Title: Big Al
Author: Andrew Clements
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing
Publication Date: September 2005
Genre: Fiction, Animals, Fantasy
Audience: Gr. Pre-K-2

Overview: This is a tale about an ugly fish named Al who wants friends, but cannot find any! He has trouble meeting other fish because his is big and scary, so no one wants to come near him. Poor, Al. In the end, he learns that it is sometimes okay to be different, but you must read and see what happens to him along the way!

Activity: After teaching a lesson on defining or accepting oneself with this book, readers might also be interested in reading I Like Me! by Nancy Carlson. After reading one or both of these stories, children may draw their own self portraits, how they see themselves as fish and the teacher can hang them in a giant fish net on the wall of the classroom.

Reviewer’s Name: Amelia Smith