on 3 September 2006
I have been reading this to our two children aged eleven and nine every day for the past few weeks and they have, at the end of each chapter, begged for the next. I was bowled over by the amount of information packed into this book whilst keeping the plot going at a grand pace.
Pagoo (Pagurus) is a hermit crab whose life we follow right from the size of a full stop (and we see all his wonderful microscopic neighbours at this stage). The author keeps on the right side of anthropomorphism, with the crab's feelings talking to him as 'old instinct'.
Each page has beautiful, natural history style, line drawings alongside full page colour paintings of underwater scenes. Every part of the story is illustrated; which is important when you have next to no knowledge of the subject matter.
Each chapter is short and leaves you wanting to go onto the next but even so I would recommend this book as a 'read-aloud' to children under ten and save it until the child is eight.
My daughter said some time after reading the book, 'I really love Pagoo; you really learn so much from it but it isn't teachy like a text book is it?'. That just about sums up our experience with all the Holling Clancy Holling books.