This is a review of the children's book Pagoo by Holling Clancy Holling.
Author(s): Holling C. Holling
Illustrator(s): Holling C. Holling and Lucille Webster Holling
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Original Release: 1957
Holling C. Holling offers a fascinating look at the world of a young Pagurus hermit crab, from birth to adulthood, in this unique children's book. Accompanied by his "Old Pal" Instinct, Pagoo learns in the ins and outs of tide pool life, from wrestling for a shell to escaping the clutches of a hungry octopus. Everything in the book is accurate to life, and Pagoo is not anthropomorphised. Even so, the reader begins to feel for Pagoo, and Holling gives him something of a personality.
Like Holling's more famous works, the book is gorgeously illustrated. The full-page illustrations are realistic but not boring and colorful but not garish. In addition, the black-and-white illustrations which border the text are quite impressive since they include tidbits of scientific fact that could not be included in the narrative.
Pagoo is one of my personal favorites, so I must admit this review is biased. That said, Holling's writing style, which is heavy on adjectives and figures of speech, can get boring, and young children will likely struggle with the complex scientific names. Nevertheless, it is a very good book, and in my opinion a sadly underrated one.