Crab, Dab and Blenny by Peta Rainford

My grateful thanks to author and illustrator Peta Rainford for sending me a copy of Crab, Dab and Blenny, her latest children’s book, in return for an honest review.

Peta is becoming a regular author here on Linda’s Book Bag, most recently when I reviewed Milly’s Marvellous Mistakes here.  I have a review of Peta’s The Niggle here alongside a smashing guest post from Peta about fitting illustrations to text in her books (although sadly the giveaway has now ended) and another review of Isabella’s Adventures in Numberland here. I also reviewed Peta’s Jacob Starke Loves the Dark here. It’s a real thrill for me to find myself quoted on the covers of some of Peta’s books too!

Crab, Dab and Blenny was published on 4th May 2021 and is available for purchase here.

Crab, Dab and Blenny

Fish friends Dab and Blenny are upset by the plastic that washes into their lovely rockpool home. Crab, on the other hand, just LOVES the shiny bright colour…

But when Blenny gets caught in plastic twine, Crab finally understands the danger of plastics in the ocean.

A fun, rhyming picture book with an important environmental message.

My Review of Crab, Dab and Blenny

I love the fact a child can write their name in the front of this book as it gives a sense of ownership over reading, immediately engaging them with the text. And what an important story Crab, Dab and Blenny is. Peta Rainford explores the impact of plastics in the sea in a way that both educates and entertains so that the impact of Crab, Dab and Blenny is phenomenal.

Crab, Dab and Blenny is written like a narrative poem with smashing rhyme that gives a natural rhythm when the book is read aloud, but equally has a great variety of vocabulary that helps promote a child’s reading and writing. As ever with a Peta Rainford book, the illustrations are glorious with a cartoon style that appeals to children but that still maintains the integrity of the different creatures so that readers can learn about their characteristics. I thought the way their expressions changed would be wonderful for exploring feelings and emotions, especially with children on the autistic spectrum. The balance of text to image is perfect. Each page is a work of art that draws in readers and holds the attention completely.

Indeed, I thought it was wonderful how the underwater world was brought alive for young children with references to different sea flora and fauna because Crab, Dab and Blenny creates an awareness of a world many of the target audience have never, and may never, experience. There are many possibilities for further investigation and research so that Crab, Dab and Blenny has importance and resonance beyond its pages.

The story in Crab, Dab and Blenny is exciting, with peril as a Blenny finds himself in danger and it is fantastic for children to realise they have a part to play and can make a difference to the environment. Crab, Dab and Blenny empowers young people and gives them status.

I thought Crab, Dab and Blenny was utterly brilliant. Peta Rainford understands  children so well. Crab, Dab and Blenny considers the difficult issue of plastics in the sea, but the author makes it accessible without ever being patronising, and it is entertaining and actually uplifting, as well as educational, so that it is a really fantastic book. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

About Peta Rainford


Peta writes and illustrates her funny picture books on the Isle of Wight, where she lives with her husband, daughter, and hairy jack russell, Archie.

Peta loves going into schools to share her books and inspire children in their writing and art. She has appeared at a number of festivals and other events, including: Barnes Children’s Literature Festival, Isle of Wight Literary Festival, Exmoor Dark Skies Festival and Ventnor Fringe.

She is one of the organisers of the inaugural IW Story Festival.

You can find out more by following Peta on Twitter @PetaRainford and visiting her website. You’ll also find Peta on Facebook.

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