Friday, August 26, 2016

Review: Build, Beaver, Build! Life at the Longest Beaver dam, by Sandra Markle and Deborah Hocking

Build, Beaver, Build!

This book is going to fit several niches for me. For anyone not aware, next year's national summer reading theme revolves around building - building as in construction, building as in creating, building as in making better. Animal builders will definitely be a featured subtopic, and nobody can build quite like a beaver!

Markle's text loosely follows the life of a young beaver, from three weeks old and "softball-sized" to two years old and ready to find a mate. Most of it centers around the family's dam - the protection it provides and the way each beaver helps to maintain and build it - as well as the changing seasons and some of the predators they face. You won't find complicated engineering descriptions, but that could lead to some fun at a nearby waterway, letting your kids figure out what works and what doesn't themselves.

What I found intriguing is that this is set at the biggest beaver dam in the world - visible from satellites (although that isn't mentioned until the afterward.) Generations of the same family of beavers have been adding onto it since the 1970's. This could be a great segue into the children's own families - what have they built together, be it a business, a tradition, a way of service? Or, what could they start building together now? We are right in the middle of our county fair here, and the theme is heritage - lots to think about there, whether you have a long family history to look back on, or want to start something for future generations to build on!

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