Little ones meet six different sea creatures in this sturdy, first pop-up book.
A pair of sea turtles, a shark, the titular crab, an orca, and more appear in each of the six double-page spreads. A pedestrian quatrain about each critter floats on the blue background, sharing a few whimsical, often zoologically inaccurate behavioral anecdotes: “There goes prickly pufferfish, / Big and round and plump. / He blows up like a balloon / When he feels like a grump!” (Additionally, the dubious expressions on the penguins’ faces belie the assertion that the orca is “friendly,” and evidently the octopus likes to tickle its friends.) Lucas’ cartoons with googly eyes and smiling faces in soft washes of color are good-humored and endearing. The pop-ups will likely steal the show for any toddler, and the hardy pages will mean they will stand up to at least a few robust readings and play sessions. Brilliantly, a duplicate image of the featured creature appears behind the 3-D panel, meaning the book will still be usable if one or two of these panels go missing. It is unclear why the book is named for the crab when she appears in only two of the tableaux and is featured in but one.
A cheerful choice for young ocean lovers, but the pop-ups far outshine the text. (Pop-up board book. 2-4)