Crabbing: A Lowcountry Family Tradition

Tilda Balsley (Author) Monica Wyrick (Illustrator)


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 readersof any age who have enjoyed the challenge of catching blue crabs.
Following the story, additional material providesparents 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.

Product Details

University of South Carolina Press
Publish Date
May 24, 2016
9.6 X 0.4 X 10.6 inches | 1.05 pounds
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About the Author

Tilda Balsley has written many books for Kar-Ben, bringing her stories to life with rhyme, rhythm, and humor. Tilda lives with her husband and their rescue Shih Tzu in Reidsville, North Carolina.

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. The illustrator of Crabbing: A Lowcountry Family Tradition, published by the University of South Carolina Press, 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
"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
"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