A House for Hermit Crab

Author and Illustrator:  Eric Carle


What happens when you get too big for your house?  Why, you  look for a new one, of course!  And that is just what Hermit Crab did.  For many months he had felt safe and snug in his shell, but in January it was much too snug.   He was rather tentative crawling out onto the ocean floor in search of a new shell to call home.   In February, Hermit Crab wiggled and waggled into a big, roomy shell. It felt just right.

“But it looks so – well, so plain,” thought Hermit Crab.

What happens when you want to beautify your house? Why, you look for ways to decorate it, of course!  And that is just what Hermit Crab did.  During each month for the next year, he found beautiful sea anemones and color starfish to enhance his shell.  He found snails to keep it clean and made friends with the lantern fish to help guide him through the dark.

After a year Hermit Crab has continued to grow.  Now he must look for another, larger shell. Oh goodness, here we go again!

Mary Byrne Kline

1.  Name two of the sea creatures that provided protection for Hermit Crab.

2.  How did Hermit Crab take care of his friends at the end of the story?

3.  Why do you think a hermit crab needs a shell? Could it live without one?