When you grow up in an area that is known for wildlife, you know all there is to know about most animals. Right? Not necessarily.
Henry Cole added to my knowledge and confirmed some knowledge I already had about beavers in Building. While not an in-depth look into the critters of the dam building variety, it is a fun introduction. We follow a family of beavers building their home. We see from finding the location to having pups. We see the seasons changing, the dangers faced (from predators to the elements) and the wildlife that grows around them.
The publisher description says: introduce(s) beginning life science concepts such as life cycle, feeding habits, caring for young, and the wetlands ecosystem. An author’s note provides even more information at the end of the book. These are done in an accessible manner, and even someone not familiar with beavers can appreciate the events.
Cole’s mostly black and white and grey illustrations are detailed, busy as, well as a beaver, and filled with a tone that is almost as if they were (blurry) photographs (due to the sketch element of the style). When there is color, it is to make a point, to have the scene pop out at you. Still, they are not to any sense in excess. The artwork allows the adult to appreciate what is occurring as well.
The publisher description also says for “young children,” but due to the length and density of text, and lack of traditional story or action, it might not be for the very young.