Big Al and Shrimpy (Big Al)

by Andrew Clements (Author) Yoshi Kogo (Illustrator)

Big Al and Shrimpy (Big Al)
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade
Series: Big Al
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!

More books in the series - See All

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 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly

The sequel to Big Al, Big Al and Shrimpy by Andrew Clements, illus. by Yoshi, explores the friendship between the mismatched fish; an unlikely turn of events signals certain change in the smaller fish's popularity. The full-bleed spreads of the ocean depths are every bit as appealing as in the previous book. Copyright 2002 Publishers Weekly Used with permission.

Review quotes

School Library Journal There is magnificence to Yoshi's work that matches Clements' international story of friendship.
Andrew Clements
Andrew Clements (1949-2019) was the author of the enormously popular Frindle. More than 10 million copies of his books have been sold, and he was nominated for a multitude of state awards, including a Christopher Award 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 was also the author of the Benjamin Pratt & the Keepers of the School series. Find out more at

Adam Stower has a rich imagination and loves fantasy and adventure stories. He studied illustration at the Norwich School of Art and Design and at the University of Brighton, and lives with his daughter in Brighton, England.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date
September 20, 2002
Big Al
Young Hoosier Book Award
Nominee 2006 - 2006

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