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 gives pancake shark inspiration for children, while helping them make shark family comparisons.

Pancake Shark or Flat Shark are good names for stingrays, because they make the species sound exciting to people. The information in this article will help children make shark family comparisons. It will also help them recognize that different skills and abilities often are required to produce successful outcomes. The name links stingrays to the shark family to which they belong. 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. 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.

Little Ray's pancake shark inspiration for children comes in books that offer biologically sound shark family comparisons. In his books and the articles on this website, children and adults can learn about pancake sharks and sharks in realistic action. Little Ray teaches that appearance matters far less than attitude when it comes to achieving success. 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. 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. A smile generally is worn by who help others, who are successful, who are loving, who are developing new skills and who are learning with Little Ray.

“The Amazing Flight of Little Ray” is a factually correct and fantastically fun introduction to the pancake shark. Inspiration for children comes with making shark family comparisons in Little Ray's children's books. Little Ray also has videos that show him gracefully swimming, gliding and leaping from the water. Everyone benefits from a dive into Little Ray's adventurous, factual and inspirational books for children. Two of his books are about the stingray and the connections of this amazing fish to the shark family. Learning about stingrays and sharks gives inspiration for children to form a greater connection with these animals and their watery world. Like people, stingrays and sharks are not totally restricted to swimming in salt water environments. Readers can learn more about the freshwater stingray species from the breeders, importers, bloggers and other resources at

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 stingrays can press their wings against an object and raise their heads to create a suction force. The unique form of the pancake shark gives these fish special abilities. When these fish 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. Stingrays and sharks provide thrilling fun for anyone reading about them, watching them from land or sea and joining them in water activities.

Pancake sharks are docile enough that people can interact with them and feed them in water park settings located throughout the world. Stingrays 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 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. Stingrays 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 as well as 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.

Stingray attractions typically reference the name of these featured animals as stingrays, not “pancake sharks”. Little Ray gives inspiration for children to connect with these animals. Pancake shark inspiration for children begins with shark family comparisons. However, these attractions may prefer that visitors fail to make these connections. The association of stingrays with the shark family might discourage traffic. At some attractions throughout the world, visitors are able to swim with resident rays from which the barbs are humanely removed or trimmed by veterinarians specialized in this process. Trimming is not painful to the stingray. Done correctly, it is similar to nail trimming in humans and other animals. There should be no bleeding. However, some exotic animal keepers advise against this process, because the barbs grow back about every three months.

A friendly pancake shark may brush against visitors to its environment, exploring those who are watching it. 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. Some of these rays are conditioned to regular barb trimmings. Because stingrays at tourist locations receive regular feedings, they behave more like tame animals. Pancake shark inspiration for children comes with shark family comparisons that are adventurous, but safe. 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.

This is not say that a pancake shark cannot act aggressively or be provoked to make an attack. Even in captivity, some stingrays accept handling, while others do not. Cleaners of inside aquarium windows must move with care. Rays 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 shark family comparisons of natural defenses. As with their shark relatives, it is not a good idea block a stingrays' path of travel when interacting with these fish. The stinging barb is located at the base or midpoint of the tail area. However, stingrays may face their victims to attack.

As “stingrays”, these shark family members also are appropriately named. Readers of Little Ray's books and articles give inspirational for children to find answers to questions. Children will no longer question why a group of stingrays is called a “fever”. Pancake shark inspiration for children comes with shark family comparisons that are exciting and bold. They'll know the many reasons these pancake sharks are “hot, hot, hot!” They can cause a fever with their sting and a thrill with their flight. Inexperienced ray keepers should not handle stingrays for barb trimming or touch, unless or until they are accustomed to and willing to submit to the process. Rays have a hard protective skin surface that can tolerate touching better than slime or scale protected fish. They are hardy, but they also have a fight instinct. When flight is not possible, stingrays will sting.

Rather than scuffle with an angry or frightened pancake shark, visitors to the ocean world of these shark family members should learn how to do the stingray shuffle. Little Ray's Stingray Shuffle dance video is waiting to prevent missteps. Little Ray gives inspiration for children to join in the movements on this website and make new ocean friends while you're having fun. This shuffling dance movement will scare away stingrays that are half-buried in the sand. They will flee rather than get stepped upon, which could result in an unfriendly encounter. Pancake shark inspiration for children accompanies shark family comparisons, without direct encounters. 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 shark family.

The regularly updated articles throughout this website add interesting details and insights about these shark family members to discuss with children while reading Little Ray's inspirational books and articles for children. Little Ray serves as a role model of inspiration 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 the shark family way to step out of comfort zones for accomplishment. As children make 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.

Shark Family Comparisons

  • 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 provide inspiration for children to read his stories and other productions to learn more about his shark family.