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Crab Cake: Turning the Tide Together
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Crab Cake: Turning the Tide Together

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  260 ratings  ·  61 reviews
Under the sea, a crab follows its heart and its calling, bringing everyone together in the wake of a disaster. Feed your craving for a hilarious, heart-warming story with  Crab Cake,  perfect for budding environmentalists, kids learning to cope with mishaps, and every young reader in between. 

Under the sea, fish do what fish do: Seahorse hides, Pufferfish puffs up, Pa
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published February 5th 2019 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  260 ratings  ·  61 reviews

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Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
These days it’s not uncommon to walk into the children’s room of a bookstore or library and find yourself surrounded by a plethora of picture books that tackle trauma. Once the purview of specialty presses, it’s a little sad to say, but the state of the world and news cycle in the early 21st century has necessitated more authors and publishers to step up to the plate and hand out comfort in 32 page increments. There is nothing wrong with such books in principle, but for a librarian that’s always ...more
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Brilliant and uplifting!! A true true gem.

A story that explores sea life, has a charming crab who makes cakes at the center, involves a surprising and ominous visual middle, and bestows a message of sustaining our oceans by way of crabs who make cakes being key.
Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019
I love Andrea Tsurumi. Accident was one of my favorites of 2017 (a strong year for picture books mind you), and I think this will be one of my 2019 favorites (I know it's early to say that), but her art really works for me.
Ms. Arca
Feb 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
This one picked up layers along the way and baked into something super sweet!

Love the message of community coming together, cuter than I was expecting and I appreciated the non-fiction animal facts woven in, too! This is one takes the cake. (Okay, I’ll stop).
Feb 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a beautiful lesson: use your gifts and use them fearlessly, and you'll inspire others to do the same.
Vernon Area Public Library KIDS
Under the sea, everything is nice and peaceful. Fish swim, dolphins play, and crab….bakes cakes? Read this incredibly fun and hilarious picture book about sharing, caring, and respect.

Recommended for grades K-1st. Lexile Level: N/A
Reviewed by Christine Hwang, Youth and School Services, Vernon Area Public Library
Jessica Furtado
An unexpected story of community and environmental awareness. It didn't grab me initially, but around midway the story took a turn that had me rooting for our ocean friends. The illustrations are fun, and the tale lends an opportunity to talk to young readers about cleaning up our oceans and working together to bring change.
Monica Silva
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: omar-jr
My son said it's good illustrations and people are messy.
A silly but moving story about coming together as a community, taking care of our environment, and... a crab who likes to bake cakes.
Mar 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
subtle humor, sneaky message, detailed illustrations
Mar 12, 2019 rated it liked it
The illustrations here are really fun - expressive, energetic, and full of engaging detail. But something about the text/story doesn't quite work for me. Much of the description is or at least seems specific and scientifically accurate ("the venomous lionfish," the parrotfish who eats coral and poops sand, etc.), so it feels kind of jarring for crab to be baking these whimsical cakes. I like the message that a small act of bravery can bring people to together to tackle big problems, and it's a p ...more
Jan 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Give it a sec... because it's better than it seems.
Benjamin Robinson
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Andrea Tsurumi became an immediate family favorite in my household with Accident! and continues to impress with Crab Cake. She has one of the most unique and talented artistic voices in the picture book world today and I plan to be watching her career very closely indeed!
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Crab Cake: Turning the Tide Together by Andrea Tsurumi. PICTURE BOOK. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019. $18. 9780544959002



All the creatures of the sea are busy doing their thing while crab bakes delicious pastries. Life continues as “normal” until a large pile of garbage is dumped into the ocean and over a slice of cake, they problem solve what to do.

I thought the lesson of this book was that food brings communities together and my dau
Devon Ashby
Feb 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book's little theme about how performing small acts of creativity and domestic nurturance can be a form of community organizing and resistance building. I also really enjoyed the little funny drawings of small oceanic cupcakes with coral and seashells on them.
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: t, 2019t
Why we chose this book:
We are keenly aware of the necessity of conservation and respect for the environment. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt provided a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Mom's Review (V)

