Cover Image: What Goes on inside a Beaver Pond?

What Goes on inside a Beaver Pond?

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Member Reviews

The very first thing that attract me is the illustration. Detailed and pretty, it took me to the very pond where the beavers live. And the description of each images are so apt that satisfy my curiosity on how these beavers do on daily basis. Very interesting and truly informative.
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Well the charming, realistic visual qualities of this year-in-the-life-of-a-beaver book are there for all to see, so it was a disappointment to see the book break itself up into comic book pages with box-outs, side-panels and other layout ideas.  What's more, the captions for the comic pages are white on black, and while they have made more work for the artist it doesn't feel as romantic and atmospheric and as natural as it might have.  We follow a young female beaver, still living with her parents and siblings at the start, but with no room in the lodge due to more siblings arriving, she finds it time to strike out and fend for herself.

What happens is a way for the author to portray her movement throughout her trek and beyond, as well as people the beaver stream with the birds and other critters the beaver will have been aware of – and that we might see or hear evidence of if we go investigating ourselves.  All this is fine, and well done, making the non-fiction quite the story without making too much of a character of any creature.  I just wish there had been a way for this much detail in some other format, without the fussy, busy-seeming pages and all they try to get across at once.  With some of the captions serving the panels both above and below them, the reader's eye is as busy as a beaver, when something more serene and beautiful was what I expected.  Still four stars, mind, for my personal tastes do not diminish the talent and authoritative telling on show here.
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Beaver pond is a picture book with a difference. It has so much detail and information which can be devoured over days. The illustrations really highlight the information in the text.

The readers will learn about life cycles and habitats of beavers. There are facts for both children and adults to learn. It is a treasure trove of information with both scientific information as well as information about nature. The book talks about many other animals that live in the area, not just beavers. 

Definitely recommend for teachers, my children really enjoyed learning about Beavers, especially as they had never seen one in real life.
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Book Review: What Goes on inside a Beaver Pond?

What Goes on inside a Beaver Pond? by Becky Cushing Gop is an adorable and informative children’s book that takes young readers on a captivating journey into the fascinating world of beavers. Aimed at kids aged 8 to 10, this book offers a delightful exploration of a year in the life of a young beaver, known as a “kit.”

The story follows the young beaver as she leaves her family lodge and embarks on a quest to find a new home within the Yokun Brook waterways. Throughout the changing seasons, vibrant illustrations and vivid descriptions provide readers with an intimate glimpse into the hidden workings of a beaver lodge. From witnessing how beavers fell trees with their teeth to create a wetland habitat, to learning about their food collection techniques and their strategies for warding off predators, readers are immersed in the daily life of a beaver colony.

One of the highlights of this book is its educational side panels, which supplement the narrative with additional information about beaver behavior and anatomy. These panels offer valuable insights into the world of beavers and enhance the reader’s understanding of these remarkable creatures. Furthermore, the book also includes interesting details about other animal inhabitants of the pond, providing a broader perspective on the ecosystem and its interconnectedness.

Author Becky Cushing Gop, an environmental educator and director of Mass Audubon’s Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, brings her expertise and passion for nature to this book. Her storytelling is engaging and accessible, effectively conveying complex concepts in a way that young readers can easily comprehend. The illustrations by nature illustrator Carrie Shryock are lively and charming, capturing the essence of the young beaver’s journey and bringing it to life for nature-curious kids.

Visually pleasing with colorful graphics and unique fonts, What Goes on inside a Beaver Pond? is not only packed full of interesting facts, but these facts are seamlessly integrated into the narrative. The comic book-style layout adds to the book’s appeal, making it visually engaging and captivating for young readers.

In conclusion, What Goes on inside a Beaver Pond? is an adorable little book that is both educational and entertaining. With its vibrant illustrations, well-integrated facts, and captivating narrative, it is sure to appeal to young nature lovers. Whether it’s as a gift or for personal enjoyment, this book is a wonderful way to introduce children to the wonders of the natural world. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

**ARC Via NetGalley**
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For science this week, we did nature study. We read What Goes on Inside a Beaver Pond? and studied the pictures. That is everyone’s favorite way to do science: Cuddle up beside Mom on the couch and look at pictures together.
The book begins with a beaver family becoming active in the spring. The mother has more babies, the one-year-olds learn more about life in the pond, and the two-year-old female takes off, searching for a new home. She goes down the river, checking out one place after another. Some places that look nice have beaver living there already and others are too close to humans. She keeps looking for a place that is secluded where no beavers live, and where there is plenty of food and water. 
Once she finally finds the perfect home, the young beaver starts rebuilding an old abandoned beaver dam. Soon, a young male beaver comes across her new home, and they work together to build the dam and a lodge. They accumulate a supply of winter food and survive a predator attack, and in the spring prepare to start a new family.
Each two page spread in What Goes on Inside a Beaver Pond? shows a different aspect of the life of a beaver or the areas the young beaver travelled through. Other wildlife that share the habitat appear in boxes scattered over the page or in the side bar. The illustrations are lovely color paintings. This is a beautiful book that children can spend a lot of time studying, as it is so full of detail.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley, and these are my honest thoughts about it.
WARNING: One sentence on page 21: Snapping turtles have existed since before dinosaurs.
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Spend a year with some busy beavers as they emerge from their lodge in the spring, and do all that they need to survive, and prepare for another winter.

