A Home for Every Creature on Earth
Even an Octopus Needs a Home by Irene Kelly
In this charming picture book, Irene Kelly offers diverse coverage of the habitats of animals and insects world-wide. How do bees build the honeycombs they live in? What does a parakeet nest look like? How many paper wasps can live in one hive? Where does a polar bear raise its cubs? Kelly’s colorful and detailed picture book will answer these questions and more. Describing the homes and their rationale for everything from termites and badgers to coral reefs and chimpanzees, Kelly covers a lot of ground.
Even an Octopus Needs a Home is loosely organized into house types to offer clear transitions between very different animals. (Categories include tree houses, towers, lodges, burrows, floating homes, mobile homes, and bubbles.) At times the paragraphs themselves aren’t visually linear, which might confuse some kids, but the integration of the text in the illustrations—including some close-up pictures with labels—will help to keep the books’ subject matter interesting for most. The illustrations are a mix of ink and watercolor, and best of all, they’re accurate depictions of the animals she describes.
Kelly makes comparisons between animal and human homes, relating a parakeet nest to an apartment complex and noting that early humans lived in caves just like octopuses and bears do now. At the end she very succinctly ties it all together: “But all animals, including humans, need homes for the same reason: to have a safe and snug place to live and raise a family.” While not necessarily universally true, it’s a nice concluding sentiment that children will relate to, and for an educational book that is also interesting, that’s pretty darn good.
A note for librarians: This book boasts a reinforced binding and duplicated images on both the cover flap and the actual cover.
Copyright August 2011
Image from www.bn.com
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