Author: J. Steven Spires
Illustrator: Jonathan Caron
Publisher: Inspired Books Publishing
ISBN: 978-0-9858469-0-9

In no time at all, the three little shrimp had stuffed themselves with tasty rock weed. Then they swam toward the top of the sea, RIGHT IN FRONT OF …” J. Steven Spires teases in his children’s book, Three Little Shrimp.

This unnumbered thirty-two page book comes in oversized hardcover format with a finished identical jacket cover of a larger fish trying to capture three small shrimp. Targeted toward young elementary school aged children, the author has been a third grade school teacher for the past twenty-five years so knows how to tell a good yarn to kids. With some intentional misspellings for dialect accent purposes, some beginner readers may have trouble with some of the words. Artist Jonathan Caron does an excellent job describing each scene of the storyline with full sized, colorful pastel illustrations.

In this tome, three young shrimp were swimming in the sea happily when they are separated from their troop. All of a sudden, right in front of them, appears a family of egrets that wants to use them for gumbo. Quickly the three shrimp dive into a hole where one is afraid of the dark but they all enjoy eating some worms instead.

When the crustaceans swim out, they suddenly encounter a big fish who wants to eat them for being in his waters. He tries to catch them but they go into the thick sea grass and eat more snacks. After they depart and happen upon a loggerhead turtle looking for a treat, they hide near some rocks and eat rock weed.

Eventually they swim away, near an old fisherman who wants to use them as live bait. This time when they escape, they become lost and swim away, looking for their troop again. When they find them, they feel safe in the seabeds and go to sleep.

Although this innocuous story may make a child sad about shrimp possibly being eaten by other animals and humans, it teaches where they live, what they eat and their predators. With the capitalization of all letters in the words “right in front of,” the reader anticipates what excitement comes next in the tale.

As a first book by the author, he should be commended for blending solid education within a story even though he may be unintentionally teaching incorrect spelling and improper capitalization to a new reader.

This book was furnished by the author for review purposes.

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