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Island-Inspired Picture Book Has Important Environmental Message

Local children’s author and illustrator, Peta Rainford, hopes her latest rhyming picture book, Crab, Dab & Blenny, which will be published tomorrow (May 4th), will not only be a big hit with 4-8 year olds, but will raise awareness of the issue of plastics in the ocean.

Although the location isn’t explicit in the story, Crab, Dab & Blenny is inspired by the rockpools of the Isle of Wight in general, and St Helens in particular. 

“I have always loved rockpools and been fascinated by all the life that goes on in there,” says Peta.

“We have wonderful beaches on the Island, but it does upset and frustrate me when I see the amount of plastic that’s washed up. I try to do my bit and pick it up when I see it and I’m hoping my book will encourage others to do the same – safely, of course – especially during this year of ‘staycations’!”

Crab, Dab & Blenny tells the story of fish friends Dab and Blenny, who are upset when plastic begins to wash into their lovely rockpool home. Their neighbour, Crab, on the other hand, just LOVES the shiny bright colours… But when Blenny gets caught in plastic twine, even Crab finally understands the danger of plastics in the ocean. 

Crab, Dab & Blenny is Peta’s second rhyming picture book to celebrate the natural world of the Isle of Wight Biosphere. The first, Jacob Starke Loves the Dark, published in 2018, was inspired by the Island’s dark skies and the negative impact of light pollution on birds, animals and plants.

Crab, Dab & Blenny will be available from Amazon and bookshops, including Medina Bookshop in Cowes, from 4th May. More information from

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