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by Gail Gibbons

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Beavers are fascinating animals. They build their own homes and live in family groups. They keep busy with their sharp teeth, powerful tails, and big webbed feet. Their work helps to preserve wetlands. Gibbons explores where they live, what they eat, how they raise their young, and much more.


Beavers are fascinating animals. They build their own homes and live in family groups. They keep busy with their sharp teeth, powerful tails, and big webbed feet. Their work helps to preserve wetlands. Gibbons explores where they live, what they eat, how they raise their young, and much more.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Kristi Bernard
Beavers could be classified as nature’s little engineers, especially since they are so good at building their homes. Beavers are normally found in areas with wetlands on heavy forest vegetation, where there are plenty of branches for them to use to build. Conveniently beavers eat the bark and twigs. A beaver’s home is called a lodge and usually has two levels. Readers will learn so many different things about their bodies, how they get around in the water, how they communicate, and their family life. A cool thing about a beaver’s family is that, with each generation, they all live together throughout their lives. Readers will also learn that these furry creatures have enemies. Their fur and sweet-smelling body oils have been hunted for many years. Another danger is the loss of wetlands for homes due to human population. Beavers are very helpful in keeping the balance of nature. Their homes do help control flooding. Parents, teachers, and young readers will be enlightened by all they can learn about beavers. Warmly colored illustrations show the plant life and other animals that share space with the beavers in their natural habitat. The back of the book has quick reference facts and website information to learn more. Author Gail Gibbons has put together a great collection of information for young readers who want to learn about beavers and their daily routines. The pages are filled with interesting tidbits and facts from the beaver’s anatomy to the items they build with. Young readers will also see maps that show where beavers are located around the globe. Reviewer: Kristi Bernard; Ages 5 to 9.
Publishers Weekly
Gibbons adds beavers to the list of the animals covered in her long-running series. The spreads combine illustrations, text, panels, insets, and captions to an almost graphic novel–like effect at times, as the beavers build both a dam and a lodge (“Next the beavers arrange branches and stones above the lodge floor. It is the beginning of a dome-shaped structure.” Other sections describe what beavers eat, how they communicate (“They warn other beavers or enemies by whistling, hissing, or growling”), and beaver family life. In informative, succinct, and busy spreads, Gibbons highlights the animals’ extraordinary instincts for structural engineering. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
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
Kirkus Reviews
Gibbons adds to her extensive nonfiction shelf with this informational guide to beavers. From how and why beavers build dams to their life cycle, habitat, body parts and how they communicate, Gibbons covers it all in her signature easy-to-digest format that includes short paragraphs of information and picture captions, which stretch from a single word to a few sentences. Readers will learn that larger beavers are able to move 30- to 40-pound stones when building their lodges and that they have two sets of eyelids--one is clear and closes sideways. A beaver also has mouth flaps that close behind its four incisors (which never stop growing) when the beaver is underwater. Especially fascinating to any reader who has tried to dam a stream will be the description of how beavers build their dams. Gibbons packs lots of information into her full-bleed watercolors, arraying beavers' predators along the edges of a pond, for instance, or, on another page, to show human activity and its impact on beaver populations and habitat. Backmatter includes a page of fascinating facts (largest beaver? 115 pounds!) and a list of websites. A great source for learning more about beavers and an incentive to get out in nature and see their handiwork. (Informational picture book. 4-8)

Product Details

Holiday House, Inc.
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
9.91(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.12(d)
AD870L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Gail Gibbons grew up writing stories and drawing pictures to fit the words, and wishing she lived in the country. After graduating from the University of Illinois with a bachelor of fine arts degree, she became involved in television graphics. This led her to work on a children’s TV show, where her desire to write and illustrate children’s books was rekindled. Eventually Gail became a full-time writer and moved to rural Vermont, where she could have a garden and as many pets as she wanted. Gail has written more than 140 books and has made countless visits to schools. The feedback she gets from children is invaluable and often inspires ideas for future projects. Gail and her husband, Kent Ancliffe, have a dog named Wilbur and two cats, named Miles and Davis. They live in Vermont in a passive solar house that Gail’s husband built and on an island off the coast of Maine.

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