Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Review - We Build Our Homes: Small Stories of Incredible Animal Architects

We Build Our Homes: Small Stories of Incredible Animal Architects
by Laura Knowles
illustrated by Chris Madden
Date: 2018
Publisher: words & pictures
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book non-fiction
Pages: 64
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

It’s not only humans who can build incredible structures: around the world, mammals, birds, and insects can be found building incredible things. From big beaver dams to tiny caddisfly cases, this beautifully illustrated picture book explores each animal’s incredible home and uncovers the reasons why they build.

Featuring 26 creatures from around the world, each amazing animal architect tells its own "micro story" about its impressive architectural skills in this delightfully unique wildlife book.

Among the amazing builders you’ll meet:

Ovenbirds, who carry clumps of mud up into the trees to make their nest

Darwin’s bark spiders, who build webs stretching out as far as three buses, end-to-end

Moles, who use their spade-like paws to dig extensive networks of tunnels with nesting spaces and storerooms where they keep earthworms to snack on later

Polar bear mothers, who make their dens under the snow to stay in for five long months, nursing their cubs and eating nothing themselves

Through lyrical text and entrancing edge-to-edge illustrations, admire the spectacular ingenuity of these animal architects.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I really like this book! It's a fascinating look at animal architects and the things they build. There are so many examples, including many animals you might not have heard of before, and each one is accompanied by beautiful pictures.

For a picture book, this is quite long and there's a fair amount of text. But kids who are interested in birds, insects, or other animals will find this a fascinating read. As an adult, I learned all sorts of things that I didn't know before. I especially liked learning about tailorbirds and harvest mice. The illustrations are really beautiful, and show off each marvelous animal creation in a clear and aesthetically pleasing way.

There seems to be some weirdness going on with the back cover of the ARC; the text looks like it's probably from the author and illustrator's previous collaboration, a book called We Travel So Far. I'm not sure how it ended up on the back cover of this book, but just be aware of that. We Build Our Homes is about animals' creativity and architectural skills; the other book appears to be about animal migration.

Thank you to NetGalley and words & pictures for providing a digital ARC.

Premise: 5/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 4/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 5/5

Enjoyment: 5/5

Overall: 4.67 out of 5

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