(July 18, 2016)
Featured in the 2/1/2016 issue of Kirkus Reviews Magazine
“A captivating work that offers vivid lessons about lobsters.
Petrie, a former outreach specialist for the New England Aquarium, definitely knows her sea life. Both educational and sensational, this book should delight readers young and old, especially serving those who have an interest in marine biology. The little fish swimmers are a wonderful addendum to this children’s tale, answering many of the questions that could arise from young readers and pushing them to conduct their own research into the lobster’s ocean life. Petrie’s colorful illustrations are scientific enough to be accurate but not so complex that they become dull. Though the work is intended for younger readers, the prose is lively—many an adult wouldn’t mind reading this at bedtime to marine-leaning children again and again.”
—Kirkus Reviews (click here to read the complete article)
Something’s Tugging on My Claw!
This book takes readers on a young, blue lobster’s adventure to discover the culprit who was tugging on his claw. Once he solves the mystery, the blue lobster is delighted to find that a claw dropped on purpose to escape danger isn’t necessarily lost forever.
This is Seatales Publishing Company’s third book in its sea animal series, following The Bumpy, Lumpy Horseshoe Crab (2011), and Did You Make the Hole in the Shell in the Sea? (2013) (Kirkus reviewed, Winner of the 2014 Silver Falchion Award for Best Children’s Picture Book) Something’s Tugging on My Claw! is an engaging, rhythmic and rhyming sea animal adventure, with brightly colored illustrations and expressive characters to bring the story to life. Although this story is fictitious, all the characters tell an authentic tale of what really happens at the edge of the sea. The repetitive text and rich vocabulary make Something’s Tugging on My Claw! a fun read-aloud for families, as well as an entertaining choice for teachers who are studying marine life in their classrooms. Although this book’s target audience is preschool through fourth grade, most adults are surprised at how much they learn from reading Something’s Tugging on My Claw!, too.
A Rare, Blue Lobster Was the Inspiration for Our Story
“George” is a beautiful, cobalt blue lobster donated to Seatales by a lobster fisherman who wanted the chance for children and adults to meet and learn about him, and others like him. In the last year, George has visited many schools, as well as bookstores. Lots of people have commented that they’ve never seen a blue lobster up close before. Thanks to Ron Hemeon for his thoughtful contribution.
It’s widely thought that a blue lobster is found in every one in two million caught. According to Catherine Ellis of Connecticut’s Mystic Aquarium, “blue American lobsters occur one in every three million lobsters.” Some believe that blue lobsters may be more common than we think, but their lack of ability to blend with their surroundings make them more vulnerable to predators. A blue lobster’s coloring is the result of a genetic defect, where the lobster produces a protein in excess that wraps around an astaxanthin molecule, forming a blue complex known as crustacyanin. That’s the scientific explanation; we just think he’s strikingly handsome!
A Look at a Molted Lobster Eating Its Shell
The lobster in the photo above was one of our lead models used to draw the illustrations of our handsome, little, blue lobster. Believe it or not, just as the final illustration was completed, and the book was sent to print, our model lobster molted, just as the lobster in the story did.
This lobster began devouring its discarded shell less than 24 hours after molting. (click on video above) As you can see, he still had a piece of shell attached to his eye. Because of the sensitive area where the shell was stuck, we thought it best not to try to remove it for him. This was a wise choice, because several days later, the shell dropped off on its own. After about 36 hours, this is all that was left of the lobster’s old shell! (below)
Saying Goodby to “Loki”
We recently released the lobster that we used as a model for the illustrations in our book, “Something’s Tugging on My Claw!” We’re thrilled that Loki’s back in the sea again, and are excited that he lives on in the pages of our illustrated children’s book. Check out the video, and help us say good-bye!