"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