Publishers Weekly, 1996-05-27 This slight but upbeat story takes place on the ocean floor, where a hermit crab searches for his ideal shell. Like Goldilocks, he rejects a number of possibilities, declaring, "Too long,/ too wide,/ too big,/ too small,/ these shells/ will not do at all." At last, the picky crustacean discovers a nautilus with "more room inside./ Room to grow,/ room to hide." Kalan (Jump, Frog, Jump!) compares adjectives such as "fancy" and "plain," "heavy" and "light," introducing beginners to a range of opposites. Abolafia (Fox Tale; My Three Uncles) makes the most of the limited material, presenting simultaneous views of underwater and landlubber life in his watercolor seascapes. His cartoon shellfishæwhose pink pincers resemble those of a crayfish, not the asymmetrical claws of a real hermit crabæwears bandages after encountering a pointed shell ("too rough"), and poses playfully in front of a peacock-tail-shaped half shell ("too fancy"). Kalan and Abolafia supply plenty of good humor, but look to Megan McDonald's and S.D. Schindler's Is This a House for Hermit Crab? (Orchard, 1990) for scientific substance as well as a pleasing presentation of the same subject. Ages 4-up. (May)
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