Paul Owen Lewis
Author and Illustrator

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In this tale of confidence and growth, Grasper, a small crab, lives in a cramped and overcrowded tide pool. When he sheds his hard shell as part of his natural growth cycle for the first time, Grasper discovers the liberation and exhilaration that come with molting. But his older crab comrades warn him that when a crab is out of his shell, he is also out of his mind, and that in order to survive, a crab must have a hard heart as well as a hard shell. But Grasper, swept away by his new feelings of freedom, goes exploring beyond the limits of the tide pool despite their advice.

He discovers the world is far bigger and far better than he ever imagined: the water is clearer, the food more plentiful, and the surroundings more beautiful. Inspired by an encounter with a very large and wise crab, Grasper goes home to tell his friends about his experiences on the other side of the rocks. After much doubt and debate, he and a few like-minded friends leave the stagnant tide pool forever and intrepidly set off for the promising frontier Grasper discovered.

~Tricycle Press

  • 50,000 copies sold.

    About this illustration from the artist...

    I just had to have a big red snapper in this book. Look at that face! Snappers always seem to wear a look of indignation. "Now where's that little crab got to?" Lucky for Grasper he's found a place to hide.

    - P. O. L.

Grasper hides from a giant fish

My girls are 2 and not only do they love the pictures which are simply georgous, but they like to hear the story. I'm glad to be able to have a book to read to them which also has a wonderful teaching message.