What Goes on inside a Beaver Pond?

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Pub Date 05 Sep 2023 | Archive Date 05 Sep 2023
Storey Publishing, Storey Publishing, LLC

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Dive into the fascinating world of beavers—the swimmers, builders, and engineers of the animal kingdom!

What Goes on inside a Beaver Pond? takes kids ages 8 to 10 on a journey through a year in the life of a young beaver (called a "kit"). This is an exciting year as the young beaver leaves her family lodge and moves throughout the Yokun Brook waterways, seeking a new home for herself. Throughout the seasons, vibrant illustrations and descriptions reveal the hidden inner-workings of a beaver lodge, how beavers fell trees with their teeth and create a wetland habitat, how they collect food and ward off predators, and what daily life is like within a beaver colony. Educational side panels enhance the story with details about beaver behavior and anatomy, as well as information about what other animal inhabitants of the pond are up to throughout the year. Author Becky Cushing Gop is an environmental educator and director of Mass Audubon’s Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary where the story takes place. Nature illustrator Carrie Shryock’s lively and charming graphics bring the young beaver’s story to life for nature-curious kids.
Dive into the fascinating world of beavers—the swimmers, builders, and engineers of the animal kingdom!

What Goes on inside a Beaver Pond? takes kids ages 8 to 10 on a journey through a year in the...

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ISBN 9781635865271
PRICE $18.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 43 members

Featured Reviews

Thank you, Storey Publishing, for the advance reading copy.

This is such a comprehensive illustrated account of how beavers live, how they divide their community into different groups, their unique traits and characteristics on how they survive.

The content is just perfect and provides enough information.

Perfect for ages 8 to 10. The book is a pure delight.

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Loved this book! Adding it to my children’s wishlist. I loved the illustrations. There was lots of information about beavers in small bits to keep children interested. The book included small facts about other wetland and forest animals too. A fantastic book to get for your little science/animal lovers.

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This fun, nonfiction factoid book is perfect for any kid who loves animals, science, and/or learning. It’s perfect for elementary school aged kids and keeps their attention pretty well. Even as an adult, I learned new things about beavers I never knew.

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A wonderfully illustrated look inside the life of a beaver. My son and I enjoyed reading this together and discovering new to us facts.
I love the add ons on each page that can expand older children and adults curiosity and learning.
This would be a great addition to any classroom and a great resource to assist during a learning module about beavers. I throughly enjoyed this read!

Thanks to Net Galley and Storey Publishing for the advanced copy.

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I love the style of this book. Some pages are comic book like while others have diagrams or illustrations. It’s a perfect mentor text for teaching informational writing. I can’t wait to buy it for my classroom as my students are reading a book about saving beavers. This book is filled with facts, many of which are new to me. It will definitely appeal to my middle schoolers. .

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What Goes on inside a Beaver Pond is a fun but still educational book which has great illustrations to accompany the information. It is aimed at 8 to 10 year old children but my son who is only 6 loved it and took a lot of information from it.

Thank you to NetGalley and Storey Publishing for my ARC.

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Wow what a beautiful book with gorgeous illustrations! My daughter loved learning all about beavers and how they build their homes. There’s also a few facts on other animals and insects. This is such a wonderful book!

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What Goes on inside a Beaver Pond is a must read for children and adults alike.

Being from New Zealand my children and I have never seen a beaver, nor are we overly familiar with the concept of them but I believe they are now our favourite animal.

My 8yr old was enthralled by the infographic aspects and comic book style elements. He couldn't get enough of the information and was desperate for us to read slower so he could spend more time taking in the pages.
My 4yr old was delighted by the artwork and all the other animals we encountered on the way, many new to us.

I found this book informative but entertaining, The storyline was sweet and I love how it moves through the seasons.
The information was displayed well and it made reading easy. I will now start spurting off random beaver facts to all the other New Zealanders before pointing them in the direction of this book.

I was gifted a digital copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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My daughter has been absolutely obsessed with beavers since we saw them at the Detroit Zoo. This book was beautifully laid out and descriptive. We’ve read it every night and she’s begun to be able to point out the things she’s learned along the way. I love that it’s set up like a comic book but also has asides for things like anatomy and special information. The author also included other animals that beavers encounter and how they interact in the environment, which has kicked off a whole forest life mini study for our nature-based homeschool. If your kids love animals, this is a must read.

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A beautifully illustrated book full of so much useful information. I learnt lots from reading this and cannot wait to share with my grandchildren,. Highly recommend this to all school children. It would also make a great book for a parent to read with their child and spend time discussing each page.

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I was blown away by how much I enjoyed this book! I read it to my daughter (7 years old, 1st grade) and she was enraptured by the story of the beaver’s lives. The illustrations were fantastic, super detailed and beautiful. I enjoyed the book so much, I’m fact, that I sent an thank-you message to the author through Instagram! Fabulous natural science book for elementary and mid-grade readers. Loved it!

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During our evening walks, my husband and I often visit what we call the “Beaver Pond.” It is an oasis for all sorts of wildlife. We see a variety of birds, and we occasionally see deer. Every now and then, a beaver will make its existence known by raising its head above water and swimming away from us. I knew very little about beavers except that their presence is an indication of a healthy ecosystem, so when I saw “What Goes on Inside a Beaver Pond?” featured on NetGalley, I requested it immediately, and I was not disappointed. It is a wonderful book with beautiful illustrations and great information. I have a much better understanding of beavers and how they live, along with other cohabitating wildlife. The only disadvantage of the book for me is that it is set in a northern climate, but the habitat and species are similar enough. Thank you to Storey Publishing for providing a review copy. I loved it so much that I immediately pre-ordered a hard copy, as it inspired me to begin collecting nature-oriented children’s books.

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This book has now made us all love beavers! This book is so informative, yet in such an enjoyable way! The pages are comic like - which was so fun for my 7 year old boy to look at! Such a unique and fun way to tell a story.
It was an incredible read, to be able to learn more about beavers, their dams, and the habitat they live in. I would say the age range is 7-10 for this book. I even learned many new things that I had no idea about, which as a parent is fun to take-away things from the books we read to our children. This is a great addition to have for animal/science lessons!

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Lots To Chew On
This life story of a female beaver is comprehensive yet told with labels, art, illustrated sidebars, all that keep detailed information in engaging chunks. Readers may want to reread over and over as to absorb all the details. This beaver saga is informative and interesting, making readers appreciate this animal in new ways.

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An adorable book that is part story, part nature exploration book. It shares facts and pictures to show a beavers habitat but also follows a young beaver in her journey to find and make her new home. Such a beautiful way to share nature and facts with children. We were very interested in the little beavers story and adventure and learned so much along the way.

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Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an eARC of this title. This wonderful book is packed with rich detail on the lives of beavers and other forest animals. It’s a treasure trove of information, a book to be studied. There is so much learning and maker potential in this book. I can’t wait to add a copy to my library. There are levels of learning for younger and older elementary students. This is a great addition to any science or nature collection.

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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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Thank you NetGalley for the review copy!

I had such an incredible time with this little book! I learned so much. A wonderful read for all ages.

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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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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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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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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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