Goodrich (A Creature Was Stirring), who has worked on Finding Nemo, Monsters, Inc. and Ratatouille, tells a story that tips its hat not only to the Pixar/Disney tropes of misunderstood, unlikely heroes but also to The Story of Ferdinand. When the critter (who has reclusiveness running through his DNA) takes up residence in the top half of a discarded, sternly muscular action figure, he becomes the inadvertent rescuer of a flounder that's caught under a lobster trap. Crab isn't driven by an awakened sense of civic virtue, but rather by the tasty smell of the trap's bait. Happy with his lot in life, he chooses anonymity over celebrity, allowing the other sea creatures to believe that the action figure is responsible. With watercolor and pencil, Goodrich beautifully conveys the feeling of sunlight penetrating the blue-green depths, and the goggle-eyed cluelessness of most of the creatures winks at readers without undermining the story. The narration is rather bland and literal, but the visual point of view is so strong and reassuringly familiar that children probably won't notice. Ages 6-10. (June)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The Hermit Crabby Carter Goodrich
The hermit crab would prefer to blend into the background. He is happy to spend his time alone, looking for food. But when he finds a flashy new shell, he can’t resist trying it on for size. He is so taken with it that he doesn’t notice the mysterious contraption that floats down from the surface. While the lobster wonders if the contraption is a
The hermit crab would prefer to blend into the background. He is happy to spend his time alone, looking for food. But when he finds a flashy new shell, he can’t resist trying it on for size. He is so taken with it that he doesn’t notice the mysterious contraption that floats down from the surface. While the lobster wonders if the contraption is a restaurant and the bluefish thinks it’s a trap, the poor flounder gets stuck underneath! When the hungry hermit crab investigates the delicious smells coming from the contraption and frees the flounder, he inadvertently becomes a hero. But is the hermit crab ready for the limelight?
As the marine denizens are settling down to breakfast, a wooden crate falls near them, and the bluefish warns that it might be a trap. Then they realize that the flounder is missing, and the shy hermit crab becomes a hero when he dons the top half of a toy action figure he finds in the water and inadvertently releases the trapped fish. Deliberate pacing advances the impending action, and the affirming conclusion fully completes the offbeat narrative. The personal tone engages the audience, bringing immediacy to the plot, and serves as a warm contrast to the cool illustrations. Goodrich's colored pencil and watercolor spreads predominately feature greens and blues to convey the watery depth of the sea. Animated expressions result in humorous interactions among the varied characters, and the crab's fully realized disguise enhances the development of this slight story.-Meg Smith, Cumberland County Public Library, Fayetteville, NC
Meet the Author
Carter Goodrich is the illustrator of A Creature Was Stirring. His animation work has also appeared in the films Finding Nemo; Shrek; Monsters, Inc.; and The Prince of Egypt.
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