Children Learn with Clarence Henry the Hermit Crab that it’s Okay to be Different!

I wrote Clarence Henry the Hermit Crab in 2016. This story is based on a real life hermit crab that lived in a salt-water fish tank in our home. Clarence was a different kind of crab. My husband, John, purchased him from an aquarium store. He came to us minus a claw and one leg on the right side. In the book cover below you can see a small claw beginning to grow on his right side. Having only one claw did not stop Clarence Henry from doing all that a crab can do.

He was a joy to watch in action and quite a character. He is no longer with us but is missed for all that he did to keep our tank clean. This story is written in rhyme to delight children and has colorful illustrations throughout the book plus bonus photos of Clarence Henry himself.

Book cover and illustrations by John Spina. Available also on Barnes & Noble.

Clarence Henry the Hermit Crab



There once was a hermit crab named Clarence Henry.

Who lived in a tank with fish aplenty.

He came to his new home missing a leg and a claw.

But fortunately for this there is no law.

Now Clarence Henry stays deep in his shell.

Until one day he’ll be whole again and well.


Clarence Henry is different from other hermit crabs. He came to his new home minus one claw and a leg. He needs to protect himself until he can grow new appendages. Will Clarence Henry be able to meet the challenges in his new water world?

Clarence Henry was a real aquatic hermit crab who lived in a saltwater fish tank in our home. We watched him interact with the other creatures in the tank.

He was resilient, intelligent, and a joy to have as a pet. We took some photos of him as he grew his claw and leg and changed shells. 

We shared these photos and facts about hermit crabs in the back of the book. I hope you will enjoy them. This book will make a wonderful resource for classrooms.

Children will learn an important lesson when reading about Clarence Henry. They will see how hard he works to do his job cleaning the fish tank of debris at the bottom. They will learn that it’s okay to be different even when others do not accept you. You just work harder to prove yourself and be proud of who you are.

Reviews on Amazon:

Mrs.D.5.0 out of 5 starsIn the Water WorldJanuary 28, 2018Format: Kindle Edition“Clarence Henry the Hermit Crab” is a wonderful story, based on a true story supported by real pictures. Apparently author Janice Spina and her husband, the illustrator, took real pleasure in observing this resilient creature in their fish tank.

The hermit crab was their pet, which was missing a claw and one of his legs. The story disclosed a few challenges that newcomer met while growing his new claw and leg. Smart, hardworking, and tough, the courageous crab dealt with his disabilities bravely as he moved ahead to his full recovery. He worked hard, keeping himself busy cleaning the tank and getting along with other occupants in his new home.

The photos and facts about hermit crabs that the Spinas share with the readers are educational and entertaining. The facts about the life of these resilient water creatures are an extra bonus. This book will make a good, useful source for teachers and homeschooling and readers like me, people who have no knowledge about the crabs.

Clarence Henry teaches children to have patience, dedication, and stay strong while going through their own tests. The ailing crab did not give up. Instead, he worked hard and bravely overcame his obstacles. He may have felt different from the other occupants in the tank, but it did not stop him from focusing on his goal.

As in other inspiring books by the Spinas, children will enjoy this book for many reasons: a true teaching story, educational facts, fascinating photos, and the message this book conveys. Never, never, never, never give up!

Deanie Humphrys-Dunne5.0 out of 5 starsAnother wonderful book by Janice and John Spina!January 25, 2018Format: Kindle EditionJanice and John Spina are a great team. You won’ t be disappointed in their latest book, Clarence Henry the Hermit Crab. When you first meet Clarence Henry, you’ll see that he’ shy because he doesn’t have one of his claws so he’s different from everyone else in the tank. But Clarence is focused on his job, keeping the tank clean. Even when Clarence Henry is losing is shell and isn’t feeling well, he concentrates on his work. What happens after Clarence Henry gets his new shell? Young readers will love the story and the bright illustrations, while they learn lots of important facts. After children finish the story, they’ll find interesting things at the back about hermit crabs. It’s a fun, educational book you won’t want to miss.
* I received an advance copy of this book and chose to review it without compensation.
Reviewed by children’s author, Deanie Humphrys-Dunne

SM5.0 out of 5 starsThe hermit crab’s challengeJanuary 28, 2018Format: Kindle Edition”Clarence Henry the Hermit Crab” is another lovely creation by author Janice Spina and illustrator John Spina, whose relatable stories entertain young children while they also convey important messages. The protagonist in the Spinas joint venture is a hermit crab challenged by a lost a leg and a lost claw, who must manage until his missing appendages grow back.
Added bonus: Interesting facts about hermit crabs at the end of the book.
A wonderful addition to the JEMBOOKS growing library of books for children.

Thank you so much for stopping by to learn more about my books and the life lessons that are incorporated in each one. We parents need all the help we can get guiding our children in the right direction so that they will one day become kind and respectful adults.


Please review books wherever you purchased them. We authors will love you for that! Thank you for your kind support!

Blessings & Hugs!


About jjspina

Janice is an multi-award-winning author with 41 books: 20 children's books for PS-Gr 4, 12 middle-grade/preteen, two young adult books, written under Janice Spina, and 6 novels, and a short story collection written under J.E. Spina. She is also a writer of poetry, blogger, avid reader, reviewer and a copy editor. Janice has always loved writing and started very young writing poetry, then stories. Her books have received 33 Book Awards and a few finalists awards. All Janice's books are available on, Kindle, B&N and other online book sites. One of her sports' poems was published in The Lawrence Eagle Tribune in October of 2008. She is currently working on book 3 of a YA fantasy series an and book 2 in an angel series. There will be six books in all in this series. She hopes to work on a series of four books in a crime/mystery genre that will be offsprings of her thriller, Hunting Mariah. There are books in the works about a dog for ages YA. Her hobbies are crocheting, sewing, walking to keep fit, hula hooping, tap dancing, going to the movies with her husband, and spending time with her five grandchildren. Janice loves to hear from readers and appreciates reviews. Sign up on her blog for a copy of her newsletters under Contact Me. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband who is her illustrator and cover creator.
This entry was posted in 5-star reviews, Amazon reviews, animal stories, book reviews, Books for kids, children's books, Clarence Henry the Hermit Crab, Jemsbooks for Life Lessons, kindness to others, Writing, book reviews and publishing, poetry, children's books, YA and novels and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Children Learn with Clarence Henry the Hermit Crab that it’s Okay to be Different!

  1. This sounds lovely, Janice.

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