A playful red crab teases his fellow brightly hued sea creatures in this color concept book.
A red crab “shock[s]” a blue fish, “surprise[s]” a green turtle, and encounters a yellow sea horse. Claw-shaped die cuts appear on each recto in ever decreasing sizes to provide a sensory experience for the youngest readers. This also has the effect of pinning the crab in claws-up position in every scene, with backgrounds and sea flora and fauna changing to provide some compositional variety, and his varied facial expressions also help to make up for this. Scientifically preferred terms, such as pink “sea jelly” (which smiles seraphically) and orange “sea star,” are included in the bland, unevenly scanning rhymed couplets that are meted out on each spread: “Green sea turtle cannot believe her eyes / when crab snap snaps—what a surprise!” The saucy crab finally gets his comeuppance when a gray shark appears on the scene, making the crab scuttle into hiding. The graphically clean imagery features a color palette that is appropriately watery, but the black, sans-serif type is virtually unreadable on a couple of the spreads, when it is set on a dark-blue background.
Crab is a cheerfully cheeky crustacean if a bit uninspiring.(Board book. 6 mos.-3)