P. Hermit Claims a Castle

P. Hermit Claims a Castle by Marcia Trimble, illustrated by George Ulrich. What can a hermit crab do when he is yanked out of the familiar surroundings of his tidal pool and dropped into a sand bucket?

P. (which stands for "prince") Hermit is faced with this abrupt lifestyle change. One moment he is eyeing a beautiful shell for his new home ("an empty turban with a pearl on top"), and all of a sudden a strange hand scoops him out of the water and dumps him into a pail "jail." He escapes as fast as he can and lands in the sand, surrounded by what looks like a treasure house of shells, just right for the choosing. Starry-eyed and thrilled with the assortment of shells, P. Hermit adjusts nicely to the possibilities of claiming a shell "castle" fit for a hermit-crab prince. But all is not what it seems!

P. Hermit Claims a Castle takes young children (ages 3-8) on a delightful adventure of discovery. This 32-page, hardcover, library-quality picture book follows a young crab on his journey to find the perfect new home, only to discover that all those beautiful shells are already occupied . . . by different kinds of turtles. Eventually, P. Hermit is convinced that his true dream "castle" lies where he belongs: back in his own tidepool.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and so did my five grandchildren (ages 3-11). The illustrations are perfect for the story. Anyone studying sea life or turtles would benefit from including this book in their studies. Even older children (8-10 year olds) will be absorbed and may want to find out more about the leopard tortoise, the painted turtle, the sea turtle, and the other turtles P. Hermit meets along the way. A delightful and added bonus can be found at this link from the publisher's website: http://www.images-press.com/animations/animationStart.php?movieID=hermit Here you will find the story animated and read aloud. The words literally climb up and down the page, over the buckets, and around the rocks. A thoroughly enjoyable read!

Product review by Susan K. Marlow, The Old Schoolhouse© Magazine, LLC, April 2010

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