No reviews yet.Add your rating
No reviews yet.Add your rating
Common Sense is a nonprofit organization. Your purchase helps us remain independent and ad-free.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that basketball great Shaquille O'Neal's Little Shaq -- the first in a series of beginning chapter books -- is a positive and engaging illustrated story of friendship, teamwork, and the birth of a community garden. The vocabulary is basic without being boring, making it a solid choice for read-aloud or for early readers, especially sports fans. Its multiethnic cast makes it a fine option for families looking for books with diverse characters.
There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.
What's the Story?
Written by NBA legend and media personality Shaquille O'Neal, LITTLE SHAQ tells the story of two competitive cousins who set aside their rivalry to accomplish common goals. After a heated basketball video game erupts into a temper tantrum that results in a broken disc, Little Shaq and Barry have to get creative to earn the money needed to replace it. The two realize something they have in common: They're both green thumbs who love to water plants. Starting an entrepreneurial venture, "O'Neals' Gardening," the boys work around the neighborhood, watering plants, picking up skills from master gardeners, and getting into shenanigans. Once they've earned more than enough money to buy back the game, they decide to use the remainder to spearhead the creation of a community garden on a plot of unused land, bringing together families and friends to create something everyone can enjoy.
Is It Any Good?
Though it's not the sports-heavy book some might expect from an ex-NBA star, the lessons about cooperation and collaboration ring true coming from an iconic champion such as Shaq. It's refreshing to see environmental awareness and community engagement highlighted by someone known for athletic achievement, and the message of the book is positive and inspiring. The simple but emotive full-color, cartoon-like illustrations by Theodore Taylor III underscore the warm and entertaining story, bringing Barry, Little Shaq, and a multiethnic cast of characters to life.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the relationship between Shaq and Barry. Even though Little Shaq is better than Barry at sports and video games, is it OK for him to brag and boast?
Did the fact that this book is by a famous basketball player make you want to read it? Why are stories written by celebrities so popular?
Community gardens can be a great project for kids to work on together and with adults. Is there one in your neighborhood where you could volunteer? If not, could you start one?
- Author: Shaquille O'Neal
- Illustrator: Theodore Taylor III
- Genre: Friendship
- Topics: Friendship, Science and Nature
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's Books
- Publication date: October 6, 2015
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 5 - 7
- Number of pages: 80
- Available on: Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: August 6, 2022
Our Editors Recommend
Fun tale of Jeter in Little League mixes action, messages.
Mo'ne Davis: Remember My Name: My Story from First Pitch to Game Changer
Inspirational memoir of Little League history maker.
Ode to America's pastime hits it out of the park.
The Champ: The Story of Muhammad Ali
Terrific, kid-friendly bio on a sports great.
For kids who love sports and the environment
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate