cover image Don’t Worry, Little Crab

Don’t Worry, Little Crab

Chris Haughton. Candlewick, $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-5362-1119-1

Artwork by Haughton (Goodnight Everyone) often features intensely saturated colors and sly humor; this story has its share of both, stripping art and narrative down to vital essentials. Little Crab and Very Big Crab leave their “tiny tide pool” and climb over a massive rock (“TIC-A-TIC TIC-A-TIC”) on their way to the open sea: “I can go ANYWHERE,” Little Crab says. When they arrive, great waves pound the rock, and Little Crab shrinks back: “I think we’ve had enough of the ocean now.” Haughton’s white spray and oncoming waves are startlingly real, and the tense sequence makes it easy to feel for Little Crab. But Very Big Crab is full of encouragement: “Let’s just go a little bit farther... I think you’ll like it.” Little Crab’s eyes grow huge with fear, but when an enormous wave comes, the two duck underneath it and, in a series of vibrantly colored spreads, Little Crab discovers the prism of riches that lie waiting beyond the terror of the unknown. Haughton uses his substantial gifts to confront the challenge of a new experience—and its rewards. Ages 2–5. [em](Apr.) [/em]