The Coconut Crab

A chapter book for advanced readers set in a chain of tropical islands.

This story charts the intertwining friendships of a crab, a goat, a bird, and a gecko. Along the way, there are the usual challenges of our eat-or-be-eaten world. The perils of timidity, confusion, and self-doubt. The enticements of vanity and routine. The rewards of fearless generosity and genuine trust.

Illustrations by Linda Whelihan

Advance Praise

“This 200-page middle-grade novel is a fun and beautiful read. With facts about the main characters – a coconut crab, a goat, a bird, and a gecko – based on nonfiction, the story is a well-written fictional tale reminiscent of folk tales. Based on a tropical island, Coconut Crab faces dangers and makes new friends, learning about the natural world while exploring the world of man. The voice that tells this story, with faint echoes of The Life of Pi, is beautiful and made me imagine vivid images. The humor and emotions conjured up by the characters were similar to watching the Madagascar or Finding Nemo movies in which quirky animals banter with each other. A fascinating read that may be labeled for kids but can be equally entertaining for adults who love a good tale.”
—Margriet Ruurs, Global Book Reviews (link)

About the Author

Conservationist and adventurer Peter W. Fong has a hard time keeping still. He’s worked as an artist-in-the-schools in Montana, a travel guidebook writer in China, and a flyfishing guide in Mongolia. In 2018, he led an international team of scientists on a thousand-mile expedition to Russia’s Lake Baikal. His stories and photographs have appeared in American Fiction, High Country News, the New York Times, and many other publications. He and his wife live with a tortoiseshell cat on the sunny island of Madeira.


About the Illustrator

Linda Whelihan is an artist and educator who aims to engage individuals and build community through participation in shared art experiences. Her background as a teacher, toymaker, and artist helps to inform her work and she takes inspiration from the exquisite designs and infinitely varied hues of the natural world. In her studio, she employs a variety of media including wood, paper, and metal to produce whimsical pieces that charm and delight. She has exhibited and conducted workshops for teachers and students in the Baltimore/Washington area and in Vermont where she has lived since 2007.

Middle Grade; 7-9 Years
204 pages; 5.5 x 8.25 / Softcover
$12.99 print / $5.99 e-book
ISBN: 978-1-9505845-7-4
Publication Date: September 1, 2022
Distributor: IPG / Chicago
Rights sold: All rights available.
Rights contact: Dede Cummings

Distributor: IPG; also available through Baker & Taylor, Ingram, and other wholesalers.

Individuals can pre-order directly from,, online, or contact your local, independent bookstore.
Booksellers, libraries, colleges/universities, gift shops, etc., can order through IPG:
Independent Publishers Group
814 N. Franklin Street
Chicago, IL 60610
Order Placement: (800) 888-4741

For an advance reader copy—digital or print—email