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Crab Moon Hardcover – May 1, 2000


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Despite its linguistic charms, Horowitz's (Bat Time) quiet text reads more like a science lesson than a full-fledged story. The plot is minimal: under the full moon, seven-year-old Daniel and his mother watch as streams of horseshoe crabs lay their eggs on the beach and, the next morning, Daniel helps an overturned crab return to the sea. Chock-full of information, the dialogue is unfortunately stilted. "The full moon in June brings the high tide of the horseshoe crabs," says Daniel's mother. "That's a female. The smaller crab on her back is a male." The plot's two-page conflict at the end of the book, about Daniel deciding to flip over a crab even though he's nervous about touching it, does not contain much in the way of suspense. On the other hand, Horowitz's poetic descriptions are buried throughout the text as smooth as sea glass. The reader sees how "the fat, round face of the full moon wavered on the surface of the water" and "curly black seaweed was strewn on the sand, like streamers left over from a party." Kiesler's seascapes are skillfully rendered but static, trading the ethereal qualities of her Fishing for a Dream for realism. Glowing yet somber, they do little to engage readers' emotions in Daniel's mild adventure. Ages 6-9. (May)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3-On a summer weekend, Daniel, seven, and his family arrive at a seaside cottage. His mother remembers the seasonal spawning of horseshoe crabs on this selfsame shore when she was a child, and, at Daniel's urging, wakes him in the middle of the night to witness the phenomenon under the full moon. Hand in hand, they go to the moonlit beach and find the horseshoe crabs surging to the sand in clambering multitudes, caught in a springtide rhythm almost as old as time. The next morning, viewing the scene, Daniel finds "-one last, lonely crab marooned upside down," rights her, and follows her slow progress to the sea. Horowitz's quiet text reflects the moonlit awe of this ageless pattern, and Kiesler's luminous oils capture freeze-frame moments in perfect step (including the sandy borders and backgrounds). A page of Limulus facts is appended, which describes the stresses these ancient animals are encountering. Pair this with Mark Shasha's The Night of the Moonjellies (S & S, 1992; o.p.) for a quiet look at two unheralded, somewhat unlovely, but important marine creatures.
Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 4
  • Lexile Measure: 460L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick (May 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763607096
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763607098
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 0.4 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,019,988 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 11 customer reviews
This book is beautifully illustrated.
S. A. Ploszaj
My grandson is 4 yrs. old and enjoyed this book and asked very appropriate questions.
lynnp
Excellent story and trade book to use with elementary children.
Carolyn P. Buck

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By David Christensen on June 13, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Crab Moon is a gem. Ruth Horowitz's evocative prose brings to life an experience that few people will get to have--witnessing thousands of horseshoe crabs massing on the beach under the full moon for their annual egg-laying. Kate Kiesler's paintings express the mood perfectly.
The book tells a simple story. Daniel is woken in the night by his mother, and taken to the beach to watch the crabs. The next morning, he goes out alone to find a crab stranded on her back. He empathizes with the odd-looking creature, and finds a way of turning her over so that she may return to the sea.
Crab Moon is salted with interesting horseshoe crab facts, and it allows readers to share in Daniel's feeling of connection with a threatened and misunderstood species. But while the book both informs the reader and evokes respect for nature's creations, its tone is always poetic rather than pedantic or preachy. In fact, with its warm, dreamy feel and its invoking of ancient natural rhythms, Crab Moon should make an ideal bedtime story.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on July 21, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book is a really nice story about how you can get to know horseshoe crabs better. I love the night time illustrations. I like remembering when my family went out looking at horseshoe crabs near Cape May New Jersey. It was very special like the story in this book. I wanted to know even more about horseshoe crabs than a picture book can tell you so I also read Extraordinary Horseshoe Crabs by Julie Dunlap. If you have both of these books you will really know a lot about horseshoe crabs which are really cool.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By lynnp on March 20, 2009
Format: Paperback
My grandson is 4 yrs. old and enjoyed this book and asked very appropriate questions. We go to a beach that has always had an abundance of horseshoe crabs and eggs on the beach, and many shorebirds. The numbers have markedly decreased in recent years and this is a great tool for him to associate firsthand the results of human influence on wildlife. The illustrations are so pretty and we've left the book out for anyone to look at, both children and adults, at our beach house.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By B. Cornelius on July 17, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Another beautiful book, nice text, beautiful artwork, nice story about a child learning about horseshoe crabs and their lives and their place in the natural cycle. Well worth having for children, and especially at a beach house.
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By beverlysav on November 8, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We live on Cape Cod and see many Horseshoe Crabs. I bought this book to read to my grandson's Kindergarten class. Using this book, I was able to teach them some history about Cape Cod and Horseshoe Crabs. The children were mesmerized and completely involved.
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By S. A. Ploszaj on January 15, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is beautifully illustrated. My 9 yo grandson loved it. We live at the beach and see horseshoe crabs mating. This was both educational and beautiful
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