by Bert Kitchen. (Candlewick, 1995. ISBN 9781564025029. Order Info.) Nonfiction Picture Book. 32 pages. Grades 1-4.
This book presents us with two simultaneous levels of reading about twelve animal home and nest builders. One level is a simple, large print text that states what is going on in the detailed illustrations. Smaller print on the page explains in more detail about that particular dwelling and its builder.
The illustrations of watercolor and gouache are very detailed and show the constructions within a natural landscape. The homes are fascinating: some are umbrella shaped; some tastefully decorated, some continually grow and others are self-heating or air conditioned. The text tells us not only how they are built but how their structure serves the builder.
Kitchen makes no generalizations from his diverse homes and their builders. That job is left for the reader.
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