Even an Octopus Needs a Home

( 4 )
BN.com price
(Save 10%)$16.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (16) from $3.15   
  • New (8) from $10.45   
  • Used (8) from $3.15   
Note: Kids' Club Eligible. See More Details.
Sending request ...

More About This Book

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Judy Crowder
Whether it is a nest, burrow, cave, reef, tunnel or convenient shell, every critter needs and lives in a home of some sort. This fact is charmingly illustrated in this book by Irene Kelly, who provides the young reader with enough information about animal habitats to satisfy even the most curious. What a diverse collection of animal homes can be found in this well-written book! Some homes are semi-permanent: bees and wasps build elaborate hives, weaver birds literally weave an intricate nest, termites and ants construct towers or hills with tunnels, special rooms and accommodations for their queens, all with air vents that keep the air circulating. Beaver lodges are remarkably sturdy. Coral reef dwellers find homes among the corals with a diverse neighborhood full of critters; bears must find homes to accommodate their winter sleep. Other homes are temporary: chimpanzees prefer a different tree top bed every night, tortoises and turtles have their houses on their backs but burrow into the ground when severe weather strikes. Some home-builders enjoy company, such as monk parakeets who make apartment-house nests or pistol shrimp who allow goby fish to move in as an early warning system for predators. The author even encourages readers to look at mobile homes in new light—hermit crabs, and land snails, as well as diving bell spiders, who construct their own underwater homes that drift with the current. This charming book even includes homes few have heard of—Honduran white bats eat the veins of leaves, the leaves curl up and as many as twelve bats can sleep in these green tents. Ringed seals spend much of their time on shore or in the water, but they also use their flippers' claws to carve out snowdrift caves. This is the kind of book that can grow with a young reader, from a charmingly illustrated "look at" book to one that is stuffed with information for the older reader who wants to know more. It would be a welcome addition to any public or private library. Reviewer: Judy Crowder
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—Using illustrations done in watercolor, gouache, and pen and ink, Kelly introduces various animal homes. She divides the residences into categories: tree houses, towers, lodges, caves, burrows, floating and mobile homes, and bubbles. Some are familiar; others are more unusual, like the monk parakeet's treetop apartment buildings. The artist's palette skillfully broadens to accommodate each habitat, from the Great Barrier Reef to the brown bear's winter den. The well-labeled paintings are realistic and range from close-ups to a span of ocean floor. The baby bat peeping out from its mother's wing embrace is charming. The informational bits are ideal in length; they're great for fast-fact lovers but will tease out further study in many cases. The important message of environmental stewardship—"all animals…need homes for the same reason: to have a safe and snug place to live and raise a family"—should resonate with children.—Gay Lynn Van Vleck, Henrico County Library, Glen Allen, VA
Kirkus Reviews

Building on her successful Even an Ostrich Needs a Nest (2009), Kelly expands the concept to describe how others in the animal world make and find safe places for rest, safety and rearing their young.

From chimpanzees building temporary sleeping platforms each night to male Siamese fighting fish hiding eggs in a mass of bubbles, the author-illustrator offers a wide variety of examples. These are loosely organized by type: A tree house, tower, lodge, cave, burrow or bubble can serve as a temporary or permanent home. It might even be floating or mobile. Illustrations done in watercolor, gouache, pen and ink surround an informal narrative set in wavy lines on each page. There are a few missteps: The bee's comb has both honey and larvae, although brood combs are usually separate from honey combs. Text about bats sleeping in caves is illustrated with flying fox bats hanging from trees. Careful reading reveals that the nests, cells, tunnels and dens the author describes are used for nightly beds, places for hatching eggs and raising families or protective hideaways, but not always all three. The conclusion, calling these places where animals "live," supports a common misunderstanding of animal behavior.

Animals do not have "homes" as humans do. For the intended audience that cozy connection is an unfortunate oversimplification in an otherwise appealing title. (Informational picture book. 5-9)

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823422357
  • Publisher: Holiday House, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/12/2011
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 934,158
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 940L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 11.10 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 – 3 of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2011

    Perfect for Nature-Loving Kids!

    My children (two 4th-graders) love animals, but the zoo can only teach them so much. This beautiful book illustrates the great variety of homes that animals make for themselves out in the wild. Who'd have thought that termites build such intricate mound-houses (or that they'd be my kids' favorite animals in this book)? The fascinating content is presented through gorgeous visuals and kid-friendly prose. I can't recommend this book enough.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 16, 2011

    Great Book!

    My kids (ages 4,5 & 8) love books about animals, but this is their first one that looks at animals homes and habitats. The illustrations are big and beautiful and the writing is engaging and fun...and full of surprising facts (ie: didn't know about the spider that makes an underwater bubble nest for their eggs). We all love this book!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 3 of 4 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)