Pagoo by Holling Clancy Holling
Pagoo is recommended in Level 1B of Mater Amabilis along with Nature Study. I read it aloud years ago, when First Son was in first grade. I remember enjoying it myself but the children were not as interested. That year, we read one chapter a week for twenty weeks. I think I skipped it the year First Daughter was in first grade. This year, Second Daughter was in first grade, and we were hoping to visit a state that actually has tide pools, so I knew I wanted to read it again. I decided, however, to make it a family read-aloud. We read about a chapter a day (sometimes twice a day) over a few weeks and did not narrate it.
Little Pagurus--"Pagoo" for short--floated at the surface of the sea. Pagurus (Pa-gu-rus) would grow into a two-fisted Hermit Crab--if he could make it.The book follows Pagoo from a hatchling to an adult hermit crab, introducing all sorts of marine biology and fascinating creatures. Holling is a master story-teller and illustrator. One full page color illustration appears for each chapter, but the other pages usually contain black and white sketches in all the margins.
Pagoo delighted Second Daughter (age 7), the book and the hermit crab. She loved listening to his adventures, looking at the pictures, and talking about what was happening in the story. The older children (First Son at ate 12 and First Daughter at age 9) loved the book as well, much more than they did the last time we read it.
Maybe, just maybe, we'll see an actual hermit crab when we visit the ocean!