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Leaving Home

Leaving Home

by Sneed B. Collard III, Joan Dunning (Illustrator)

We all “leave the nest” eventually, and animals do, too. Here we follow different creatures from all sorts of environments as they leave home and venture off to make their own place in the natural world. Some walk (jaguars), some crawl (crabs), some swim (sharks). Some leave as soon as they’re born (salamanders), and others leave after several


We all “leave the nest” eventually, and animals do, too. Here we follow different creatures from all sorts of environments as they leave home and venture off to make their own place in the natural world. Some walk (jaguars), some crawl (crabs), some swim (sharks). Some leave as soon as they’re born (salamanders), and others leave after several years (elephants). Albatrosses fly across oceans while hedgehogs walk only a short distance away. And songbirds even come back.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Collard explores the concept imaginatively, writing with admirable simplicity in the short text, introducing children to more complex thoughts and vocabulary in the longer one." Booklist, ALA

"The book is well designed, visually attractive, written in sensitive, and, at times poignant language. A book to appreciate on many levels, it should appeal to a wide age range." starred review Library Talk, Linworth Publishing

Children's Literature
As in his previous Animal Dads and Making Animal Babies, Collard has double strands of text. Beginning with "Sooner or later, we all leave home," the text may be read as a simple exploration of various ways of becoming independent of parents. But each top strip also has a paragraph at page bottom which extends the information provided in a picture so that interested readers may read about crab life in a bromiliad, coral larvae carried by ocean currents to other parts of the reef, single male rabbits searching for new turf, or gnus in herds migrating from their birth places. By using the "we," Collard implies that we humans, too, leave—a scary thought for the implied reader—but humans aren't pictured. And the last page reminds us that sometimes those who leave come home—like migrating swallows. The richly colored watercolors present dramatic renditions, images frequently break the border of the pictures, and Collard's choices of animals represent a variety of species and worldwide locations. It's an attractive and informative concept book and one that manages to convey plenty of information effortlessly. 2002, Houghton Mifflin,
— Susan Hepler
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-This natural-history picture book takes a look at animal maturation. After a pictureless first page stating "Sooner or later, we all leave home," the top of each subsequent page features a large-type simple text telling the many ways animals do this. Watercolor paintings of the animals fill the middle of the pages and along the bottom smaller typeface text gives more detailed information about the creatures, including why and when they depart. Thus, the text along the top may have one word such as "hop," with an illustration depicting a rabbit family while the bottom text tells about rabbit reproduction and the differing ways males and females leave home. Occasional points are stretched to fit the theme; for example, wildebeests don't really leave home, they migrate with their herds. The chambered nautilus hatches, which is not leaving home in the way the other animals in the book do. Dunning's large, striking watercolors show each creature in its habitat in a manner that doesn't aim for photographic realism yet manages to include just enough detail to be informative as well. To underscore the theme, most of the animals are pictured breaking through into the pastel border that frames each illustration. This handsome book works both as a concept picture book ideal for a storytime and as an informational source.-Louise L. Sherman, formerly at Anna C. Scott School, Leonia, NJ Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Playing on the theme of animals leaving parents or birthplace, Collard (Butterfly Count, p. 101, etc.) widens his potential audience with parallel texts in two different typesizes, and creates a subtle connection by using inclusive language-humans are not one of his specific examples, but: "Sooner or later, we all leave home. Some of us walk. Some of us crawl. Some of us fly." The more developed comments that run beneath Dunning's accurately rendered close-ups of juvenile and adult wildlife in natural settings focus on particular creatures, from jaguar to Jamaican bromeliad crab, albatross to spider. As several examples, such as corals, which are born in the open sea, have at best only a tenuous relationship with the premise, and the author's last line—"A few of us even . . . find our way back"—suddenly introduces a whole new idea that the accompanying uncaptioned picture does nothing to explain, this comes off more as oblique preparatory reading for upcoming family changes than a study in animal behavior. (Picture book/nonfiction. 6-9)

Product Details

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
(w) x (h) x 0.12(d)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Sneed B. Collard III has written more than fifty books for young people. In 2006, he received the Washington Post–Children’s Book Guild Nonfiction Award for his body of work. He lives with his family in Montana.To learn more about Sneed B. Collard III, visit www.sneedbcollardiii.com.

Joan Dunning has written and illustrated several books for adults about natural history. This is her first book for children. Ms. Dunning resides in Arcata, California, with her family.

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