With minimal detail, Haughton conveys the loving relationship between two small creatures, emphasizing gentle support to help little ones overcome their fear and discover their own resilience and potential. A charming and visually stunning adventure that will resonate for children and caregivers alike.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Haughton’s white spray and oncoming waves are startlingly real, and the tense sequence makes it easy to feel for Little Crab. But Very Big Crab is full of encouragement: “Let’s just go a little bit farther… I think you’ll like it.”… Little Crab discovers the prism of riches that lie waiting beyond the terror of the unknown. Haughton uses his substantial gifts to confront the challenge of a new experience—and its rewards.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Illustrated in Haughton’s signature minimalist style with a matching blocky font, the layouts, color transitions, and body language of the crabs combine to create an enormously expressive story with lovable protagonists. Haughton’s simple language perfectly captures the tone of an excited and nervous youngster and a very patient adult, while several repetitions make for predictability young audiences will enjoy.
—School Library Journal (starred review)
Attractive illustrations were created digitally with simple shapes against clear backgrounds and have a pleasing color palette, which includes the teals and blues of the sea and burgundy, orange, green, and purple that showcases life on the ocean floor. Once he overcomes his fears, Little Crab feels just a bit invincible and has a clearer understanding that being brave means doing something even though it is scary.
—Booklist (starred review)
Crab and ocean sound effects (“TIC-A-TIC”; “SQUELCH”) work well for sharing aloud, and the smart pacing of the text makes Little Crab’s worries appear more amusing than alarming. This tribute to the anxieties and joys that accompany first experiences resounds with emotion, humor, and sincerity.
—The Horn Book