A House for Hermit Crab (The World of Eric Carle)

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9781416996125: A House for Hermit Crab (The World of Eric Carle)
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Eric Carle's magnificent collage illustrations invite readers and viewers on a breathtaking underwater tour where brilliantly-colored sea creatures dazzle and delight the eye. His modern-day fable is both wise and simple; based on the true habits of the hermit crab, it not only introduces young readers to the wonder and beauty of the marine environment but also contains an encouraging message for small children facing the inevitable challenges of growing up.

Hermit Crab's problem is that he keeps outgrowing things. When he outgrows his first shell-house, he's a bit scared. The next one he finds is big enough -- but depressingly bare. To his happy surprise, all sorts of beautiful and useful undersea neighbors come to his aid and decorate and protect his home. Finally, the new house is perfect but now it, too, has become too small! Once again, Hermit Crab must move on. But this time he is not only bigger -- he is more self confident. While he is sorry to leave his friends and his familiar shell behind, he now sees the future as full of exciting possibilities.

Children who must change schools, move to a new town, or even just be promoted to a higher grade will empathize with Hermit Crab's situation, and will take heart as they see that growing up is not really so alarming after all.

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Review:

"Time to move," said Hermit Crab one day. "I've grown too big for this little shell." Much-loved master of cut-paper collage Eric Carle created A House for Hermit Crab to comfort any little ones (okay, and adults, too) who dread change--whether the new shell is a new home, a new school, or a new experience. In this soothing, upbeat story, Hermit Crab casts his eyestalks on a newer, bigger shell, but it seems plain and unwelcoming at first. When he meets some beautiful, swaying sea anemones, he asks if one of them will come to adorn the outside of his shell. In time a colorful sea star, some coral, an industrious sea snail, a fortress-protecting sea urchin, and an illuminating lantern fish all join forces with him, making his house a home. Much to his dismay, just when his dwelling and new family fit him to a T, he finds he's physically outgrown his shell yet again. Instead of bemoaning his fate, he eagerly spots a newer, bigger shell--to him a fresh, blank artist's canvas--and relishes the thought of all the undersea home-improvement possibilities: sponges, barnacles, clown fish, and more! Kids will love Carle's rich, affectionate portrayal of Hermit Crab's ocean odyssey, and the gentle story may help them see that giving up the old for the new is not a loss, but an opportunity. (Ages 4 to 8) --Karin Snelson

About the Author:

Eric Carle is the author and illustrator of more than seventy books for children, many of them bestsellers. Born in Syracuse, New York, he moved to Germany with his parents when he was six years old. He studied at the Academy of Graphic Arts in Stuttgart before returning to the United States, where he worked as a graphic designer for The New York Times and later as art director for an international advertising agency. His first two books, 1,2,3 to the Zoo and The Very Hungry Caterpillar, gained him immediate international recognition. The latter title, now considered a modern classic, has sold more than 30 million copies and has been translated into forty-eight languages. Eric Carle and his wife, Barbara, divide their time between the mountains of North Carolina and the Florida Keys.

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