The endless variety of faces and objects that young children can see on the moon will provide the initial attraction to this story and leave them anxious to take yet another look at the moon with the story in mind. This is a test, reward and transformation story told after the fashion of the Japanese folk tale. Two river crabs, Ake and his mother, are the unlikely central characters. When Ake's mother gets caught in a fisherman's net, Ake's frantic efforts to release her are futile. The moon watched his struggles and offered to help if Ake would give up his pincers, his eyes and his shell--all the things a crab needs to preserve his life. There is a dramatic tension through this part of the story which is saved from excess by the desperation of the choice and the restraint of the language. Because the moon had only been testing his loyalty and love, she offers the crabs a permanent home in her safe pools -- and that is why you can see two crabs on the full moon. The black and white illustrations are superbly well drawn with the various textures of rock, water, shell and moonlight precisely differentiated.