The story explains the migration and reproduction habits of the horseshoe crab and the relevance their existence has for lives outside their own. Young readers are introduced to the impacts horseshoe crabs have human experiences (including testing medicines for germs) and those of other animals, such as the red knot (a threatened bird species). The dialogue and narration provides the reader with an enjoyable and explanatory journey through the process of a moonlight crab count. Similar to Bat Count, there is a set of educational material and information at the end of the book to facilitate citizen science.
20 Books That Tell A Story - November 2017
There are many reasons to commend and recommend this book. First, it describes a way in which even young children can advance scientific understanding. The book’s heroine, Leena, helps her mother perform a horseshoe crab census on a nearby beach. She identifies crabs according to gender and position in which they are found. Second, it presents the processes of science realistically and accurately, including collecting information in advance, planning the mission, accurately recording observations, and maintaining safety standards. Third, it provides a great deal of information about the fascinating horseshoe crab and the species it interacts with, including humans. Fourth, it provides realistic, achievable role modeling. Leena is an ordinary kid. Her mom looks like a mom, not a fashion model. They spend a night together counting interesting critters, contributing to our understanding of horseshoe crabs. Last, it is very interesting, both to adults and to children.-- Michele Bremer, Bremer & Associates, Monument, CO
On a late spring night under a full moon, Leena, her mother, and her dog count horseshoe crabs on an island beach...A useful introduction to citizen science.
Moonlight Crab Count, by Dr. Neeti Bathala and Jennifer Keats Curtis, is a very educational children’s story about horseshoe crabs. Leena and her mom volunteer to help count the horseshoe crabs that arrive on their beach each summer. They are citizen scientists. They are part of an effort to help conserve horseshoe crabs. More information is given on how you can become one. The book gives scientific information about horseshoe crabs in an interesting way. Horseshoe crabs have been around since the dinosaurs. They lay eggs on the sand during late spring and summer. They are a strange-looking animal, but are a very important creature. Fisherman use them as bait, their blood is used to test medicines, and young sea turtles and birds eat their eggs. They serve many important purposes.
This book begins with a story and ends with how you can help. Very good read.
What makes this book fun is not only the tale about counting the tailed creatures, but their medicinal value and facts regarding their ten eyes, bright blue blood, and tiny hairs along with their ability to lay twenty-thousand eggs at a time which are sometimes eaten by red knot birds. Any child will enjoy looking at the pictures while learning about the crabs.
What I like about the books - They portray kids and their families engaged in citizen science: collecting data that will help researchers understand more about crabs and bats. Both books contain back matter that adds to the understanding of both the animals, and the research being done.
I really liked Moonlight Crab Count because it talked about a species that I don’t know much about. I did not know that horseshoe crabs have blue blood and that they are used to test medicines. In the back of the book, the author included more facts about horseshoe crabs as well as about being a citizen scientist. I have learned about citizen scientists in the last few months, and it was neat to see another way that citizens can help. I would recommend Moonlight Crab Count to kids who like to learn about animals and want to be scientists when they grow up.
-Jewel, Age 9
What a delightful tale. Authors ,Dr. Neeti Bathala and Jennifer Keats Cutris, make the reader feel like they are actually in the boat joining Leena and her Mom’s “Midnight Crab Count” adventure. On the journey we learn lots of fun facts about Horseshoe Crabs and just how important they are to many different species of animals.