names for stingrays. These names make the species sound exciting to people. While there is no stingray that looks like a shark, there are angel sharks that look like stingrays. The information in this article will help children learn that the group of stingrays and other rays are part of the shark family. It will also help them recognize that different tools, skills and abilities often are required to produce successful outcomes. It is not necessary for children to belong to the same family, have the same name, or go with the flow to develop winning outcomes together.

Pancake shark links stingrays and other rays to the shark family. More than 10,000 pictures of from the group of stingrays, other rays and sharks may be found on The Elasmodiver Shark and Ray Field Guide, along with information about evolution, biology, encounters and conservation. Stingrays and sharks come together in “Little Ray & Shark Patch Things Up”. Little Ray and Shark's adventure in this book gives inspiration for children to work together for the benefit of everyone.

Little Ray's pancake shark lessons for children come as adventures. His books tell factual and fantastic stories about the group of stingrays, other rays and sharks in the shark family. The realistic action in his stories gets children thinking about what really matters in life. Little Ray teaches that appearance is far less important than attitude when it comes to achieving success. Little Ray wants everyone to appreciate the beauty of life under water. His positivity also emerges into the air, where it connects with people everywhere.

As shown in the above illustration from “The Amazing Flight of Little Ray”, a stingray is flat, like a pancake. When viewed from the underside, Little Ray's illustrations correctly show a pancake shark wearing a “smile”, which should have friends smiling, too. A smile generally is worn by who help others, who are successful, who are loving, who are developing new skills and who are learning about stingrays and sharks with Little Ray. Learning about the group of stingrays, other rays and sharks in the shark family gives inspiration for children to form a greater connection with these fish and their watery world.

Everyone benefits from a dive into Little Ray's adventurous, factual and inspirational books for children.“The Amazing Flight of Little Ray” is a factually correct and fantastically fun introduction to the pancake shark family. Little Ray also has videos that show him gracefully dancing, swimming, gliding and leaping from the water. Like people, the group of stingrays, other rays and sharks are not totally restricted to swimming in salt water environments. Readers can learn more about the freshwater stingray species from the zookeepers, conservationists, handlers, educators and other resources online or by admission to the Smithsonian National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute in Washington, D.C.

Swim with Mama Ray while she watches Little Ray prepare to take flight like a bird. Help Little Ray and shark get a leaking, sinking boating family's disabled craft to shore. In “Little Ray & Shark Patch Things Up”, children witness how pancake sharks can press their rubbery wings against an object and raise their heads to create a suction force. A mucous membrane provides protection and decreases friction for quick getaways for members of the group of stingrays, other rays and sharks in the shark family.

The unique form of the pancake shark gives these fish special abilities. When pancake sharks and their look-alike angel shark cousins take to the air, they look a lot like birds. Adventures and pancake shark inspiration for children begin with shark family comparisons. Sharks have fearsome reputations. Stingrays are not dangerous unless grabbed, cornered or stepped upon. Neither stingrays nor sharks want to merely “fit in”. They prefer to live free and exercise their independent wills. The group of stingrays, other rays and sharks in the shark family provide thrilling fun for anyone reading about them, watching them from land or sea and joining them in water activities.

Not all stingrays are deadly. People can interact with pancake sharks by feeding them in water park settings located throughout the world. Peaceful encounters, such as those in park settings, may make stingrays seem boring in comparison to their more fearsome shark family cousins. In captivity, stingrays lose much of the character of wild animals. Children or adults safely can feed stingrays in tanks or at water attractions by hand. The group of stingrays, other rays and many sharks in the shark family are curious explorers. They may brush up against people and new objects encountered. Little Ray hopes to give inspiration for children to learn about these amazing fish. The slime won't rub off when they are touched, but the memory should last a lifetime.

The United States and the Caribbean hold popular locations for interaction with pancake sharks. In these places, people discover that a stingray doesn't have to be called “pancake shark” to be exciting, or interesting. The group of stingrays and other rays are among the few fish with eyes on the top of their heads. Barreleyes, also known as spook fish, have tubular eyes that are directed overhead. These fish can look upwards at human visitors and while ambushing prey. Pancake shark inspiration for children is not just about shark family comparisons. Little Ray has many important lessons about ocean life that can extend to life on land.

Attractions typically call their featured animals stingrays. These places may prefer that visitors fail to make the potentially frightening connections between these durable and potentially dangerous relatives. Association of the group of stingrays and other rays with the shark family might discourage traffic. At some attractions throughout the world, visitors are able to swim with resident pancake sharks from which the barbs are humanely removed or trimmed by veterinarians specialized in this process. Trimming is not painful to the stingray, but the barbs grow back about every three months. Some of these stingrays become conditioned to regular barb trimmings. The regularity of this procedure increases the risk of envenomation of the handler.

