Saturday, July 19, 2014

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 91

Picture Book: A House for Hermit Crab

Author & Illustrator: Eric Carle

Summary: Hermit Crab must abandon his shell for he’s grown too big for it. Feeling vulnerable, he quickly finds a nice big shell, but it looks plain. As he meets animals with the potential to improve his home, he invites them to move in. Just when his shell seems to have all the animal amenities it needs, he has grown out of it. He is particularly regretful because his guests have become like family. As a smaller crab looking for a new shell passes by, Hermit Crab invites the smaller crab to have his home, “but you must promise to be good to my friends.” Not so afraid this time, Hermit Crab finds an even bigger shell and is excited about the decorative friends he might invite to live with him.  

Hanna’s Comments: This is a story about the anxiety and vulnerability of change and how making community eases that process. I’ve done some reading on resilience in children. Hermit Crab demonstrates many resilient qualities including positive, creative, and hospitable inclinations. In addition to a wonderful story, Carle offers the months of the year as a plot device. The last page has a listing of facts about the sea creatures in the story.

Publisher & Date of Publication: Simon and Schuster, 1987

Age & Grade Appropriateness: 5 and up, K and up

# of Pages: 32

Available in Spanish? Yes

Formats other than Book: Audio Cassette, Amateur videos are on Youtube; one is Claymation.

PBT Category: Pre 2K

PBT Topics this Book Connects with: abundance/bounty, acceptance, adaptation/assimilation, animals, armor, art, attentiveness/observation/seeing, awe, beauty,  belonging, body of Christ, bonds/connections, chosen, collections, comfort, companionship, creativity/imagination/ingenuity, dependence/interdependence, the environment/nature, evangelism, exploration, family, found, friends/friendship, gifts/giftedness/talents, goodness, gospel/good news, growing up/growth, helping, home, hospitality, immigration, individuality/uniqueness, insecurity, integration, journeys/pilgrimages/migration/quests, kindness, kingdom of God/reign of God, openness, partners/teamwork, perseverance, possessions, presence, problems/problem solving, risking, safety, safe place/sanctuary, searching, security, sharing, survival, time/timing/over time, transformation, unity, variety, wilderness

Scripture Connections: Old Testament scriptures about God being like a rock; build your house on rock (Matthew 7:24-27); put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18); scriptures about hospitality

Idea(s) for Application: This would be a great book to read to a group of children in your religious community when they have just moved to a new classroom or building. Be sure to focus on how faith and trust in God and others in your community inform your perspective of change.

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