Bingbo (text), Gumi (illus.), The Busy Tailor Crab, Starfish Bay Children’s Books, Sept 2016, 40pp., $25.99 (hbk), ISBN: 9781760360412
Tailor Crab makes clothes for all the animals. But not every piece of clothing is the same due to each animal’s’ specific characteristics. He becomes concerned that the money he charges does not reflect the time and materials that go into some of his pieces, particularly for animals such as a caterpillar, so he decides to charge per leg. He soon realises this does not really solve his problem either, as some animals are much larger than others. Finally he tears down his notice and allows his customers to pay what they believe is fair. The crab recognises that helping friends makes him truly happy.
This thought provoking story explores concepts such as size, cost, business, fairness and friendship. Crab seems quite business minded to begin with but ends up with no real business model at all! It would be interesting to discuss the problem with young students and ask them for their solutions. Would Crab’s solution really work? It would also be good to show a real life example of this type of model in action e.g. Lentil as Anything restaurant.
For early readers.
Reviewed by Sharon Seymour