Title: Clem and Crab
Author: Fiona Lumbers
Illustrator: Fiona Lumbers
Publisher: Andersen Press
Genre: Children’s picture book
Book format: Paperback
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Description: Clem loves the beach.  The crunch of wet sand, the crashing of waves.  What she doesn’t love is the rubbish left behind and the terrible harm it does…

*Free copy provided by publisher for review…

Review:  This is a lovely and fun story about cleaning up the beaches. Clem loves to search the beach for things to put in her bucket. One day while she’s looking she comes across a crab. Crab ends up tangled inside a plastic bag, but Clem frees it. She wants to keep Crab but her sister tells her he belongs in the sea. Clem is disappointed but ready to let Crab go, but later finds Crab nestled in her clothes. The two end up taking an adventure together, with a mission to clean up the beach.

Clem and Crab book page image one
©The Strawberry Post

This is a fun picture book with some lovely illustrations which I really like. ‘Clem and Crab’ is a little bigger than A4 in size and is filled with thick matt pages of text and some amazing and detailed, colourful illustrations. The story is a simple one, after a fun day at the beach Clem finds Crab and wants to take him home, but reluctantly lets him go back to the sea when her sister explains it’s where he belongs. But on her way home on the bus, Clem finds Crab tucked away in her trouser leg, and Crab ends up going on an adventure to Clem’s school and more. The story focuses on Clem, who with Crab, ends up fascinated by the sea and sealife and wants to help clean up the beaches after finding lots of horible plastic junk there. I won’t spoil the ending but it’s a nice one with Clem’s efforts to clean up the beaches rewarded.

Although the story is fun and easy to follow, it does feel almost too simple and short. The fun relationship and mini adventure Clem and Crab go on is fun, and I liked the thoughts Clem had on cleaning up the beaches and Crab missing the sea. However the story ends without much explanation of how to go about cleaning the beaches. This sort of just happens and I would have liked an extra page of two about it, or maybe ideas for children on how to get involved with something like this. Although the environmental message is there, it does feel like something was missing.

The illustrations are really lovely. I like the detail in each picture. The pictures cover single or double page spreads and have so much to look at. You can see the expression on all the character’s faces, and I love the way some of the kids react to seeing Crab in class. I also love just how colourful and detailed each image is, I have spent ages just enjoying looking at each picture!

Clem and Crab book page image two
©The Strawberry Post

Overall this is a lovely book with a good environmental message for children. I do wish there was a bit more about how to go about cleaning the beaches, or more at the end with Clem and Crab’s story, especially with Crab going back to the beach, but overall it is a good book with some brilliant ilustrations which I love!

What do you think of this book?  Do you like books with environmental messages in them for kids?  What about crabs and being on the beach?  Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