________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIII Number 21 . . . . February 10, 2017


Hermit Crab. (I Love My Pet).

Aaron Carr.
New York, NY: AV² by Weigl (Distributed in Canada by Saunders Book Company), 2016.
24 pp., hc. & eBook, $23.04 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-4896-3098-8 (hc.), ISBN 978-1-4896-0606-8 (single-user eBook.), ISBN 978-1-4896-0607-5 (multi-user eBook).

Grades 1-2 / Ages 6-8.

Review by Georgette Nairn.

*** /4



My pet hermit crab grows every year. He must find a new shell when he gets too big. Some hermit crabs cover their bodies in sand while they grow.

Hermit Crab, a nonfiction book in the "I Love My Pet" series, has many parts of a traditional nonfiction book, including a table of contents, and additional facts in the back. The topic aligns with the grade 1 science curriculum that centers on the care of living things. The book, written in first person, has the writer describing interesting facts about his hermit crab. There is also a section on what the hermit crab needs to live and how the owner helps the crab meet these needs. At the back of the book are additional facts that match each page, letting the reader go a bit deeper. There is also a code in the book for a web component of supplementary material that is not commented on in this review.

      The language in the main portion of the book is simple and accessible to younger readers, with just a few sentences on each page. The font is large enough to read easily, and the text on each page is contained in a text box on one page per section. The headers in the table of contents seem slightly out of place for the intended audience. The words are more complex (life cycle, features, health), making it harder for younger children to read and understand them independently. Similarly the additional facts at the end of the book are clearly meant for more experienced readers and would be best read with an adult. The final page of the book looks like an index for content and sight words, making it less useful for the intended reader. As is common with this publisher, I find that there are so many variations in the reading levels required to read this text, it becomes confusing in identifying its intended audience.

      Visually, this book would be appealing to younger readers. There is a photograph on each page, showing a different kind of close-up of a hermit grab. This close-up photography allows the viewer to see intricate details and compare one hermit grab to the next. The pictures contain only the animal and its surrounding for the most part, and the photographs complement the text. When a photograph does not span the full two-page spread, a blue background is present that helps readers focus on the picture and not be distracted from it.

      Hermit Crab would be a good read for animal lovers and those who have hermit crabs as pets. Sticking with the main text, younger children would be able to independently read this book and enjoy the many simple facts. If one ignores all extra content, it could be an enjoyable nonfiction book for many kids.


Georgette Nairn is a teacher at Harold Hatcher School in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
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