Saturday, 12 January 2013

Sharing a Shell Book Review

Sharing a Shell - Book Review and Activities.

Sharing a shell by Julia Donaldson,
Illustrated by Lydia Monks
IBSN 978-1-4050-2048-0

I bought this book specifically for it's focus on sharing, this is something my two year old needs to work on. The fight over felt tip pens at our last play date where me and the other mommy ended up stuck on one side of the kitchen door while the boys fought on the other, effectively barricading the door to us just reinforced this point, but i digress.

The book has a lovely lyrical text and colourful lively pictures with highlights of glitter.

It has some fairly big concepts for little ones but they are presented in such a way that children will take them in without realising they are being taught anything.

The story's main characters are Crab, Blob the Anemone and Bristle Worm.

Crab has no shell, eventually he finds one but Anemone and bristle worm come along wanting to share.

Crab eventually lets them and they prove their worth, keeping away fierce fish and doing 'Shellwork' (housework) A good example for children about the benefits of sharing.

The friends eventually fall out, getting fed up of each other and go their separate ways. Lonely and sad without each other. Bristle Worm mediates between the two. 

A terrible storm wreaks the friends new temporary homes and Bristle Worm who has been looking out for his friends all along, finds a nice big new shell for them all to share. All three are united and happy once again.

A simply way to highlight to children that in times of hardship you need your friends.

A lovely book with some great concepts. It's a big favourite with my son who loves to listen to me read it then afterwards takes the book off me and 'reads' it too himself, running his fingers across all the glittery bits on the pages and reciting the bits he remembers. A sure sign of a good book if ever there was one.

One of my favourite sites for books for kids is, i love their recommendations. They have this book down as for 3+ yrs, i would say more 2+yrs myself and although quite simple the themes of the book are relevant to older children too.

An all round great book with wonderful text, captivating illustrations and important themes.

I plan to do some activities to support the book. I have linked them below for you.

I am not as brave as who made the Ocean small world play above so when i do my small world scene, I'm going to use blue play dough to represent the sea with a foil rock pool filled with a little water. I love her idea though, so many textures, i will be nicking the oats for the shore idea as well. I was going to make yellow moon sand so oats are far less hassle. 

The Dominoes would be a great way to sneak in a little maths. My favourite in the activity sheet has to be pretending to be a crab, Anemone and Bristle worm. I can see me and my son having great fun shuffling sideways, shooting our arms out to sting fierce fish and wiggling along on the ground like worm.

I am excited to be linking this post up to the Kid Lit Blog Hop from at mother,daughter and son book reviews.

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I would love to hear your thoughts on the book and if you have any ideas for any related activities.

Thanks for reading.

P x


  1. We love that book it's great for getting kids to share (J at 2 had similar problems and now at almost 3 and a half is getting much much better). Thank you so much for linking up to our ocean world edible small world play - Brave!! thank you but more like need something that could be eaten if T put it in her mouth.

  2. Yes, I guess I hadn't thought of the edible angle just the mess. I did a little mini play dough rock pool tonight for acting out the story before bed, N loved it but had to add, diggers, dumper trucks and cars.........boys. I'm on a big boy related learning curve after 3 neices lol

  3. Hi Paula,

    What a fantastic review! I really appreciate all the time it must have taken to put this together. :)

    This looks like a great book. If it makes you feel any better (re. the sharing), my son is 6 and still has issues with sharing (serious issues). My daughter is the complete opposite leading me to think that there is some genetic predisposition to be a good sharer (or not)! lol

    I really like how you included the accompanying activities. It's pretty incredible what Rainy Day Mum created! I'm not sure I would have gone to that effort.

    Thanks so much for linking into the Kid Lit Blog Hop and I'm now following you via email and G+. Are you on Twitter, by any chance? I've tweeted about your post regardless! Cheers! :)

  4. Hi Renee, I realised I replied to you by email and not on here sorry. It's my first book review so I was quite nervous, thank you. You've put my mind at rest x

  5. Great review Paula, I will be putting it on the to read list for when Gigi (18m) is a little older. Glad to have you along, come hop again soon. cheers Julie

  6. What a lovely review of a lovely book-I love your resource ideas too.

  7. Sharing is a great lesson at any age! If you come across a book with a lesson in listening, though, that's our personal struggle at this stage. Thanks for linking into the Kid Lit Blog Hop, and I hope to see you at the next one this Wednesday!


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