The grumpy crab and cheerful plankton are back for another four chapters of miscommunication following series opener Hello, Crabby! (2019).
Once again, Crabby just wants a day at the beach: “The wind in my face. / The spray in my eyes. / The kelp in my claws. / It is enough to make a crab crabby.” Sociable Plankton tries to get Crabby to play familiar childhood games: guess who, Simon says, hide-and-seek, and tag. In each short chapter, Crabby and Plankton’s repartee, loaded with double meanings, leads to misunderstandings that new readers will easily understand. For example, when Plankton proclaims, “YAY! We can play Simon Says!” Crabby replies, “Who is Simon?” Finally they agree to play Crabby says. Of course, Crabby’s first command is “Crabby says— / stop playing Crabby Says!” Color-coded speech bubbles make following their arguments easy. Appropriately repetitive dialogue-only text, uncluttered backgrounds, and a small trim size help new readers make the transition to longer books. Throughout, Crabby and Plankton remain true to their personas. Crabby is grumpy but polite—not actively mean. The persistent Plankton, though increasingly exasperated, is ultimately patient. Neither abandons civility and courtesy just because they have different interests or styles.
Crabby's and Plankton’s attempts at understanding and friendship provide good examples for beginning readers. (Graphic early reader. 4-6)