Story time is the best time of the day. Whether we're snuggled up on the couch or cozy in our pjs before bed, reading stories with my little ones is one of my favorite things to do. Everyone has a favorite book they remember from their childhood, and every day, parents and kids are discovering new classics of their own. There are many fabulous children's books out there, some of which everyone knows about and others we would have never discovered had my son not simply pulled a random book off a library shelf. I created this blog to share some of these wonderful stories with you. Think of it as a year's worth of the best children's books around, since no day should be without a great story. In the end, I hope we'll all have discovered at least a few new titles that will have made their way onto our list of family favorites. Enjoy!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Day 90: A House for Hermit Crab

It was a beautiful day here yesterday, so after breakfast we decided to drop everything we had planned at home for the day and head to the beach.  I don't think there is any place on the planet where I feel more relaxed and rejuvenated than by the ocean.  The salty air and smell of sea roses, the sound of lapping waves, gazing out at the water and wondering what other shores it has touched around the world... It's heavenly.  Fortunately, my children love the beach as much as I do.   My son loves exploring around the rocks, searching for crabs at low tide, and following the tiny hermit crabs as they scuttle about.  Yesterday, he even got to hold several baby jellyfish that were floating around, which he thought was exceptionally cool.  He has been pretending to be sea creatures ever since -- mainly hermit crabs, horseshoe crabs, and stingrays (though just now he seems to have moved on to being different dinosaurs. It's hard to keep up sometimes!)  What better book to feature today, I thought, than Eric Carle's A House for Hermit Crab?  Like so many of his books, this one is informative and fabulous in many ways.  In January, little hermit crab decides that he's grown a bit too big for his shell and it's time to move into a bigger one.  He's a bit hesitant to leave his old home behind as he's always felt so safe there, but in February he finds just the right shell to take its place.  It's a simple shell, though -- a bit too plain for his liking -- so he sets off to decorate it with new friends he meets along the way:  a sea anemone, starfish, coral, sea urchin, and snails, to name a few.  He carries on, making friends, exploring new places, and making his shell his own, until in November, he realizes he has continued to grow and will once again need to move on.  There are so many lessons to be learned from this book -- I just love it!!  Through his masterful storytelling and gorgeous illustrations, Eric Carle manages to teach us about the months of the year, habits and lifestyles of hermit crabs and other sea creatures, and perhaps most importantly, ways to adapt to and embrace change.  Rather than be scared of having to leave his comfortable, safe home behind, hermit crab is excited about the endless possibilities that await him as he moves on; a valuable lesson for all of us, I think.  Be sure to read the introductory information about hermit crabs on the dedication page, as well as the glossary of sea animals featured at the back of the book.   I think of this book every time we pick up little hermit crabs or empty shells, and wonder what creatures might have called those shells home over the years.  Heading to the beach soon?  Pick this wonderful book up before you go.  It's a perfect summer read!


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