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It is unnecessary to urge young people to read more and understand the importance of reading because, given the chance... More

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Author: Amy Crane Johnson

Illustrator: Robb Mommaerts

Reserve at the Library

Publisher: Raven Tree Press,

Material: hard cover

Summary: Pearl Squirrel finishes her new leaf home, and she proudly invites her forest friends for a housewarming party. But from the beaver to the deer, they all disapprove of her new home, preferring their own home to hers. Wise old Solomon Raven comforts her, though, by pointing out that her home is truly best FOR HER, and that each animal has their own habitat that suits them best. Pearl sleeps well, finally proud of her home that fits her best. This picture book teaches kids about different animal habitats and also has a lesson about diversity.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, playtime reading, read aloud book, learning to read

Recommended Age: read together: 3 to 7; read yourself: 7 to 9

Interest Level: 3 to 8

Reading Level: 2.7

Age of Child: Read with boys ages 3 and 5.

Young Reader Reaction: My 3 year old liked the animals. My 5 year old liked discussing with me the reasons why the home suited her best. I picked the book the first time, but they loved going back to it and asking me to read it again.

Adult Reader Reaction: Yes. As a biologist, I love teaching my kids about biology, and as a parent, I love teaching my kids about treating others with kindness and respect. This book provides a great platform for discussing both issues with my children in an interesting and sweetly illustrated book.

Pros: This picture book has it all: good biology; sweet illustrations; and a wonderful moral (life lesson).

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Buy. This is a good book to have (it will grow with your child) or borrow from the library.


Educational Themes: Biology: habitat, different habitats for different animals, differences in body parts/use of specialized body parts (beaver tail).
Life lessons: Kindness to others, tolerance of others’ differences, being different without being better or worse. Speaking kindly to others and trying to understand what they are feeling.

Notes: This book is also available in Spanish.
The publisher/author donated a copy of this book to the Reading Tub. This is an unsolicited donation.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, animal characters, friendship, life lessons

Date(s) Reviewed: March 2010

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