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Friday, July 20, 2012

Step Inside! A Look Inside Animal Homes - Catherine Ham

Released February 2012

EarlyLight Books

Book Review by Bob Walch

Step Inside! offers a nice collection of photos showing how a variety of creatures live. Each color photo is accompanied by a short poem that describes the home. Of the warthog’s den the author writes – “They reverse into their dens / Always staying on their guard / If something comes to attack / They’ll fight back very hard.”

Granted that’s not the greatest poetry in the world, but the strength of this book is in showing the young reader the many different ways various creatures create or find a home.  Some, like termites, beavers and birds,  construct elaborate or eye-catching homes, while others, such as the prairie dog, mole, and meerkat, go underground.

Even fish and various reptiles are pictured so that the reader realizes that any environment can provide a home for any creature.

The resourceful teacher or a parent homeschooling his or her child should certainly be able to find a way of turning this book into an interesting unit on animals, habitats or different ways animals (including man) create shelters.

An ideal book to use along with Step Inside!  would be Homes (My First Discoveries) (Moonlight Publishing) by Donald Grant that investigates the different ways humans have housed themselves over the centuries and in different cultures.

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