Sunday, January 24, 2021

Review: Gordy and the Ghost Crab by Linda K. Sienkiewicz

It's always fun to learn about lesser known animals, and today's read does exactly that. I don't think I've run into these little creatures myself, but after reading this, I am curious and might have to see if one of our local zoos has some to spy at. Maybe, you've seen one yourself once? If so, feel free to tell me about them in the comments. I'd love to hear about it! 

by Linda K. Sienkiewicz
Writers Coffee Bar Press
Picture Book
30 pages
ages 4 to 8

Gordy is afraid of the crashing ocean waves and a strange creature he spies: a ghost crab skittering across the beach. It doesn’t help when his brother tells him it’s a ghost crab that will pinch off all his toes!

A delightful and educational tale about a young child’s first trip to the beach and his encounter with an Atlantic ghost crab and a girl intent on capturing it. What will Gordy do? Will he stay away or come to the rescue and save the little crab?

Highlighting empathy, problem solving and the value of caring for nature, the book includes fun facts about different types of common crabs and delivers a gentle conservation message.


                                                           * holds factual information about ghost crabs
                                                           * presents ghost crabs in a natural setting
                                                           * teaches respect for animals
                                                           * tale flows well + easy for kids to connect with


A day at the beach turns into a lesson about ghost crabs, over-coming fear, and respect for animals...and all of that wrapped into a fun tale.

Gordy was excited about spending a day at the ocean, but when he sees how loud and strong the waves are, he becomes afraid of them. Deciding to keep distance to the water, he's again scared when he runs across a strange creature, which appears to want to snip off his toes. He's told it's a ghost crab. Hoping for some safe fun, Gordy builds a sand castle, but things take a turn when the ghost crab comes by again.

While this story does  main theme describe a boy's run-in with a ghost crab, it's a tale about much more than just that. Gordy is presented as a 'safe' child, who is unsure and happiest when he stays in his own comfort zone. That the ghost crab invades this space, forcing Gordy to deal with his fears....although Gordy doesn't know a situation young listeners can identify with (maybe not with ghost crabs, but with their own insecurities when facing something new.) The twist comes when another girl sees the crab and wants to catch it. Gordy shows what a warm hearted child he is and although scared, still empathizes with the crab. It's a great way to show kids how to feel for the world around them, even if they aren't in a good spot themselves. Add the message of preserving animals' in nature, and it's a read with tons of important themes.

But this is also about ghost crabs and does a nice job at introducing young listeners to the animals. The story does this in a somewhat indirect manner, but it works. The illustrations do a good job at presenting the animal in a realistic manner. At the end of the book, there's a list of ghost crab facts so readers can learn more about the creature.

1 comment:

Linda K Sienkiewicz said...

Thank you for the thoughtful and thorough review! Ghost crabs are so much fun to watch. There's lots of fun videos on youtube. This one of a dachshund and a ghost crab is my favorite Neither dog nor crab were harmed! :)