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Sharing a Shell

Press: Macmillan Children's Books (May 6, 2005)
Publication Date:2005-5
Author Name:Donaldson, Julia


The tiny hermit crab loves his new shell. 
He doesn't want to share it -- not with a blobby purple anenome and a tickly bristleworm.
But life in the rock pool proves tougher than Crab thinks, and soon he finds he needs his new housemates in this rollicking story of sea, shells and friendship.

About the Author

Julia Donaldson is the UK's most successful picture book author, whose titles include the acknowledged modern classic, The Gruffalo, together with Room On The Broom, The Smartest Giant In Town and The Snail And The Whale, all illustrated by Axel Scheffler. 
This is her first picture book with Lydia Monks.
Julia is also much in demand for her brilliant events for children at schools, libraries and literary festivals.
Lydia Monks is one of the UK's most original picture book artists, whose brilliantly coloured collage images have given her a strong following.
Her previous books for Macmillan include Esmerelda by Karen Wallace, and Queen Munch And Queen Nibble and The Skipping-Rope Snake, both by Carol Ann Duffy.


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Comment List (Total:16)

  •     Julia Donaldson, better known as the creator of Gruffalo, is a leading British autor who has written many best seller kid's books. I got to know her when my son was born in the UK. Then we moved to the US but tried to follow her works as much as we could. She is not very well known here but I can say that her works would be liked a lot if she was known in the US as well.This book is not her most famous work but to me it is the best one. Especially because of the message it gives and the way it tells the story. The plot line contains three main characters: a crab, an anemone and a bristle worm who live in same small pond near the ocean. One of them finds an empty shell and starts using it as shelter as well as protection from the nasty creatures around. Then comes the second and the third in time, who wants to join in the shell. To each prospective member, the current inhabitant(s) of the shell first behave rude and prejudiced refusing to let the newcomer in. However they change their minds when each animal offers a use for the general well-being of the small community.The crab takes the role of locomotion, while the anemone scares away the nasty attacking fish (out shoots the tentacle...). Bristle worm offers to be the cleaner of the shell. However after sometime of co-localization, they forget the importance of the other member's contributions for the good of the union and get arrogant. This leads to an argument and the dissolution of the three. But once they are alone in the wild, then they realize how important the other one really was. The story ends in a happy ending. They find each other again after having taken enough lessons from their mistakes and selfishness and they start a new union and live happily.As you can see from my summary, it shows the importance of friendship, co-operation, and working towards a common goal. This is an outstanding book with a lot of funny colorful pictures that would attract the attention of young readers no matter how young they are...

  •     My 4 and 6 year old love the story and pictures.

  •     My sweet granddaughter loves it!!! Gr8 book!!! I bought it for her 3rd birthday as she was begging for it and it's a hit!!

  •     We love everything Julia Donaldson. I buy her books often for gifts as well and I always receive positive feedback. Great story!

  •     Julia Donaldson is one of the best children's book authors I have ever read. My three children have all enjoyed her books. The classic "The Gruffalo" and "The Gruffalo's Child" are absolutely timeless. I recommend all of her books.

  •     Our grandson loves the rhyming Donaldson books. They are his favorites.

  •     A really nice book.

  •     Wonderful colorful book. It has a good story and my grandchildren liked the book.

  •     Cute little story about living and working together, done in a fun and kid-friendly way. Not overly elaborate, but still fun and the kids like it.

  •     This is one of those books that you see in the bookstore and think...mmmm - "a bit gimmicky". It even comes with a sticker that states "there's glitter on every page". Now this is a sure-fire way to catch your little one's attention but in my experience this type of book is not destined to become a classic in children's literature. Having said that however, I reluctantly bought this book as my two year old appeared to have fallen in love with it. It turns out that my almost five year old son LOVES it. It's a very tactile experience reading it and the pictures are lovely (same illustrator as Aaaaaaargh! Spider!). You just can't help running your hands over all the glittery pictures. The text is nothing to write home about but the rhymes slip off the tongue easily enough.It tells the tale of a little hermit crab who is none too pleased about sharing his shell with an anenome and a bristle worm. This storyline has of course been churned out many times before but it still provides a good opportunity to discuss the concepts of sharing and symbiotic/commensal relationships etc. with your child. As long as you don't expect anything too original, this book makes a nice little addition to any child's library (particularly for a girl who will no doubt love the glitter which IS very well done).

  •     I miss the Axel Scheffer illustrations of the others, but this is a first class, well told, beautifully rhyming tale with a great message about sharing, and the sparkly illustrations are fun too. Amazing how the characters, especially "brush", can shine through so vividly in such a simple tale

  •     I bought this book for my baby when he was only about 4 months old and he absolutely loves it. It was his first book!The glitter illustrations obviously attracts their attention and feels great when they run their hands over the pictures. Also some of the pictures use collage photographs which gives it a realistic look - my son loves the rock pool pictures especially.The length of the book is perfect to read to a baby that's mostly more interested in crawling off and exploring. The text is fun to read and has a nice rhythm to it.I highly recommend this book to parents. Your baby will love it:-)

  •     The pages do not have any glitter at all. Only place there is any sparkle is on the front cover. I am quite disappointed because I bought the book for my toddler mostly because of the sparkles along with the singing mermaid book which also has zero sparkle on any pages except the cover.

  •     Julia Donaldson does lovely, quirky rhymes, and this is one of the nicest ones, Illustrated ably by Lydia Monks, it is one of the 'glitter on every page' books - but will be suitable for girls and boysThe story of a hermit crab who is looking for a home and quickly manages to escape from a gull despite being tossed out of other shells. He learns to share with an anemone who sits on the outside of the shell and helps protect the crab from other animals, and then they share with a bristleworm who cleans. However - as they grow too big they argue and move out together.Finally a storm comes and destroys their separate homes, however there is a lovely new shell and they all learn to share again.Done in Donaldson's wonderful rhyming cadence, it is easy for children to quickly learn the text and repeat it with you, or in parts.The illustrations were quite inspiring for my girls who went off and cut out shapes themselves to do a multimedia collage like Lydia monks does.A Lovely engaging story for all the family with a nice line in humour.

  •     This is a wonderful picture book. My 3 children love the story and the glittery pictures. The story tells about sharing, which is great for my kids - this is an attribute they can really learn since they are fighting over stuff all the time. It is also a story about friendship and teamwork. Altogether, a great book.

  •     Great book on sharing. I think this is one of Julia's best books, even though it has a very simplistic message.


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