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A Lowcountry Family Tradition

Tilda Balsley
Illustrated by Monica Wyrick

A realistic guide and colorful story about the coastal art and sport of crabbing

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 and evokes nostalgic reminders for readers of any age who have enjoyed the challenge of catching blue crabs.

Following the story, additional material provides parents and teachers with educational information about blue crabs as well as other lowcountry wildlife including pelicans, cordgrass, dolphins, grasshoppers, and Spanish moss and 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.

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.

"Crabbing makes me long for Hunting Island.  If you've ever been crabbing, this book will make you reminiscent. If you haven't, it will make you want to. A wonderful family story."—Melinda Long, author of How I Became a Pirate

"Oh, how Crabbing recaptures my childhood memories of vacationing in the lowcountry. The illustrations intertwined with a story of tradition bring crabbing to life for all readers to experience the mud beneath their feet, to hear the clacking of the claws, and enjoy making their own crab cakes. Mmm . . . delicious memories."—Jennifer Geddie Ainsworth, 2015 South Carolina Teacher of the Year

"Tilda Balsley's lovely book, Crabbing: A Lowcountry Family Tradition celebrates the beauty of the low-country waters and the crabs and critters that live there. This book offers a reminder of the timeless outdoor activities, observations, and nature lessons that we have the privilege of sharing with our children."—Bobbi Conner, author of Unplugged Play and The Giant Book of Creativity for Kids

"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




9 ½ x 10 ½
32 pages
22 color illustrations
ISBN 978-1-61117-640-7
hardcover, $18.99t

ISBN 978-1-61117-641-4
ebook, $18.99t
Young Palmetto Books

    Copyright ©2018 The University of South Carolina Press