This is Crab
This is Crab
This is Crab.
Crab lives at the bottom of the ocean along with many other colourful creatures.
Crab is a bit of a mischief-maker, although he seems shy at the outset.
Crab needs the help of the book’s readers to move the action along as the story progresses.
Crab is at first reluctant to come out of his cave, but after he has been enticed to appear, the fun begins.
Now Crab’s here, let’s explore the ocean floor.
Shake the book from left to right to help
Crab set off in a sideways scuttle.
Crab finds an octopus (“Crab no! You can’ just go around pinching anyone who surprises you!”), a coral reef, sea turtles, bright schools of fish and a decorator crab. The decorator crab’s embellishments of anemones and starfish are oh-so-tempting (“Crab, what are you doing? It’s not very polite to steal someone’s outfit.”) for our hero.
But we can help Crab improve his appearance another way.
You look lovely without any decoration, Crab…actually,
your shell is pretty mucky. What have you been doing?
Try rubbing Crab’s shell with your knuckles to clean it.
Instead of cleaning Crab’s shell, our rubbing makes the cracks that have started to appear even larger.
Give the book a wiggle to help Crab loosen his shell.
In the end, Crab has sloughed off his old “mucky” shell and is revealed sporting a new softer, pinker one.
Harriet Evans’ and Janet Lee’s engaging hands-on book, with its short, droll text was first published in Great Britain in 2020. On each spread of the story, readers are invited to move fingers or hands to help (or scold) Crab and to reveal some surprises by turning the pages that have been artfully cut in thirds or halves. The almost gaudily bright illustrations depict the simple forms of a variety of aquatic plants and animals against a rich blue-green backdrop. Characters show amazing expression when black dots for pupils are strategically placed on their stark white eyeballs.
The front cover, which includes not only the main title This is Crab but the additional line, “A gripping, tipping, nipping interactive book”, pretty much says it all. What we have here is a great school and public library storytime resource for reading with an individual child or with a group.
Ellen Heaney is a retired children’s librarian living in Coquitlam, British Columbia.