Don’t Worry, Little Crab

Candlewick. Apr. 2020. 48p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781536211191.
PreS-Gr 1–Another terrific title from the author of Shh! and Goodnight Everyone. Little Crab and Big Crab leave the golden sands of their shallow tidal pool, scuttling across dark cliffs set against a vivid teal sky to the big blue ocean. At first, the prospect of a grand adventure excites Little Crab as the duo “tic-a-tic,” “splish splash,” and “squelch squelch” their way to the very edge of the surf, but soon Little Crab discovers that the waves are immense and intimidating. Through repeated reassurances of Big Crab, the wee crustacean slowly conquers anxiety and dips a claw into the ocean, only to be swept into the depths by a big wave. Arriving on the stunningly colorful ocean floor, the two play and explore until it’s time to return to their tidal pool. Children and their caregivers will relate to Little Crab’s inevitable declaration: “I really don’t want to go home!” Illustrated in Haughton’s signature minimalist style with a matching blocky font, the layouts, color transitions, and body language of the crabs combine to create an enormously expressive story with lovable protagonists. Haughton’s simple language perfectly captures the tone of an excited and nervous youngster and a very patient adult, while several repetitions make for predictability young audiences will enjoy.
VERDICT A great title for marine-themed storytime or one-on-one reading, as well as a perfectly subtle lesson about overcoming one’s fears and enjoying new experiences.

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