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The Hermit Crab    by Carter Goodrich order for
Hermit Crab
by Carter Goodrich
Order:  USA  Can
Simon & Schuster, 2009 (2009)
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

A cute story about a reluctant hero who comes out of his shell to save a friend, The Hermit Crab will delight young readers between the ages of 6-10.

Always being more comfortable blending into the background than being on center stage, the central character in this underwater adventure is more than happy to spend time alone rather than hang out with the fish and other sea creatures.

One day a strange contraption descends to the ocean floor and although some fish are wary of it a large flounder decides to investigate. Unfortunately, the fish discovers it is a trap and he's caught up in it.

Curious about the wooden trap and hoping to squeeze through the slats to get at the tasty bait inside, the hermit crab begins to shake the boxlike container.

As he gives it a good shaking, the crab inadvertently sets free the flounder and suddenly he is a hero for his brave act. 'The hermit crab's neighbors quickly organized a parade and carried their hero to the highest rock, where they carefully set him down for all to see. Then they celebrated late into the night.'

Not really into the hero thing, the little crab scuttles away from his old shell when no one is looking. He finds a new shell and watches the rest of the festivities from a distance. As the party continues, he cheers a little bit and very softly since he prefers not to be noticed.

At a time when too many individuals relish being in the limelight and the center of attention, it is refreshing to find a story where the central character is low keyed and doesn't savor celebrity status.

This picture book reiterates the simple idea that the reward for performing a good deed should be the knowledge that you helped someone rather than that someone will reward you in some manner.

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