Cover image for Little Shaq
Little Shaq
Physical Description:
73 pages : color illustrations ; 21 cm
Slam dunk -- The game plan -- Layups and turnips.
Reading Level:
590 L Lexile
Added Author:
Seven-year-old Shaquille O'Neal, a talented basketball and video game player, learns to share the spotlight with his cousin Barry when the youngsters work together to earn money by watering plants.


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The start of a brand new series by Shaquille O'Neal and illustrated by 2014 Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent award winner Theodore Taylor III, Little Shaq is sure to be a hit with young readers.

When Little Shaq and his cousin Barry accidentally break their favorite video game, they need to find a way to replace it. That's when Little Shaq's science project inspires a solution: a gardening business. They can water their neighbors' gardens to raise money for a new game! Little Shaq and Barry make a great team both on and off the basketball court, but will their business be as successful as they hoped?

Showing kids that anything is possible with the support of friends and family, Little Shaq will inspire them to love reading, play fair, and have fun!

Author Notes

Shaquille O'Neal nicknamed "Shaq", is a former American professional basketball player. He is also a rapper, actor, and author. Shaq played college basketball for LSU. He was drafted first overall pick by the NBA in 1992 and has played for the Orlando Magic, 1992-1996; Los Angeles Lakers, where he won 3 consecutive championships, 1996-2004; Miami Heat, where he won his 4th NBA championship, 2004-2008; Phoenix Suns (2008-2009); Cleveland Cavaliers (2009-2010); and Boston Celtics (2010-2011).

O'Neal is the co-author, with Jackie MacMullan, of Shaq Uncut: My Story.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

O'Neal (Shaq and the Beanstalk) kicks off a family-centric series with a mild story that unfolds over three chapters. As might be expected, basketball is at the forefront: Little Shaq's ball-hogging leads to a rift with his brother Barry, culminating in a broken video game. Readers may be surprised to discover, however, that a gardening theme is equally present, as Little Shaq and Barry begin a plant-watering business in order to purchase a replacement video game. Taylor's full-color illustrations do a passable job of reflecting the ups and downs of the characters' emotions, though with the exception of a few scenes of on-the-court action, they begin to look static and repetitive. The straightforward language is well-tailored to the target audience, and there's no missing the earnest, obvious messages about compromise, teamwork, and community involvement. A Full Fathom Five property. Ages 5-7. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Horn Book Review

Even as a seven-year-old, future NBA star Shaquille O'Neal casts a large shadow. He hogs the spotlight from his cousin Barry, both on the court and at home, until they work together to raise money for their broken video game. With a can't-miss lesson on teamwork within a family and community, the easy-to-read chapter book is enhanced with ample full-color illustrations. (c) Copyright 2016. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

Gr 1-3-This fictionalized look into the childhood of the basketball superstar features young Shaq and his cousin Barry. They're the best of friends and love to play video games. One day while playing their favorite game, they accidentally break the disc. Now charged with the responsibility of replacing the broken game, Barry and Little Shaq must come up with a way to make money. Working together, they come up with the idea to water plants. By working as a team and learning that hard work pays off, they eventually have enough to buy two games. Instead, Barry and Little Shaq decide to use the extra money to help out their community. Filled with cheerful illustrations, this is a quick and easy read. The language is simple and the story filled with a sense of community and friendship. VERDICT A sweet addition to chapter book collections.-H. Islam, Brooklyn Public Library © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

A fictionalized young Shaquille O'Neal returns for a second illustrated story about life beyond the basketball court. Little Shaq and his cousin Barry come home from the rec center giddy about Little Shaq's first three-point shot but are greeted with another surprise. For the first time, Little Shaq's mom has made sushi for a family dinner. Barry and the others dig in, but Little Shaq's curiosity about sushi only hits him after the last roll is gone. Little Shaq's joy and confidence on the courtbest expressed when Little Shaq exuberantly tosses a postgame grape into Barry's mouth ("Three points!")contrast strongly with his unease trying new foods or activities. A large part of the book concerns a school art project, and Little Shaq's frustration is made poignantly clear through both illustration and description ("Little Shaq crumpled up his drawing and marched back to the supply tables"). Throughout, the love among Little Shaq's family members shines through in their interactions, and the story delivers a message without triteness. Taylor's full-color illustrations break up text on almost every page, adding warmth and energy. (Final art not seen.) A solid sequel, easily accessible to readers who missed Volume 1. (Fiction. 5-8) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.