B. Author: Eric Carle
C. Illustrator: Eric Carle
D. Publisher: Picture Book Studio
E. Genre: Picture Book
F. Reading Level: k-2
G. Summary: Hermit Crab was beginning to outgrow his safe, comfortable shell in January, and he decided it was time to find a bigger, new home. Even though Hermit Crab was scared, he ventured out of his shell and into the open waters of the ocean. In February, Hermit Crab found a great, big shell that would be perfect for his new home but a little plain. Over the next year, Hermit Crab meets new friends and asks them to join his home to make it better! Hermit Crab meets sea anemones, starfish, corals, snails, sea urchins, and lanternfish, and all of them help to make his home beautiful and cozy. However, when November rolled around Hermit Crab realized that his beautiful home was beginning to get a little too snug because all year long he'd been growing! Hermit Crab doesn't think he can leave his friends when a lonely, scared girl Hermit Crab, just the right size for his place, came walking by asking if he knew where she could find a new home. Hermit Crab gave her his home as long as she promised to be nice to his friends, and he set out to find a new home and new friends to decorate it. The illustrations are done in collage with all different kinds of materials.
H. Response: I really enjoyed the book The Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle when I was younger, but I don't remember ever reading A House for Hermit Crab. I loved the way Eric Carle combined the story of venturing out into the world and meeting friends with different sea creatures and the months of the year. The best part about this book has to be the illustrations. The collages have so many very bright and drastically different materials used that they really stand out. With The Hungry Caterpillar, I remembered the illustrations before I really remembered what this book was about. I am very surprised that Eric Carle has not won a Caldecott award for any of his picture books because his media are so unique. His collages have all different kinds of shapes, patterns, and textures, not to mention all the different colors. A House for Hermit Crab is a great picture book that has wonderful collage illustrations and a great story!
I. Teaching Ideas: Before looking up any lesson plans, I tried to come up with a few options off the top of my head for classroom applications. A few lesson plan/topic options for A House for Hermit Crab would be an introduction to marine-life or environment, months of the year/time frames, and venturing out to make new friends. On Eric Carle's official website, I found fifteen lesson ideas and plans; some more specific than others. Some of the lesson plans include ideas like moving and meeting new friends, introducing sea creatures, decorating their own hermit crab and cutting it out, use cut-outs of the creatures in the book for students to decorate their own hermit crab shell, art and clay projects, and the list just continues. On the EekoWorld website, I found a kindergarten lesson plan that included the objectives actively listening to audio information, summarizing information by retelling, making connections between animal and human basic needs, and creating a schoolyard habitat for birds.