Crabbing: A Lowcountry Family Tradition

by ellenmcgaha

Welcoming Young Palmetto Books’ newest title, Crabbing: A Lowcountry Family Tradition! This realistic guide and colorful story about the coastal art and sport of crabbing was written by Tilda Balsley and illustrated by Monica Wyrick. Look out for its release next month!

Crabbing is a story about young boys learning from their grandfather about the coastal tradition of catching crabs during an eventful day on a saltwater creek. Tilda Balsley’s realistic yet poetic depictions coupled with Monica Wyrick’s beautiful watercolor illustrations provide a glimpse into the diversity of life along the backwaters of the lowcountry. Crabbing is an intriguing “how-to” for children that evokes nostalgic reminders for readers of any age who have enjoyed the challenge of catching blue crabs.

Following the story, additional materials provide parents and teachers with educational information about blue crabs as well as other lowcountry wildlife including pelicans, cordgrass, dolphins, grasshoppers, and Spanish moss and also about habitat protection. To round out the blue crab experience, a delicious crab cake recipe, simple enough for children to make, is included as well.

“Wyrick’s richly textured watercolor illustrations complement Balsley’s occasionally poetic prose while they also inform. . . . The backmatter gives young readers just enough information about relevant plants and animals to leave them wanting more. Great nibbles of science and culture and an important culinary tradition all rolled into one.”—Kirkus Reviews

Tilda Balsley is a former teacher living with her husband in Reidsville, North Carolina. She earned a B.A. in English from Queens University in Charlotte and a M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction from University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Balsley is the author of fifteen children’s books, including Let My People Go! and Soo’s Boo-Boos.

Monica Wyrick has a fine arts degree from the University of Dayton and has worked in advertising, as a muralist, and as an art instructor. Wyrick and her husband live in South Carolina and have three grown children.

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