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Title: A House for Hermit Crab
Author: Eric Carle
Illustrator: Eric Carle
Age Range: 3 - school age

"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 as 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.
Review by Karin Snelson