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Cover image for I'm the biggest thing in the ocean
I'm the biggest thing in the ocean

Publication Information:
New York : Dial Books for Young Readers, ©2007.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
A giant squid brags about being bigger than everything else in the ocean--almost.


Call Number

On Order



When a giant squid takes inventory of all of the creatures in the ocean, he realizes that he's way bigger than most of them! Of course, there are bigger things lurking around . . . but maybe this giant squid with a giant touch of hubris doesn't really care?

First-time author-illustrator Kevin Sherry is sure to garner fans of all sizes for his perfect-for-preschool read-aloud with simple text, bold and delightful collage art, and a lovable squid whose spirit just cannot be crushed.

Choking Hazard - Small parts. Not for children under 3 years.

Author Notes

Kevin Sherry is an artist, designer, and the cofounder of SquidFire, an online apparel company which features his unique wearable art. Kevin Sherry lives in Baltimore, Maryland, conveniently close to his deep sea friends.

Reviews 5

School Library Journal Review

PreS-A lighthearted, clever story presented in an oversize, colorful package. A bright blue giant squid cruises through the ocean, proudly noting that he is bigger than all the creatures he encounters. From shrimp to shark, he repeats his refrain, "I'm bigger than-," sounding remarkably similar to a three-year-old cheerfully cataloging his world. Briefly dismayed when swallowed by a voracious whale (who has also swallowed up everyone else whole including the shark), the squid rallies by noting, "I'm the biggest thing in this whale!" This buoyant tale, filled with nonthreatening cartoonish denizens of the deep blue (and turquoise and green) sea, makes no effort to be realistic or educational but just simple fun, which is its charm. (Note the squid on the back cover proudly stating that he is bigger than the bar code.) Bathtub stickers of all the creatures in the story with a warning label about choking hazards for the under-three set are included-a curious marketing decision since that seems the age of at least half the intended readership.-Susan Moorhead, New Rochelle Public Library, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Sherry, whose nature-themed, silk-screened apparel has won plaudits from Lucky magazine and other fashion arbiters, makes a winning book debut with this story of a squid with a fondness for braggadocio. "I'm a giant squid and I'm big," announces the cartoony blue hero, whose adorable googly eyes and pointy head defuse any taint of arrogance. In quick order and punchy sentences, the squid enumerates all the species he outranks in the ocean, size-wise (each statement and its accompanying illustration gets a spread): "I'm bigger than these clams./ I'm bigger than this crab." So outsize is this squid's ego that when the food chain kicks in, and he suddenly finds himself inside the belly of a whale (along with numerous other aquatic creatures), he's only temporarily nonplussed (indicated by several wordless spreads). "I'm the biggest thing in this whale!" he proudly declares at the end. Working in collage and watercolor, Sherry renders his hero and habitat in bright colors and bold, simple shapes that will be surefire eye magnets for preschoolers (and stickers featuring the characters enhance bathtub fun). The squid's unwavering sense of confidence should strike a loud and strong chord with youngsters who believe they're the center of the universe. Ages 3-up. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Horn Book Review

A giant squid compares himself to other sea creatures: ""I'm bigger than that jellyfish...these turtles,"" and, in a delightful fold-out spread, ""...this fish, that fish, this fish, and that fish."" The braggart gets his comeuppance, but makes the best of it (""I'm the biggest thing in this whale!""). The color-saturated undersea illustrations cleverly play with size and perspective. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.

Kirkus Review

Waves of exuberance flow out of this crowd-pleaser, in which a squid proudly points out how much bigger it is than any shrimp, clam, octopus or fish in the neighborhood. Each emphatic, one-line declaration captions a very simple marine scene, fashioned from watercolor and paper collage on Plexiglass (which is "pried from the windows of shipwrecked pirate ships," to quote the artist's note) and dominated by the smiling, pop-eyed, blue-skinned squid--most of whose body is well beyond the edges of the spread. The arrival of a monstrous whale does spark a sudden sea-change in scale, but even being gobbled down dims the squid's self regard only momentarily; after a quick look around, it concludes: "I'm the biggest thing in this whale!" A gatefold and a page of stickers further enhance this whale of a debut. (Picture book. 4-7) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

New York Review of Books Review

What is it with squids? They're squishy. They're slimy. They don't cuddle. Until recent years, some of the biggest ones remained a deep-sea mystery, darting away from scientists' prying eyes. And yet squids have a knack for comedy. (Just ask Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith, who had a hit in 1998 with "Squids Will Be Squids.") Now the author-illustrator Kevin Sherry has cast a squid - a giant squid, no less - as the boastful protagonist of his first children's book, "I'm the Biggest Thing in the Ocean." "I'm a giant squid and I'm big," he begins. The squid smiles proudly and rattles off a list of sea creatures he out-sizes. "I'm bigger than these shrimp," he says. "I'm bigger than that jellyfish. ... I'm even bigger than this octopus." His tentacles gesture toward the other animals, who seem cheerfully unaware that the squid is one-upping them all. Sherry's illustrations are refreshingly uncluttered, with colorful shapes rendered in watercolor, cut paper and ink, making it easy for young children to follow the story. Clever composition amplifies the squid's size: he's too big to fit in his own book. He even dwarfs a gatefold spread, which extends to reveal a parade of fish that are all, of course, smaller than he is. Despite his ego, the squid is appealing. He's earnest and eager to impress, a bit like a toddler showing off a new word or skill. So when he gets his comeuppance, it's almost too much to bear. Suddenly, the squid looks tiny. A huge whale lurks behind him, then swiftly makes him a meal. The squid's speech, a steady stream of self-congratulation, goes silent for four spreads, as he gets eaten and lands in the whale's belly. For a moment the squid looks worried. He sizes up the scene: he's alive, but not alone the smaller creatures from the earlier pages are there, too. Seeing them, he reverts to his old, irrepressible self. "I'm the biggest thing in this whale!" he declares. Sherry's story is a simple, infectious delight, with wonderful comic timing and repetition that will encourage children to chant along. A set of bath decals is included at the end, perfect for playing "I'm the Biggest Thing in This Bathtub." (In what may be a conciliatory gesture toward the squid, it includes most of the other animals from the book, but not the largest one: the whale.) A whale also wins the role of biggest beast in "Big Is Big," by J. Patrick Lewis, with illustrations by Bob Barner. This book doesn't stop at extremes of size; it depicts all kinds of traits with rhyming couplets and contrasting animals on double-page spreads. A verse about temperature - "Cool is cool and hot is hot / Depending on the spot you've got" - comes to life with penguins marching across an ice-blue panel. Other contrasts include fat and thin (a pig and a slinky snake) and sweet and mean (a bunny and a hilariously cranky-looking bull). "Big Is Big" aims to present a series of concepts rather than tell a story, and the nonlinear narration isn't quite as absorbing as that of "I'm the Biggest Thing in the Ocean"; the animals feel more like props than like characters. But from the perspective of Sherry's squid, perhaps that's a stroke of luck: not one of them gets eaten. Jessica Bruder, a reporter for The Oregonian, is the author of the forthcoming "Burning Book," about the annual Burning Man festival in Nevada.