Review of 'Crab, Dab and Blenny' - Peta Rainford
Crab, Dab & Blenny is a fun, rhyming picture book about the serious theme of plastics in the ocean.
Fish friends Dab and Blenny are upset by the plastic that washes into their lovely rockpool home. Crab, on the other hand, just LOVES the shiny bright colour… But when Blenny gets caught in plastic twine, Crab finally understands the danger of plastics in the ocean.
Crab, Dab & Blenny is a book that celebrates friendship and the vast variety of life that exists in a quiet rockpool. Perfect for early readers or as a bedtime story for four- to eight-year-olds.
I knew when I agreed to review this book that I was going to need some help - I'm 42 years old, what do I know about children's picture books? So I roped in the expert - my 5 year old son - to help. He is exactly the age that this book is aimed at and he absolutely loved it.
At school he's been doing all about sea creatures this half term, so he's very aware of all the issues surrounding the polluting of the oceans and the effect that plastic can have on sea creatures. This book was the perfect one to read to him because it confirmed everythng he's been taught at school about how litter often ends up in the sea. Because we live by the sea, he's very conscious that any litter on our streets can easily be washed into it. As a result of all this, he's asked us to get him a litter picker so that we can clean up our local area - he was quite alarmed to count over 30 pieces of litter on our walk to school one day. When it arrived, he went straight out to do a litter pick and within about fifteen minutes we had an entire bag full of things he'd picked up. He's made me promise that we'll go out again in a few days to do another bag.
This book really plays into that mindset and because it's told from the perspective of the sea creatures themselves, it never comes across as preachy, it's very matter of fact about the problem. The fact that it rhymes made it a really smooth read for me and it definitely kept his interest in the same way that the Julia Donaldson books do.
I think this book would be a really good one for teachers to use in school because it complements the topic they're teaching and I've emailed my son's teacher and the other parents in his class, to recommend it to them.
Arthur's verdict on the book was this:
'It's really good. I liked the limpets and the snail. I liked the pictures of the litter but not that it was in the sea, because I like real sea creatures.'
He wanted to stop at every page to carefully examine the pictures and has asked to read the story again, so there's no doubt it's a hit with him!
Peta writes and illustrates her funny picture books on the Isle of Wight, where she lives with her husband, daughter, and hairy jack russell, Archie. In normal times, Peta loves going into schools to share her books and inspire childrenin their writing and art. She has appeared at a number of festivals and other events, including: Barnes Children’s Literature Festival, Isle of Wight Literary Festival, Exmoor Dark Skies Festival and Ventnor Fringe. She is one of the organisers of the IW Story Festival, for children and families, which takes place every February half term.
Check out the rest of Peta's blog tour in the places listed below!