Do Your Children Love Hermit Crabs?

My children’s book, Clarence Henry the Hermit Crab, is a fun book for children ages PS-Grade 3. Clarence Henry was a pet in a 80-gallon saltwater fish tank in our home. My husband purchased him from a fish store. When John brought Clarence Henry home he noticed that Clarence was missing a front claw and leg on the left.

As I photographed Clarence Henry in the tank I noticed after a couple of weeks or so that he was sporting a new small claw where he was once missing one and a smaller leg was growing where there were fewer legs. You can actually see the smaller claw growing on the right in the cover below. It did finally grow to full size like the left one. We don’t know exactly how Clarence Henry lost his claw and leg but figured it could have been in a fight for dominance with another crab in the store tank.

It was quite exciting to watch these new appendages grow. I also took a video of Clarence Henry moving from one shell to another for his home. He would clean out one and go into another and vice versa. Amazing to witness! I wanted to share Clarence Henry with the world by writing this book dedicated to his memory. We had a couple other hermit crabs over the years but none came close to Clarence Henry for his personality and survival instincts.

There are fun facts and actual photos of Clarence Henry in the back of the book for children to see Clarence in action moving from one shell to another and eating a clam. He was quite adept at opening a hard shell clam with his claw. This book is a fun addition to school libraries for science and learning about the habitats of hermit crabs. I hope your children will be as fascinated by Clarence Henry as I was. He will be missed.

Please take home Clarence Henry for your children to enjoy. Check out all Jemsbooks children’s books in rhyme with life lessons.

The life lessons that children will learn from Clarence Henry are get along with others, it’s okay to be different, believe in yourself and be the best you can be.

Clarence Henry the Hermit Crab – a fun way for children to learn about hermit crabs

Here is a limerick I wrote for Clarence Henry:


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.

Here is Clarence Henry – available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble and by clicking on the covers to the right of this post. Cover and illustrations were cleverly done by my talented husband, John.


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 lives 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.

Here are some reviews on Amazon:

SM5.0 out of 5 stars The hermit crab’s challengeReviewed in the United States on January 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

5.0 out of 5 stars In the Water WorldReviewed in the United States on January 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-Dunne
5.0 out of 5 stars Another wonderful book by Janice and John Spina!Reviewed in the United States on 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

Blessings & Hugs!



About jjspina

Janice is an multi-award-winning author with 42 books: 20 children's books for PS-Gr 4, 12 middle-grade/preteen, two young adult books, written under Janice Spina, and 7 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 36 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.
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