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.
"Hermit Crab moves out of his small shell on the sea floor, in search of a new residence. The pictures are occasionally quite abstract, but always engaging," said PW. Ages 5-8. (Apr.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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