Written and illustrated in the same breezy style as Big Bear Hug and Making the Moose Out of Life—whose protagonists play supporting roles in this outing—Oldland's small-format book sounds clear notes about being conscientious of one's surroundings. A careless beaver is oblivious to the consequences of his actions: he "always made a mess of the forest," leaving trees half-chewed and felling "more than he needed." His recklessness even more directly affects his fellow forest dwellers when a tree he's chomping falls on a bear's head, and he chews a moose's leg, mistaking it for a tree. But after a tree that the beaver is gnawing on lands on his own head, and he's hospitalized, he finally reflects on the damage he's caused. Following his recovery the beaver puts his energy to positive use and makes amends to the forest and his friends. Cool, natural colors dominate Oldland's digital pictures, which are highlighted by humorous images of the bug-eyed, big-toothed hero. The art's quirkiness and the text's droll delivery contribute equally to the lighthearted tone of this cautionary tale. Ages 3�7. (Aug.)
Children's Literature - Meredith Kiger
Is it possible for a beaver to be hyperactive? It seems Busy Beaver exhibits some symptoms as he thoughtlessly goes about his business without focusing on completing a task well or seeing that his carelessness is having an impact on others and his surroundings. One day, while not paying close attention, he chews through a tree that promptly falls on him. He wakes up in the hospital with some very serious injuries. While recuperating he begins to realize what a mess he has made in the forest and how he has put his forest friends at risk. His therapy in the hospital includes a commitment to himself and others to not only perform his job of building dams in a more responsible manner but to reach out to other animals that might need his help. His skeptical friends accept his apologies and admire his dedication. Colorful, cartoon-like illustrations portray friendly creatures that appear in many of the author's other stories. Reviewer: Meredith Kiger, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
PreS-K—Beaver's exuberance for his work leads to careless accidents for a bear, moose, and bird's nest, and eventually for himself. After recuperating from "one bent tail, two broken limbs, three cracked ribs…," Beaver realizes he has a great deal for which to atone. He exercises, reads a how-to book, and practices apologies. His return is greeted by fear until he shows his newfound consideration with gifts and kind deeds. Once accepted at home, Beaver dreams of becoming a dam-building instructor, playing in an animal band, and taking more naps. He chooses the last. The comic Photoshop illustrations have a stop-action effect and creative attention to detail. Try this title as bibliotherapy for youngsters who need to focus on impulse control.—Gay Lynn Van Vleck, Henrico County Library, Glen Allen, VA
Beaver might be busy, but it's his carelessness that earns him the ire of his erstwhile woodland pals.
Beaver leaves trees half-chewed. His dams leak. He's always chawing through more trees than he needs for his projects. Once he was thinking so little about his work that he dropped a tree right on Bear's head. He's even been so distracted that he chewed Moose's leg, thinking it was a tree. One day, Beaver becomes the victim of his own lackadaisical work habits when he fails to notice that the tree he's chewing on is falling in his direction. He wakes immobilized in the hospital with any number of injuries; all he can do is stare at the ceiling. His convalescence allows him to see what he's wrought with new eyes: His friends are bandaged, the forest is a mess and he's left a family of birds homeless. Beaver embarks on a rigorous rehabilitation program to see if he can make things right. Canadian artist Oldland returns with a third woodland fable cast in the same cool, earthy palette (Big Bear Hug, 2009, etc.). Fans of Bear and Moose's tales will find the same understated (and slightly quirky) humor here.
Great bibliotherapy for any inattentive busy beaver.(Picture book. 3-7)