Big Al and Shrimpy

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In the wide blue sea
there was a very clever
fish named Shrimpy.

You could not find
a smarter fish.

But Shrimpy
was also

Poor Shrimpy! He wants to be like Big Al, loved and adored by all the other fish. But who would want to be friends with such a teeny, tiny fish? Big Al, that's who! He's big and scary-looking, and he remembers what it was like to be friendless. Still, all the other fish think Shrimpy's just a nuisance. Then one day, when Big Al's life is in danger, Shrimpy is the only one brave enough and smart enough to save the day. Suddenly, everyone can see that friends come in all shapes and sizes and Shrimpy turns out to be the best friend any fish could want!

Shrimpy learns that even though he may be small, he can still make a big difference to his friend, Big Al.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this sequel to Big Al, "the spreads of the ocean depths are every bit as appealing as in the previous book," according to PW. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-Shrimpy becomes friendly with Big Al after playing tag, and the larger fish helps him do things he could never do on his own. One day, Big Al's fin gets stuck in a crack in a rock, and it's clever Shrimpy who comes up with a plan to save him. The story is enhanced by the lovely underwater scenes, which are done in embroidery, paint, and batik on silk. Yoshi pays good attention to detail; when the text indicates that 3 groups of 10 fish help Big Al, readers see 30 fish doing just that. When the author states that Shrimpy could fly through the water faster than ever before, the illustration shows him clinging to one of Big Al's fins as they swim along. Occasionally, the dark text requires good lighting to see clearly as it is on top of darker coloring, and the text is occasionally a bit choppy. Where needed, add this title to the list of books available on differences and those that show how size doesn't matter.-Kathleen Simonetta, Indian Trails Public Library District, Wheeling, IL Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Clements gives the ugly-but-brave hero of Big Al (1990) a tiny-but-clever buddy in this companion volume. While the other fish play tag, Big Al and his diminutive new friend venture to the edge of the dark, scary Big Deep. When a rock traps Big Al and carries him over that edge, it's up to Shrimpy to organize a rescue. Just as Clements's new text echoes his previous one in tone and construction, so Yoshi again uses paint, batik, and embroidery to create blue-lit, deeply shadowed seascapes, populated by brightly colored tropical fish and flora. How Shrimpy persuades the other fish to follow him down into the Big Deep is never made clear, so the episode's internal logic isn't quite as watertight as that in Leo Lionni's Swimmy (1966)-still, it's good to see Big Al back, and children are always receptive to the idea that size isn't everything. (Picture book. 4-8)
From the Publisher
School Library Journal There is magnificence to Yoshi's work that matches Clements' international story of friendship.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416903666
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 8/23/2005
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 290,566
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD550L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrew Clements is the author of the enormously popular Frindle. More than 10 million copies of his books have been sold, and he has been nominated for a multitude of state awards, including two Christopher Awards and an Edgar Award. His popular works include About Average, Troublemaker, Extra Credit, Lost and Found, No Talking, Room One, Lunch Money, and more. He is also the author of the Benjamin Pratt & the Keepers of the School series. He lives with his wife in Maine and has four grown children. Visit him at
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