A House for Hermit Crab

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A HOUSE FOR HERMIT CRAB – View on Amazon

by Eric Carle; published (1987) by Scholastic Inc.

A HOUSE FOR HERMIT CRAB is a charming story about the habits of a hermit crab, with a subtheme : the breaking away from the old and venturing out into the new.

When Hermit Crab outgrows his old shell, he has to find a bigger place in which to dwell. His new home is old and very plain. But, bit by bit, anemone and starfish and crusty coral come along to adorn it; snail keep it clean, sea urchin (prickly and fierce) love to protect it and lanternfish light it up.  Hermit is a happy crab.  Until his cozy quarters become too cramped  and again, coming full circle, he has to let go of the shell (along with the comfort of the sweet and familiar).

“I couldn’t stay in that little shell forever,” said Hermit Crab as he waved goodbye.

The ocean floor looked wider than he had remembered, but Hermit Crab wasn’t afraid…..”Sponges!” he thought. “Barnacles!  Clown fish!  Sand dollars!  Electric Eels!  Oh, there are so many possibilities!….” 

So many possibilities is the important message here, about accepting the cycle of change with an open mind, a message made simple and gentle as only Eric Carle can.  I learned a lot about hermit crabs too (stuff I didn’t know –  I’d actually never heard of a hermit crab until reading the book) and the illustrations are attractive and easy to follow.

Walter the Baker

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WALTER THE BAKER – View on Amazon

by Eric Carle; reprint edition published (1998)  by Aladdin Books.

A book about one of my favourite topics – breads!

Walter the baker’s delectable rolls are a hit, a favourite of the Duke and Duchess who rule over the Duchy.

“Mmm…!” raves the Duchess.

“Ahhh…!” cries the Duke.

Until the fateful morning when Walter’s can of milk tips over.  Sweet rolls without milk, egad! Walter substitutes water, but  “Ech!” cries the Duchess.

“What is this?” roars the Duke.  “Where is Walter the Baker?  Bring him here at once!”

The  Duke takes the roll thing just a tad too seriously and the error is unforgivable!  Walter will have to redeem himself or be banished from the Duchy forever!  The Duke orders Walter to bake a roll  “…through which the rising sun can shine three times…” AND decides the spoiled, irate Duke, made from a single piece of dough, too – go figure!

Will Walter the Baker meet the challenge?  Is it good-bye Duchy forever?

A ridiculous fuss over a poorly made roll, but I did enjoy this original tale about the (fictitious) origins of the pretzel. Carle’s unique style of illustrating is smart and cozy and colorful, and so quaint it adds to the fun.

If you like Eric Carle, you can check out his official website here.

AND… he has a Facebook page!  This way…

AND… a blogspot too!