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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Three Little Beavers

Three Little Beavers by Jean Heilprin Dieht, illustrated by Cathy Morrison, is another stellar Sylvan Dell title. This charmingly detailed book is a special favorite of ours because we encounter beavers so often where we live. We live near two lakes, with a creek side nature trail in our neighborhood. We have spotted several trees that have been chewed down, the beaver dam, and we see beavers weekly out and about. 

In this story, three beaver siblings find themselves in a jam when they wander away from their lodge. Along the way, readers learn some interesting facts about beavers: their habits, diet, survival skills, and habitat. The pictures are cute and cartoonish, and the language is simple enough for young readers and printed in a large font. 

The human characters in the story are shown how to solve the "problem" posed by the beavers' diet, and the solution is one that shows respect for nature and wildlife. Teachers can discuss this issue with kids and reinforce the idea that we should care for nature and show respect and kindness for all living things.

The Creative Minds section at the end of the book provides additional resources for extending the learning of the story, with activities about adaptations, beaver anatomy, lodges and dams, and environmental engineering. 

The Sylvan Dell website also contains a 39-page resource guide with activities for language arts, science, math, and geography. This book is a great example of cross-curricular learning, and it makes a nice bedtime reader as well. Kids might even like to use the pictures in the book as models for their own nature journal drawings. Highly recommended!

{The publisher provided me with a review copy for my honest opinions.}