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by Randi Sonenshine ; illustrated by Anne Hunter

Pub Date: Sept. 27th, 2022
ISBN: 978-1-5362-1868-8
Publisher: Candlewick

Readers learn about a keystone species and the habitat they create.

In a “House That Jack Built” style (though minus the cumulative repetition), Sonenshine introduces children to beavers. Beginning with a beaver who’s just gnawed down a willow near their lodge, the author moves on to the dam that blocks the stream and protects their domed home and then to the yearlings that are working to repair it with sticks and mud. Muskrats and a musk turtle take advantage of the safety of the beavers’ lodge, while Coyote tries (and fails) to breach it. Then the book turns to other animals that enjoy the benefits of the pond the beavers have created: goose, ducklings, heron, moose. While the beavers aren’t in all these illustrations, evidence of them is. And then suddenly a flood takes out both the dam and the beavers’ lodge. So, the beavers move upstream to find a new spot to dam and build again, coming full circle back to the beginning of the book. Hunter’s ink-and–colored pencil illustrations have a scratchy style that is well suited to the beavers’ pelts, their watery surroundings, and the other animals that share their habitat. Careful observers will be well rewarded by the tiny details. Beavers are mostly nocturnal, which isn’t always faithfully depicted by Hunter. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A boon for beaver storytimes or young naturalists living near beaver streams.

(beaver facts, glossary, further resources) (Informational picture book. 3-7)