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The Lucky Hermit Crab and Her Swirly New Shell

by Janice S. C. Petrie

When the lucky hermit crab outgrows her favorite, swirly new shell, will she be willing to let go and find a newer, bigger one that will keep her safe and comfortable? Come along on this rhyming hermit crab adventure.

The Lucky Hermit Crab and Her Swirly New Shell is the fourth book in Petrie’s Seatales Sea Animal Series. It has brightly colored illustrations that bring to life authentic tales of what really happens at the edge of the sea. Petrie’s books are perfect for ages three through ten, but most adults are surprised at how much they learn from reading these stories, too!

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Advertising Hook

A hermit crab has outgrown her favorite, swirly new shell. A hungry octopus is interested. Will the hermit crab be willing to swap her favorite shell for one that’s larger, safe, and more comfortable?



(right) A page from inside The Lucky Hermit Crab and Her Swirly New Shell.

The Story Behind the Story

“While performing outreach programs for the New England Aquarium, and later providing hands-on sea animal programs through my own company, Seatales, I’ve noticed how many times teachers would stand up when I finished teaching a class and announce that they, too, have learned something today! I’ve been on a mission to teach people through my illustrated children’s books about the fascinating creatures we commonly meet at the shore each summer.”—Janice S. C. Petrie

Janice S. C. Petrie has been enchanted by the sea for as long as she can remember. She became a certified SCUBA diver while in high school, and spent many years exploring coastal waters. Her fascination with marine invertebrates grew while working for the New England Aquarium as an Outreach Specialist. She’s made a career of caring for marine invertebrates & visiting schools to provide hands-on educational programs. Petrie’s earned a B.S. in elementary education, a M.Ed. with a concentration in reading, and a B.A. in Art with a concentration in Graphic Design.


Reader Reviews:



I LOVED THIS SO MUCH! Such a fun book, love the drawings, the cute fish telling hermit crab facts, the information at the end and the sweet story. Definitely recommended for kids interested in sea creatures. I’m happy that invertebrates are featured more and more in children’s stories, they have been underrepresented for a long time! – Max Willems (Reviewer – NetGalley Review)


Definitely recommend!

“This book was so cute! Loved that the illustrations looked like a TV cartoon and the educational tidbits would be really fun for families that have a pet hermit crab. However even for families that don’t, I think the message about the necessity for change and growth was really beautiful. Would be great for kids going through a transition to better understand the importance of change and why it is a good thing. Definitely recommend!” – Jennifer M. (NetGalley Review)


A gorgeously illustrated educational book:

“As a mother of four kids with ages ranging from 6-12, this book has something for everyone! From the beautiful illustrations, to the cute story that my youngest could read, to the closing pages that give a wonderful educational explanation about these sea creatures that fascinated my 12-year-old, this book is the perfect addition to any library.

It’s packed with little-known information from an author who knows everything about hermit crabs. And as part of an under-water series, it’s a must-have for any child who wants to learn about sea life while being entertained.

A 5-star quality book that your kids will cherish and learn from . . . and you’ll probably discover you’ll learn a new thing or two as well!” – Reader Girl (Amazon)


The animals are sweet and funny, and the story is nice.

“This book tells a story of a hermit crab looking for a new shell. When disaster almost strikes the other ocean animals worry about this hermit crab and his new shell, but when he leaves the shell and moves on a new little hermit crab moves in and finds the perfect shell. The animals are sweet and funny and the story is nice. The font is a bit small but is clear and fairly easy to read. As a grade 3 teacher, I would recommend this book to parents of children in the age 4-6 range.” – Angie K. (Educator: NetGalley review) (PDF review format)