Email this review


A crab who explores new territory serves as a metaphor for human experiences.

Koch’s debut self-help book follows in the tradition of Who Moved My Cheese? and Our Iceberg Is Melting and stars Wilber, a crab. He lives with his family (a cast of crabs) in the Louisiana bayou. While the rest of the cast (“They treated one another with respect and love, most of the time”) is content with its geographically limited world, Wilber has dreams of exploring. When the cast is captured and stored in a hamper on a fishing boat, he has the opportunity to embark on an adventure. The other crabs stay behind in the hamper (“Oh, Wilber, please don’t talk about leaving the cast and exploring,” says one). But Wilber—after a false start and with a confidence boost and encouragement from Penny the Pelican, who teaches him to visualize success through a technique she calls “the Wilber Effect”—climbs out and investigates his unfamiliar surroundings. He overcomes fear and meets a crab named Tilley, who has also benefited from Penny’s advice. After spending the night outside, Wilber reunites with his cast, which, despite the earlier hostility, is now proud of his achievements and encourages his expeditions. Each chapter concludes with a helpful “Personal Perspective” section that consists of questions (“Have you been in circumstances that made you question the goals or dreams you previously set for yourself?”) designed to connect Wilber’s story directly to readers’ experiences. The crab’s tale is clearly intended to serve as an example for readers confronting new situations and challenges of confidence. Many readers will likely appreciate the simplicity of the short text and find it useful for guiding their thoughts and developing strategies for moving out of their comfort zones, though Penny’s “Law of Attraction”–style insights will not appeal to all. The book is illustrated throughout with uncredited, cartoon-style drawings that supply a touch of additional whimsy to the tale.

This quirky motivational fable about a brave crab deftly encourages readers to develop resilience and a growth mindset.

Pub Date: March 29th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-982216-72-6
Page count: 66pp
Publisher: BalboaPress
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online: