Little Royal is a big fish in a small pond and all the other fish do his bidding. But when he takes his big attitude to other ponds, he learns a valuable lesson about humility and compassion, in this wise and witty picture book for kids ages 4-8.
“I am the very big fish of my very little pond and when I demand: ‘Me! Now!’ all of my very little fish bow down to me. They scrub my tail and blow bubbles on my scales. So, I chant, ‘Long live myself!’ Because I am the biggest and brightest most beautiful fish in the kingdom of Me.”
Little Royal lords over his domain–until he learns from a wandering frog that there are bigger ponds and more exotic creatures elsewhere. His heart propels him to leave his pond to explore them, fully expecting that he will be eminent ruler–but what he encounters turns out to be humbling and uncomfortable, but ultimately very freeing. As Little Royal’s journey unfolds and his world expands, Manchego’s skillful, nuanced watercolor illustrations change from pale and delicate to lush and luminous, speaking to the increasing complexity both of what Little Royal encounters and his conflicting emotions. The effect is profound and poignant.
Hi! My name is Chelo Manchego and I’m an author-illustrator living in Los Angeles, CA. I grew up in El Salvador and moved to the US when I was eighteen years old. I studied visual arts at Pasadena City College.
My first book, The Want Monsters: And How They Stopped Ruling My World , was inspired by what I learned at a Buddhist meditation center I volunteered at running an arts program for children. I created Little Royal in Ojai, CA. I love spending time in nature. Other places I like to visit are Santa Cruz and Portland—nothing like making art with a cup of hot coco and some rain outside!