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In the deep blue sea swims Big Al, a big-hearted fish who is as loveable as he is scary-looking. While other fish swim together in schools, Big Al swims alone - nothing but him and the seaweed. Of course he would rather swim with the others, but his size, his great big fish eyes, and his mouthful of sharp teeth frighten away any fish that sees him.
Big Al seems destined to swim alone, until a fisherman's net drops silently around all the fish, and Big Al has the chance to put his teeth to good use. He bites a hole in the net and allows the fish to escape, but in his efforts, he himself is caught. Big Al fights his way free before joining the other grateful fish, who welcome him as their new friend and hero.
Yoshi's illustrations are alive with the magnificent colors of tropical fish. And Big Al is rendered full of expression, from his longing for friendship to the fierceness of his courage. This universal story told by Andrew Clement tells us that true friendship is based not on what someone - or what "some fish" - looks like, but on the depth of one friend's devotion to another.
UNICEF-Ezra Jack Keats Award Citation