Friendly pancake sharks may brush against visitors to its environment, exploring them. SeaWorld at Orlando, the Tampa Lowry Park Zoo and the Florida Aquarium, also in Tampa, are Florida attractions with stingray touch pools or interactive lagoons. Big eaters may become fast growers. The group of stingrays and other rays in the shark family quickly may outgrow home aquariums. Saltwater fish require more space, more work and more equipment than their freshwater cousins. Caring for stingrays, other rays and sharks is difficult, because they do not adapt well to captivity. Because stingrays at tourist locations receive regular feedings, they behave like tame animals.

A pancake shark can act aggressively or be provoked to make an attack. Even in captivity, some stingrays accept handling; others do not. Cleaners of inside aquarium walls must move with care, particularly when a group of stingrays is present. Commercial or scientific organizations may put multiple stingray specimens in a single tank for breeding or display purposes. Readers of Little Ray's Children's Books will no longer question why a group of stingrays' name is “fever”. Pancake shark inspiration for children comes with the shark family differences that are exciting and bold. They'll know the many reasons these pancake sharks are “hot, hot, hot”!

Pancake sharks can cause a fever and long term effects with their painful sting. Inexperienced ray keepers should not handle stingrays for barb trimming or for the mere sense of a touch. Experienced handlers often feel the severe pain that comes with the process. Few stingray sting victims are willing to repeat the experience. A stingray sting ranks high on the pain scale. The group of stingrays, other rays and sharks in the shark family have a hard protective skin surface that can tolerate touching better than simple slime or scale-protected fish. They are hardy, but all members of the ray and stingray family have a strong flight instinct. When flight is not possible, stingrays will sting.

Pancake sharks should never be pursued. To bring good ending to “The Amazing Flight of Little Ray”, Little Ray is provoked to harmlessly sting a bird. When escape is not possible, stingrays will react in self-defense with painful and possibly deadly stinging. Pancake shark inspiration for children comes with and understanding of the shark family differences in their natural defenses. However, as with their shark relatives, it is not a good idea block a stingray's path of travel. The stinging barb is located at the base or midpoint of the tail area, but stingrays may turn toward their victims to attack.

Everyone should learn to move like a dancing stingray. Rather than scuffle with angry or frightened pancake sharks, visitors to the ocean world of these shark family members should learn how to do the stingray shuffle. Learning to do the Stingray Shuffle can be done on land, where there is no potential for direct encounters. Little Ray gives inspiration for children to join in the movements, while making shark family comparisons. His Stingray Shuffle dance video should prevent some missteps. While having fun, kids can imagine they are scaring off a group of stingrays.

This shuffling dance movement will scare away angel sharks stingrays that are half-buried in the sand. These creatures will flee rather than get stepped upon, which could result in an unfriendly encounter. This dance will not prevent the rare injury that comes with stepping upon a buried stinging barb left buried behind by a recently-departed stingray. After joining Little Ray and friends in the dance of the Stingray Shuffle, be sure to read the other fun facts about ocean life, pancake sharks and other interesting members of Little Ray's stingray, rays and sharks of the shark family.

Little Ray serves as a role model of inspiration for children. The regularly updated articles throughout this website add interesting details and insights about the group of stingrays, other rays and sharks. Interesting facts about these pancake shark family members should be discussed with children while reading Little Ray's inspirational books and articles for children. Little Ray teaches children to work on any weaknesses. Everyone will applaud Little Ray's passionate efforts to live big dreams, if not his outcomes. Success often comes with tinkering to discover a new method to achieve a purpose.

Children are empowered by Little Ray. This pancake shark faces life with daring adventure. Little Ray challenges children to set bigger dreams. He shows how a group of stingrays, other rays and sharks move beyond comfort zones for accomplishments. As children make the shark family comparisons through reading, watching and discussions with the adults in their lives, they are motivated to set themselves apart. There are strengths and opportunities in finding and emphasizing differences, however great or small. Relevant displays of uniqueness can help children demonstrate the creative thinking required for success at school, at work and in the community.

Help the Shark Family

  • Shark Family Little Ray says:

    The pancake shark and other members of the shark family have an advocate in Shark Advocates International, which is dedicated to preserving these vulnerable fishes.

  • pancake shark Little Ray says:

    According to, some species of flat or pancake shark, are so endangered, it is hard to find pictures of them.

    • inspiration for childrenLittle Ray says:

      Little Ray's books engage children with his stories and other productions about the group of stingrays and other rays.