Picture Book Snob
Blog Tour: Crab Crush by Ian Worboys and Silke Diehl
Are you familiar with the Crush series of rhyming animal-themed stories for children? So far, there are five books in the collection, but we are only discovering them now.
In Crab Crush, the most recent addition, we are introduced to a host of hungry sea creatures hunting for their next meal. Each one observes what they consider an ideal candidate, unaware that they too are on the menu. Don't worry; they all live to tell the tale through a fantastic twist of fate that I won't reveal.
As we join the blog tour celebrating the release of Crab Crush, here are five reasons why we love this book...
1. It's entertaining AND educational Although this is a whimsical rhyming story, it's also an amusing way of teaching children about food chains and eco-systems. Even I learned something from Crab Crush! As we were reading it, I realised I knew very little about ocean eating patterns myself. I had never really given it much thought before, but because of their shell and their claws, I didn't think there were any creatures that ate crabs besides humans, and certainly not fish. Crab Crush made me curious about who else might find these crustaceans delicious and I found a fascinating list of crab predators.
2. The illustrations are gorgeous
With gentle pastel watercolours, the artwork has a wonderfully calming effect. It evokes a soothing nursery palette and makes the story perfect for winding down at bedtime. I love how the soft pencil lines are visible, adding both softness and dynamism to the illustrations. There are lots of interesting details and we particularly love the view of the seabed from the shark's vantage point and the tiny snail and crab that can be seen from there. All of the animals are incredibly cute but we are especially fond of the little snail and their endearing facial expressions.
3. It includes an original song
I'm not sure if this feature is present in all of the Crush books but we were delighted to find a song complete with sheet music at the back of this one. My kids have actually enjoyed this song as much as the story if not more! We brought the book on a recent seaside holiday and the girls had lots of fun singing the song at the beach and making up crab-like actions to go with it.
4. The series has a very special origins story
The Crush series emerged from a 'bucket list' of things that author Ian Worboys felt he should have done while his son Robert was still alive. One of Ian's regrets was never having published the stories he wrote and read to his children when they were younger, and he was inspired to create the collection because of this.
5. It makes an attractive gift
Crab Crush is produced to an exceptionally high standard. It's a beautifully designed hardback with quality paper that is both strong and pleasantly tactile. It would make a lovely present for little ones who might like to collect the rest of the Crush books and there are also colouring books, jigsaws, t-shirts and quiz cards to tie in with the series. When I was younger, I had an aunt who used to gift me a Beatrix Potter book on every birthday and I ended up with a lovely stash of them. The Crush stories are ideal for anyone looking for a series of modern books that children can use to build their own little library. If you're ever stuck for gift ideas you can just add a book or some merchandise to their collection.
10% of the sale of each book and item of merchandise in the Crush collection goes to the Robbie Bobby foundation. This charity was established in memory of Robert Alexander Worboys, son of the Crush series creator Ian Worboys. Robert died peacefully in his sleep from Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS) in January 2016 at the young age of 27. See therobbiebobbyfoundation.com for more information or to make a donation.
Crab Crush and its companions are available from thecrushseries.com - thanks so much to Ian and Silke for inviting us on this tour and sharing this book with us. All opinions expressed are our own. Don't forget to visit all the other stops to learn more about this under-the-sea adventure: