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A House for Hermit Crab (World of Eric Carle) Hardcover – September 1, 2009

4.0 out of 5 stars 128 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"Time to move," said Hermit Crab one day. "I've grown too big for this little shell." Much-loved master of cut-paper collage Eric Carle created A House for Hermit Crab to comfort any little ones (okay, and adults, too) who dread change--whether the new shell is a new home, a new school, or a new experience. In this soothing, upbeat story, Hermit Crab casts his eyestalks on a newer, bigger shell, but it seems plain and unwelcoming at first. When he meets some beautiful, swaying sea anemones, he asks if one of them will come to adorn the outside of his shell. In time a colorful sea star, some coral, an industrious sea snail, a fortress-protecting sea urchin, and an illuminating lantern fish all join forces with him, making his house a home. Much to his dismay, just when his dwelling and new family fit him to a T, he finds he's physically outgrown his shell yet again. Instead of bemoaning his fate, he eagerly spots a newer, bigger shell--to him a fresh, blank artist's canvas--and relishes the thought of all the undersea home-improvement possibilities: sponges, barnacles, clown fish, and more! Kids will love Carle's rich, affectionate portrayal of Hermit Crab's ocean odyssey, and the gentle story may help them see that giving up the old for the new is not a loss, but an opportunity. (Ages 4 to 8) --Karin Snelson --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Hermit Crab moves out of his small shell on the sea floor, in search of a new residence. When he finds a bigger place, a sea anemone offers to move in with him; a starfish agrees to decorate the joint. A snail and a sea urchin are employed for cleaning and protection, a lantern fish for lighting and smooth pebbles are used for a wall. Hermit lives happily for a while, until it is time to move again, to a still larger place. Carle's underwater neighborhood is snug, dynamic and full of possibilities. Droplets of color enrich the sea bottom and blades of seaweed are superimposed on the bright white background, in pictures that are occasionally quite abstract, but always engaging. All ages.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 and up
  • Series: World of Eric Carle
  • Hardcover: 36 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416996125
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416996125
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.4 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (128 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,065,578 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
A little hermit crab must find a new home and discovers new friends and possiblities in the process. The book has lots of other goodies such as different sea creatures to count,colors,names of the month and is a nice tie-in to a beginning marine life book if you want to explore that too. You can read this one many times and still enjoy !
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Format: Paperback
In the spring my niece bought a hermit crab for her three children (no pets allowed where they live). With it she bought a larger shell for the future. It is hand painted in red, white, and blue. Since then the hermit crab moved out of his original house into his patriotic one. She also bought this book to go with the actual living, breathing hermit crab.

"A House for Hermit Crab" is another in the line of books by Eric Carle, featuring bright colors, imaginative design, repetitive patterns, and educational stories that so appeal to children.

Let's count the ways that this book is highly recommended:

1. Bold, vivid colors

2. Twelve calendar months to suggest time and life patterns that correspond with the passing of time

3. Life cycle of hermit crabs: I didn't know anything about them until my niece bought one and this book. I certainly didn't know they had to find their own houses!

4. Unspoken support for recycling! How many times is a hermit's crab house re-used after the snail stops its use and crabs take over?

5. The concept of continuous change and having a positive attitude toward change.

6. Taking the simple and making it your own, through decoration in this case.

7. Carle's explanation of hermit crabs on the title page and a glossary in the back for the various creatures the crab meets on his year-long journey.

My goodness, this book is awesome! My heart swells for the life of a simple hermit crab. This book celebrates him!
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Format: Hardcover
...And that it is what this book is teaching children. No matter where you go or what new situations you might face, there are always new and exciting possibilities to which one should look forward. On another level, it is an endearing story about a growing hermit crab, illustrated with the typically spectacular Eric Carle drawings. My 5 1/2 year old daughter loves ALL his books!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I should've checked the product dimensions before purchasing this- it is way too small! We love this story, but the book is extremely tiny.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ok, this is partially my fault, but I really shouldn't have to read the dimensions of a book in the product description. The product title should include the word mini or small. This is a tiny little book, not a full size version. Even my daughter, when she opened it, said how small the words are. I had put another Eric Carle book in my cart, but then noticed the title said, "mini book," and removed it. Since this one did not proclaim the same, I wrongly assumed it was okay.

The story itself is terrific. It's one of my favorites from childhood, so wanted to get it for my daughter. I won't send it back, because it's not worth the hassle, and technically I didn't read the small print - pun intended.

I definitely recommend the story for young readers, but find a normal sized book so it will be more enjoyable.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a nice story and I thoroughly enjoyed it but I have to say that my two children (3 and 5) did not.

I think what kept them from appreciating this book was that it was a) a bit long, and b) a little over their heads. Certainly for an Eric Carle book there is alot of text. Some pages having over 75 words.

Now, certainly we are talking about two children out of the many described here, so I wouldn't necessarily be discouraged from buying this book if your kids can sit down for a fairly long read. But from our point of view (which is the purpose of a review afterall) we will have to wait until later to enjoy "A House for Hermit Crab".

Three stars. Long with esoteric content.
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Format: Hardcover
I love the way the hermit crab decorates his house and then asks for the new owner to take care of it as he moves on to a larger house which he will decorate, too. Eric Carle's collage is so colorful and fun. For hermit crab lovers P.HERMIT CLAIMS A CASTLE joins the books on this subject with a little different twist, an enrironmental message that marine creatures belong in their natural habitat. It is different because P. Hermit has to face a fantasy world outside his habitat interfacing with some turtles before he finds the home of his dreams in his natural habitat. But it has a place in the library with all the wonderful hermit crabs like Eric Carle's wonderful house decorator.
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By A Customer on February 20, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book is so good - and a wonderful allegory for anybody facing a life change. A child will enjoy the simple story of a hermit crab looking to decorate his shell, and all the creatures who agree to help him. But the sub-context of change - and greeting it with enthusiasm - is what draws me to this book. I plan on buying it for my son when he enters kindergarten this fall, and will give it to others who will be facing similar challenges.
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