Book Review: Clem and Crab
Written and Illustrated by Fiona Lumbers
Any story which involves a crab is a winning one for us. They conjure up so many emotions.. and it all stems from that excitement of being by the sea. For any child, there is something quite capturing about a crab. One can catch them on a line and put them in a bucket, but it is the pure joy of watching them scuttle back into the sea that is where the true magic lies. Growing up on the Dorset coast, I too, enjoyed endless summers of trawling the beach for goodies and collecting things to put in my bucket. Crabs were high on that agenda but not always that easy to get unless there was lots of ham on the end of the crabbing line!
As we stay at home, and think of sunnier times ahead, perhaps now is the time to dream of being back on the beach. But with the focus that this brilliant book brings. Clem and Crab is a perfectly timed story of how we can all help clean up our beaches. Beautifully illustrated and brilliantly written by Fiona Lumbers, the story follows a young girl, Clem. Clem is an explorer, a collector, a protector of the seas. Treasure hunting on her beloved beach, she stumbles across Crab, his claw stuck in a plastic bag. Crab will be much safer and happier in the city with Clem, but doesn’t he belong on the beach?
This book is brilliant at helping to start that conversation about plastic waste and how our actions at home can impact the wider world. We read the book and have re-read the book and each time different questions have come from it. It’s a book that keeps on giving and its message will never grow old but will stay relevant in years to come. Only with the hope that habits will change. My three year old was quite captivated by the thought of what could be found on the beach and what things should be there and should not be.
Clem and Crab is a stunningly illustrated timely tale of cleaning up our beaches, with a clear message. Our next generation are more aware than ever of this message and just how much plastic waste can end up in our seas. There are scary stats out there which make up sit up, but are they really spurring us into action? Our partners, the Marine Conservation Society, inspire us into action. For when the lockdown is over, and we can gradually resume normality, joining one of their beach clean initiatives will be something that Clem would be proud of!
Published by Andersen Press
Fiona Lumbers is the acclaimed illustrator of Luna Loves Library Day, The Secret Sky Garden, and I Like Bees, I Don’t Like Honey. Fiona did an MA in Painting at the Royal College of Art. Clem and Crab is her first picture book as both author and illustrator.