by Andrew Klements
illustrated by Yoshi
You couldn't find a kinder fish than Big Al, but he still had no friends. The problem was Big Al was a very, very scary looking fish.
Big Al really wanted friends, so he tried disguising himself, changing how he looked and even hiding himself in the sand. Nothing he did made any fish get close enough to find out how great Big Al was on the inside.
Big Al finally gets through to the fish not by hiding his ugliness, but by using it to protect them. But the story doesn't end there...
I thought of this book while grocery shopping this week. I found my 3 year old intensely staring down a woman who was missing all fingers on both hands. Later reading this book helped us talk about how we will never know how beautiful people are on the inside if we treat them like they are scary (like the fish did). Just because some people are different on the outside it doesn't mean they are different on the inside.