Monday, October 5, 2020

 ANIMAL HOMES by nature photographer, Mary Holland, introduces young readers to the methods in which animals construct and use their homes for shelter in this new addition to her collection of award-winning books.

Full-color closeups are underscored by age appropriate text that offers insights into the many ways in which animals build their homes. Some utilize natural materials – beavers form their lodges using branches and mud. Squirrels fashion nests of twigs, bark, leaves, and moss. Other animals like bears, woodchucks, foxes, and coyotes live in dens and tunnels underground. Insects have a variety of home building skills. Bald-faced hornets chew wood and their saliva creates a paste that dries into paper. Spittle bugs create a home fashioned from bubbles.

The book identifies an audience of ages 5-8. Younger readers will enjoy the strong visual impact of the images and benefit from reading with an adult or older sibling. Experienced readers will find the text engaging and will discover more information in the final section titled For Creative Minds where additional discussions review the many specific ways in which animals are home builders. A “Mix and Match” page challenges readers to match photos of animals with their choice of building materials.  “Which Are Animal Homes?” asks readers to identify pictures of animal dwellings. A third section provides an opportunity to pair an animal with its home.

The publisher, Arbordale, offers a teaching activity guide that is available at

An excellent STEM resource. Recommended for home, school, and library.

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