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Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 10/15/2013 Gibbons (Ladybugs, 2012) is a master at creating factual books through which young readers can explore details of nature at an accessible and engaging depth. Her latest uses narrative text, generous and accurate watercolor illustrations, and informative inset boxes to show and tell readers about the habits, environments, family structure, and anatomy of the beaver, a mammal well known for its industrious dam building and playful social life. In detailed paintings, Gibbons depicts natural scenes as well as close-up details of curious beaver parts, such as their teeth, eyes, and leathery tails, along with cutaway scenes of beaver lodges and dams, their construction, and interior elements, such as living spaces and escape routes. As both a read-aloud and a resource for children in the earliest grades looking for a research source, this stands as a model. Pair with the chapter on human dam building in David Macaulay’s Building Big (2000). - Copyright 2013 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 11/01/2013 PreS-Gr 3—Gibbons has a talent for bridging the divide between picture books and more detailed nonfiction. She provides information on two levels. An ongoing narrative at the bottom of each page includes general facts about beavers and is organized in sections with headings such as "Building a Beaver Dam." Then, on each full-page drawing, she labels important features of beavers, their habitat, and other animals that share the ponds and riverbanks. Most of the detailed information on each page is written in complete sentences as well, with vocabulary words in capital letters for easy identification. This allows the author to include a wealth of information within the picture-book format. The full-bleed pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations are engaging but incredibly busy. A map is included along with a page of additional beaver facts at the end of the book. This inviting addition will definitely find a home in many collections.—Susan E. Murray, formerly at Glendale Public Library, AZ - Copyright 2013 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.