Title: Moonlight Crab Count
Author: Dr. Neeti Bathala and Jennifer Keats Curtis
Illustrator: Veronica V. Jones
Publisher: Arbordale Publishing
“Leena counts crabs while Mom writes down the data. Bobie doesn’t even bark once,” Dr. Neeti Bathala and Jennifer Keats Curtis write in the story section of their children’s book, Moonlight Crab Count.
~ What ~
This thirty-two unnumbered page paperback with a thick folding jacket cover targets children ages eight to twelve years old who enjoy educational information about horseshoe crabs. With no scary scenes, it may be best read out loud to beginner readers due to some complicated wording.
In this short story, Leena and her mom along with their dog, Bobie, live near a bay on the East Coast. In the dark of the night, they take their boat to an island and count the horseshoe crabs they find. After writing down the time, temperature, and wind speed, Leena spots the crabs, reporting if they are male or female as her mom charts the information on a clipboard. Leena turns a few crabs over while the dog silently watches. By morning, the crabs have returned to the sea, and the project is accomplished.
The last four pages have more educational tools of learning activities for creative minds that involve information about the characteristics of horseshoe crabs, where they live and procreate, the writer’s vocation as an ecologist, a step game about citizen scientists, and how to help horseshoe crabs.
~ Why ~
Although I never have heard of horseshoe crabs since I live on America’s West Coast, they are interesting creatures as this book explains. What makes this book fun is not only the tale about counting the tailed creatures, but their medicinal value and facts regarding their ten eyes, bright blue blood, and tiny hairs along with their ability to lay twenty-thousand eggs at a time which are sometimes eaten by red knot birds. Any child will enjoy looking at the pictures while learning about the crabs.
~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like crabs may steer away from this educational book, but they may learn a thing or two of interest. Others may not like how dark the illustrations are in the book, but it is portrayed as night throughout the story.
~ Who ~
An associate professor in Pennsylvania, Bathala has studied sea creatures around the world. She lives in New Jersey, and this is her debut children’s picture book. Illustrator Curtis is an award-winning author of more than a dozen books about wildlife rescue, animal care, and citizen science and lives in Maryland. Jones is a freelance and children’s illustrator who lives in Virginia; this is her debut picture book.
~ Wish ~
I wish more books like this were available that had a story yet provided knowledge and information that a young child could learn in a fun, engaging way.
~ Want ~
If you are looking for a book about horseshoe crabs for elementary school aged children, this one offers a lot of information that would be helpful for a book report or school discussion, especially if you lived on the East Coast.
Thanks to Arbordale Publishing for this complimentary book that I am freely evaluating.
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GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.