Friday, September 30, 2022

Beavers: Ecosystem Engineers!

 The Lodge That Beaver Built 
by Randi Sonenshine; illus. by Anne Hunter 
32 pages; ages 4-8
Candlewick Press, 2022  

theme: animals, homes, ecology

This is the crunch in the darkening wood, of teeth against bark where the willow once stood, on the shore near the lodge that beaver built.

Bit by bit, log by log we watch beaver build a dam, then a lodge, helped by her young ones. But that lodge is more than a home for beaver and her family. Goose builds a nest on top. Turtle hides below. Ducklings, herons, moose … an entire community grows up in and around the lodge that beaver built.

What I like about this book: The text is rhythmic, patterned on “The House that Jack Built” and a whole lot of fun to read. And the ink-and-colored pencil illustrations are so inviting and just welcome you into beaver’s world. 

And there is Back Matter! Now, some folks argue that back matter shouldn’t be needed if the book tells the tale completely. But here’s the thing: as a former teacher (and homeschooling parent) I always wanted to know more about whatever was in a book. So I love, love, love it when an author gives more info – in this case more about beaver architecture and engineering, their amazing tree-cutting teeth, and family life. Plus there’s a glossary and resources for curious young naturalists.

Beyond the Books:

Watch a video about how beavers build a dam. Here’s one, but you can find plenty online.

Beavers are ecosystem engineers. They can help reforest the landscape and regulate water flow. Got flooding? Erosion? Dry creek beds? There’s a Beaver for That!

Build your own beaver dam. You’ll need sticks and mud and leaves – and a plastic tray (a take-out container works well). Check out this video for some tips.

Randi visited the blog on Monday and shared a bit about the swamp where she grew up. If you didn’t catch it earlier, here’s the link

Randi is a member of #STEAMTeam2022. You can find out more about her at her website,

Today we're joining Perfect Picture Book Friday, an event where bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's website. Review copy provided by the publisher.

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