This is an amazingly informative book with incredible illustrations by Carrie Shryock that are detailed, and done in a graphic novel style that is sure to hold a youngster's attention. The many insets make for an exciting reading experience, and reminded me of watching a fine nature documentary.

A perfect book for older children, or anyone interested in learning more about nature and animals.
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I adore this book. I have the National Geographic Busy Beaver book, and this one is an excellent companion to that. In fact if you do not have either, I would probably chose this one. I loved the sidebar that had facts and drawings about other animals that the Beaver might encounter, and the story of the Beaver who goes off on her own is exceptionally endearing. 

It is a perfect blend of informative, artistic delight, and fun to read.

I would read other books in this style in a heartbeat, and include them in my homeschool classroom. Please write more of these! I can’t wait to read them.
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Spectacular illustrations, layout, and information! Sadly, no sources, but this is a splendid book that will teach children a great deal about a little pocket of nature that is not easy to spot.
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The cycle of the beavers' activity aligns with the cycle of each year in the Wildlife Sanctuary. Clearly demonstrated is the building and maintenance of the lodge within their normal habitat. There are also a sidebar with illustrations of other woodland animals and birds along with a sentence or two about them. There are even bits about the anatomical parts that are most important and what they are used for. This book is simply amazing!
The illustrations by Carrie Shryock are incredibly clear, nearly realistic and vividly colorful.
Well suited for reading WITH someone of any age including ESL, and great for gifting to anyone, but especially to a school or your public library!
I requested and received a free temporary e-book on Adobe Digital Editions from Storey Publishing via NetGalley. Thank you!
Massachusetts Audubon's Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, USA
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A young beaver’s journey, leaving her family’s lodge and striking out to find her own home range, is exquisitely captured in captivating images and fact-filled descriptions. Detailed full-page landscapes, rendered in a soft palette of naturalistic colors, form the backdrop for close-up, comic-style panels. Brief san-serif text-blocks describe the action, including a wealth of informative detail about beavers and the other animals that inhabit their ecosystem. Sounds are represented, even the occasional beaver fart. A smattering of full-page spreads broadens the perspective – giving readers sweeping aerial views and cross-section sneak-peeks. The book’s depth and detail invite close observation and encourage curiosity.  Thanks to Storey Publishingand NetGalley for a digital arc in return for an honest review.
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This book is part story but all non-fiction. It’s a year-long look at the life of a beaver from childhood to starting a family of their own. It covers not just the topic of beavers, but any one or event that affects the lifecycle of a beaver, including polluted water, the other animals, habitat, change, etc. Overall, it’s a well done book that will find a long life on Library shelves.
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Verdict: Whether you put this in your nonfiction, juvenile, or picture book section, this is a beautifully illustrated look into the life and habitat of a beaver and will be an excellent choice for readers interested in this amazing animal or the natural world in general.
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What Goes on Inside a Beaver Pond is an engaging and information filled picture book that can hold the interest of 4+ year olds. I enjoyed reading it as an adult and my four year old didn't want to stop reading it. Due to the amount of information I wouldn't recommend it for under 4. However, 4 and above will love the detailed images and how much they can learn about beavers. I also appreciated that it wasn't just beavers -- you learn about many animals and the way they impact a beaver's life --even people. I would definitely recommend this for an elementary classroom or library or as a way to introduce a science unit for older children (low challenge, high interest access point). Definitely recommend!
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What Goes on inside a Beaver Pond? Is a good guide to learn about beavers, their habitat and how they live, learn and grow in their environment.
This will teach the children and make them interested in animals and nature.
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Very informative book, I enjoyed this book.
Filled with the wonders of the beaver.
I enjoyed how it was filled with facts and had a story as well.
I would recommend.
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A year in the life of a two-year-old beaver is the story frame in the nonfiction picture book What Goes On Inside a Beaver Pond? by Becky Cushing Gop, illustrated by Carrie Shryock (Storey Publishing, September 2023). During this year, she leaves her childhood lodge in the Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary along the Yokun River (a real place in Massachusetts) to begin her adult life in her own pond downriver. Each spread in the picture book highlights essential facts or possible challenges a young beaver would face. Occasional sidebars on the edge or bottom of the spreads give additional facts about other creatures that live in the beaver habitat, making the book a helpful educational narrative for learning about this unique wetland habitat.

