The Children’s Book Review
Published: August 21, 2013
By J. Steven Spires; Illustrated by Jonathan Caron
Hardcover: 32 pages
Age Range: 4-10
Publisher: Inspired Books (May, 2013)
What to expect: Sea life, Shrimp, Danger & Safety
Three Little Shrimp covers the fictional journey of some young shrimp that unknowingly adventure away from their troop.
During the timeframe of a day, the three little shrimp explore the ocean oblivious to the dangerous predators around them: egrets, a very large fish, a loggerhead turtle, and an old fisherman complete with authentic fisherman talk:
“Man, I sure could use’em as live bait fo’ my fishin’ pole.”
Using the repetitive refrain, which is accentuated by capital letters, “RIGHT IN FRONT OF,” author J. Steven Spires (also a third grade teacher) involves the readers in a suspenseful page turning story as the little shrimp unknowingly swim “RIGHT IN FRONT OF” each of the predators. While suspenseful, Spires is careful to ensure that the shrimp are never harmed and return well fed and safely to their troop just in time for bed.
Showcased through their brief dialogue, Spires has given each of the shrimp their own personality. Shrimp One is the most curious, has a keen eye, and is the one that leads the three shrimp and readers on the story’s ocean adventure where plant life and habitats are discovered. Shrimp Two is excitable and eager to explore. Shrimp Three is perhaps the most cautious and exudes a level of nervousness that keeps readers in tune with the dangers of being apart from the larger troop. Spires is clever in creating these consistent character traits that help propel this little tale of caution and safety, also allowing a variety of readers to identify with the main characters. Jonathan Caron’s talented artwork adds to the development of the characters through the expressions of the sea creatures’ eyes: The innocent shrimp have been given big round eyes that pop with wonder and the predators all have an element of menace with their downturned lids and squinty stares. Caron also offers movement to the ocean through the swaying grassy seabed—a well-depicted and toned setting for Spire’s adventurous tale.
When invited to join along in the repetitive refrain, water and sea-animal loving youngsters will enjoy participating in a read aloud session of Three Little Shrimp—all the while learning about the habitats of shrimp and the food that they eat.
Add this book to your collection: Three Little Shrimp
For more information, visit: http://jstevenspires.com
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