Crab Cake: Turning the Tide Together by Andrea Tsurumi
Carb Cake: Turning the Tide Together
Review Copy from Houghton Mifflin
Crab Cake begins poetically, where the "sunlight touches sand," introducing readers to the "many incredible creatures" under the sea. Manta ray, "gets cleaned," sea turtle holds her breath, "Scallop does loop-de-loops," and crab bakes cakes. Several two page spreads show crab baking elegant and seaweed-y confections for fellow sea creatures until one night when there is a big SPLASH!
What seems like a playful story about a generous crab who bakes for friends and family becomes a more serious (although totally kid-friendly) story about human destruction of the natural world. Shocked by the piles and piles of garbage being dumped into their environment, the sea creatures freeze, not knowing what to do. But crab knows what to do. Crab bakes a cake and, as all the creatures gather round to share, they start coming up with ideas - ways to "help the kelp." The ending that Tsurumi delivers is bold and brilliant and not where I was expecting. And it is exactly the message we humans need right now. I said this after I reviewed her stellar debut, Accident!, and I am saying it again here - I can't WAIT to see what Andrea Tsurumi does next!