Comic-like box panels show the details of a challenge the beaver faces, with text narration to clarify how she survives. For example, on one two-page spread, the main text in a black bar says that the beavers must prepare for the next winter, and the general background shows beavers swimming in the pond. Overlaid on the background are box panels that show detailed illustrations and narration showing the steps as the beavers begin by digging and tunneling in the bank of the pond to build a lodge.

Although the majority of the picture book focuses on a beaver’s body, abilities, habits, diet, and specific needs, the entire beaver pond habitat is highlighted. In both the explanatory narrations and in the helpful sidebars, we learn about other animals that live in the habitat, including predatory mammals, friendly mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, and even some macroinvertebrates (bugs!) that are all an important part of the ecosystem.

Most importantly, in my opinion, we see the influence of humans on the beaver’s environment, with illustrations showing how human pollution and building have impacted the pond animals, specifically once the river has left the sanctuary. I learned from the sidebars explaining good and bad culverts for rivers to tunnel under roads, and the illustration of the beaver walking across the street (because she couldn’t travel through the narrow culvert) made me feel a bit uncomfortable as I thought of all the road kill I’ve seen in my own area! What types of culverts does the creek by my house provide for the animals?

The broad range of information in What Goes On Inside a Beaver Pond? makes it a highly valuable information book, not just for people interested in beavers but also for anyone interested in the wetland habitat. Realistic illustrations emphasize the nonfiction aspect of the book, and the unique layouts on the pages — including the general background, detailed box illustrations, and sidebars — make it engaging.

The author’s note at the end emphasizes our need to ask questions and be curious of the world around us. Her book both answers some of our questions and leaves the door open to our asking more as we see how so many aspects of nature are connected.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance review copy of this book provided by the publisher via NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Children’s book that provides education on what a beaver is, it’s anatomy and the habitat it lives in! Great for children!
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This book was a nice addition to our daily reads.  Beaver pond is a picture book,  but with lots of detail and information on beavers,  it's a book to be savoured over a few sittings. 

The illustrations are lovely and show the information in the text well. 

We don't have beavers in out country,  so my daughters enjoyed learning about them and could picture their habitat and daily lives, nicely.
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What Goes on Inside a Beaver Pond? by Becky Cushing Gop is a wonderful resource for elementary teachers, librarians, and parents. Not only do children learn about beavers, but they also learn about animals in the same habitat, the life cycle, and so much more. With the truly unique format of blending graphic novel style illustration with traditional illustration and facts, this book is hands down the best informational animal/habitat book I have seen. I hope this author continues to write and illustrate a series of animal habitat books in this same style. Highly recommend!!!
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Their teeth never stop growing? 

True. Although Alaska does have beavers, I have to admit to knowing little about them other than that they gnaw down trees and build dams. As a result, it was eye-opening to find out about this amazing creature. As for their teeth, that's one of the reasons they seem driven to gnaw on trees. It's rather the beaver way of keeping their mouth healthy.

You'll pick up lots of info on not just beavers but the wildlife about them. Even cooler, the story doesn't strictly focus on beavers but gives us information on these other creatures, too, not to mention "sound bubbles" illustrating how each might sound were we to encounter them in the wild. The various tracks of each are also shown, usually in a side panel. 

I won't detail all the interesting things I learned but will say, wow, being a beaver is obviously pretty much a life of constant work. They prepare for each coming season in advance, meaning it's pretty much a cycle of life for them. The steps involved in building their lodges and dams to keep the water level high enough to allow them to live safely and snugly in their lodges is neverending. Cut-away views show us the insides of these lodges, btw, and they not only have air holes and exit/escape tunnels, but they're actually built on more than one level. Wow, multi-level homes. The entire beaver family works together to create this masterpieces of lodging, with each generation eventually moving on to create their own lodge elsewhere, an experience we follow. 

This just touches the surface of what's inside. The illustrations are lovely and eagle eyed readers can spy various other wildlife as well as the layout of the land and waters about them. One thing the book did address, albeit briefly, is that while it certainly can't be 100%, many of the tree stumps left behind by the beavers fervent gnawing and search for food and materials to build their complex homes do eventually begin to twig out and start the growing cycle once again. So, destructive, yes, but perhaps not to the extent we imagine. 

Bottom line, an excellent look at the beaver and the environment that surrounds this intriguing creature. Thanks #NetGalley and #StoreyPublishing for introducing me to a critter that while it shares my state, I've never seen in the wild. Had no clue how complex, not to mention exhausting, their lives must be.
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