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But finding that shell isn't so easy. In words that demand to be read aloud (and memorized), and picturs that inspire laughter (and careful scrutiny), this saga of a hermit crab's quest for the perfect home is certain to become a favorite with young readers everywhere.

A hermit crab looking for a new home tries several different shells before finding one that fits just right.

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But finding that shell isn't so easy. In words that demand to be read aloud (and memorized), and picturs that inspire laughter (and careful scrutiny), this saga of a hermit crab's quest for the perfect home is certain to become a favorite with young readers everywhere.

A hermit crab looking for a new home tries several different shells before finding one that fits just right.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This slight but upbeat story takes place on the ocean floor, where a hermit crab searches for his ideal shell. Like Goldilocks, he rejects a number of possibilities, declaring, "Too long,/ too wide,/ too big,/ too small,/ these shells/ will not do at all." At last, the picky crustacean discovers a nautilus with "more room inside./ Room to grow,/ room to hide." Kalan (Jump, Frog, Jump!) compares adjectives such as "fancy" and "plain," "heavy" and "light," introducing beginners to a range of opposites. Abolafia (Fox Tale; My Three Uncles) makes the most of the limited material, presenting simultaneous views of underwater and landlubber life in his watercolor seascapes. His cartoon shellfishwhose pink pincers resemble those of a crayfish, not the asymmetrical claws of a real hermit crabwears bandages after encountering a pointed shell ("too rough"), and poses playfully in front of a peacock-tail-shaped half shell ("too fancy"). Kalan and Abolafia supply plenty of good humor, but look to Megan McDonald's and S.D. Schindler's Is This a House for Hermit Crab? (Orchard, 1990) for scientific substance as well as a pleasing presentation of the same subject. Ages 4-up. (May)
Children's Literature - Dr. Judy Rowen
A hermit crab sporting a baseball cap decides that his shell is too snug, and goes off to seek a shell that is "just right." Lilting, rhyming text and expressive watercolors make this a fun read-aloud. Little ones will be amused, and the words are easy enough (and have enough repetition) for beginning readers as well.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1Using the familiar theme of an outgrown shell, Kalan and Abolafia have created a humorous, cumulative, rhymed story perfect for beginning readers. A comical hermit crab, complete with baseball cap and hobo's stick and kerchief, explores the ocean floor looking for "a shell that's right." He encounters many typestoo big, too small, too long, too wide, etc.that "will not do at all" before finding one that's fine, "like that other shell of mine." The brightly colored illustrations contain adequate realism to identify the various shells and the various denizens of the deep and invite further study. The pictures have funny elements that expand the Dr. Seuss-like textsmall fish bed down in a discarded sardine tin; a shark is pictured about to eat a fish that is about to eat a hooked worm. Large format with sparse text also invites group sharing.Claudia Cooper, Ft. Stockton Independent School District, TX
Lauren Peterson
In a catchy rhyming verse "This shell is snug. This shell is tight. I will find a shell that's right" , a salmon-colored hermit crab with a knapsack over his shoulder describes his search for a comfortable home. In addition to being a good introduction to the transitory habits of this particular sea creature, the text provides lots of opportunity for introducing and reinforcing the linguistic concepts of synonyms snug/tight and antonyms rough/smooth. The vibrant watercolors give the text added charm, with Abolafia depicting an astounding variety of shells in all shapes and sizes. The concise text makes this a good choice for preschoolers and beginning readers. Eric Carle's "A House for Hermit Crab" 1987, for older and more precocious children, covers the subject in a bit more depth.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688139490
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/28/1996
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,287,043
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 120L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 8.75 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Kalan has also written the charming children's books Rain and Blue Sea, both illustrated by Donald Crewes. Kalan holds a master's degree in education and has taught reading to both gifted and remedial students from kindergarten through the fourth grade.

Yossi Abolafia is the illustrator of several I Can Read Books, including It's Snowing! It's Snowing!: Winter Poems by Jack Prelutsky, as well as Barbara Ann Porte's stories about Harry. He is also the author-illustrator of several of his own picture books, including Fox Tale and A Fish for Mrs. Gardenia. He lives with his family near Jerusalem.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2005

    Finding a shell

    The crab needs to find a shell for his home. He looks everywhere but cannot find a shell. Finally at the end he does find a shell. I liked it because he has to find a shell.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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