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.
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.