Kid Lit Review of “Building” by Henry Cole

Author-illustrator Cole follows a pair of nesting beavers as they build a home for themselves and their future family. His detailed black and white pen and acrylic drawings accented with occasional color in the surrounding environment show the beavers as they build a dome-shaped lodge in the middle of a pond with an underwater passageway.

He writes:

“It is safe and dark. The mother beaver can have her babies inside the lodge.”

He continues his story through the birth of the babies and how their parents keep them fed, warm, and safe from predators.

Intermittently, he repeats a simple phrase: “Building building. That is what beavers do best.”

Evaluation: This book takes the recommended reading group of 3 and up through the cycles of survival in nature, including scouting out a safe place to live, finding food, staying safe, and raising young. More details about beavers are given in the Author’s Note at the end of the book. The text by Cole, a former science teacher, is relatively simple but informative, and full of information that will no doubt generate interest in other animals, including humans, and how they respond to challenges in their environment.

Rating: 4/5

Published by Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2022


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