Book Review: Crab Cake, Andrea Tsurumi

Crab Cake: Turning the Tide Together
Author/Illustrator: Andrea Tsurumi
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Haracourt
Ages: 4-7
Genre: Picture book

Under the sea in Crab Cake, we watch each of the creatures doing their thing. Manta Ray gets cleaned, sea turtle holds her breath, and scallop does loop-de-loops! And the little crab? Well, he bakes cakes. When a load of trash is dumped into their ocean home, the creatures freeze in shock—all except the little crab.

This simple tale about the impact a load of trash has on nature is a thoughtful way to inspire empathy in kiddos and introduce a basic conversation on good stewardship. Graphite on Bristol vellum and digital color illustrations are exquisitely detailed and quirky. Bright colors and blue oceans turn deep browns and blacks when the trash arrives and provoke an emotional response. Goofy and quirky undersea animals are mixed with unexpected touches that sneak onto the pages.

This clever, silly twist on the term “crab cake” will give readers a chuckle. Allow a little baking crab to touch your heart with this silly and thoughtful story about the importance of caring for others and working together to care for the planet.

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