Crab Cake is partly realistic and partly anthropomorphic. With the exception of the titular crab, each sea creature behaves naturally. Crab, however, bakes cakes. When a boatload of humans dumps a boatload of trash overboard, all creatures in the sea are terrified. Crab, again is the exceptio
Mar 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Crab loves to bake cakes. He makes them every day as all of the fish and ocean creatures do what they usually do too. Pufferfish puffs, Parrotfish eats coral, Dolphin blows bubbles. But when one night a disaster happens and a load of trash is dumped on their part of the ocean bed, no one knows what to do. Everyone else freezes, just staring at the mess. Crab though doesn’t freeze and makes a big cake for everyone to share. As the animals come together, they form a plan. It’s all thanks to one cr ...more
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Six months ago, a movement came to international attention. In August 2018, Greta Thunberg, a sixteen-year-old Swedish student turned political activist, began to strike to bring attention to climate change. Throughout the world student-driven events in the form of strikes are growing. A website, FridaysForFuture, is a central location for information. On March 15, 2019 a global day of action is set in place. For those who educate and encourage children, telling them they can save the world, hop ...more
This cute picture book will help young readers pause for a moment and consider ways that we can be better stewards of our planet, especially our oceans. All of the underwater creatures in this story go about their business, especially crab who enjoys baking cakes to share with everybody. But when suddenly a big pile of junk is dumped into their world, it seems as if everything is ruined. Thankfully crab's generous spirit along with the delicious cake brings the community together. And working to ...more
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved Andrea Tsurumi's first picture book Accident!, and Crab Cake further proves her talent as a picture book creator. All of the undersea animals have their special activities they do every day. Dolphin blows bubble rings, scallop does loop-de-loops, pufferfish puffs up, and crab bakes cakes. Until one day when a bunch of trash from humans is dumped into the water, and all the animals freeze, except for crab. What follows is a great story of working together with an environmental message. Th ...more
Mar 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: yarc2019
I love that Crab baking a cake gathers and centers the community in a productive way so that they can start talking about what to do to fix the problem.

Also, all the other sea creatures going about what we normally think of them as doing and then crab baking (mixing? where is the baking? shh, don't ask questions) cakes is incredibly cute.

It would be interesting to talk with kids about the underwater creatures fixing the problem in their community when that problem wasn't something they caused.
Mar 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars -- For a book about a crab who loves to bake confections, this is a surprisingly moving book. Humor and a love of nature combine to tell the story of a busy coral reef, an especially unique crab resident, and what happens when a garbage barge spills its contents onto the undersea paradise.

Great story that will get kids thinking about ocean life and the ramifications of litter and pollution.
Apr 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Various sea animals are portrayed "doing what they do," all of which are realistic except for the crab, who bakes cakes. When a barge dumps a bunch of garbage, the animals are scared and silent until crab shows up with a cake, bringing the sea community together. The animals come up with a plan, working together to get rid of the humans' trash. What elements are realistic? What do you think are unrealistic? Why? Also good for Earth Day displays.
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is so cute! It's a great way to show kids not only the environmental impact we have on earth but how to stay positive in bad times and team work. The environmental impact portion of the story is great for all ages and allows adults to go into however much detail they want to with their kids.
Mar 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lisa Burris
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This cool picture book not only introduces children to ocean animals, it tackles pollution, by showing kids how it affects ocean life, even sweet little Crab, who only wants to bake cakes. This will be a great book to read to kids anytime of the year, but particularly in the Summer, when they hit the beach.
Mary Lee
Mar 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
You'd think crab could make better use of its time. All the other ocean creatures do their ocean creature stuff, but crab...bakes cakes??? When disaster strikes, crab's cake brings the creatures together and they collaborate to take control of the situation (and stick it to the humans, I might add, who deserve the sticking!!).
Alyx Campbell
Mar 21, 2019 rated it liked it
This one did make me laugh, and the highlight of the book is the "come get your junk" spread. I didn't quite understand why crab was making cakes, especially when crab cakes are made out of crab (I know, I know). A good attempt, but I wanted more. I think kiddos will like this one.
Mar 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this story! One little crab bring everyone together and they all work together to clean up their ocean. I love the note they left for the humans! Perfect for every child AND every adult!
Mar 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I must purchase this book. I must.

The creatures who are living under the sea go about doing what they are supposed to be doing. Including crab. Who bakes cakes. But don't be's not all silliness. The creatures come together to right a wrong.

I giggled the entire way through it.
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Andrea Tsurumi is an author, illustrator and cartoonist originally from NY who now lives and draws in Philadelphia. The creator of Accident!(HMH), Crab Cake (HMH), and numerous comics, she’s also illustrated Kondo & Kezumi Visit Giant Island (Disney Hyperion), Not Your Nest! (Dial) and Girls Who Code (Penguin Random House). Her comics have appeared in The Believer, Little Nemo: Dream Another D ...more