Building on her successful Even an Ostrich Needs a Nest (2009), Kelly expands the concept to describe how others in the animal world make and find safe places for rest, safety and rearing their young.
From chimpanzees building temporary sleeping platforms each night to male Siamese fighting fish hiding eggs in a mass of bubbles, the author-illustrator offers a wide variety of examples. These are loosely organized by type: A tree house, tower, lodge, cave, burrow or bubble can serve as a temporary or permanent home. It might even be floating or mobile. Illustrations done in watercolor, gouache, pen and ink surround an informal narrative set in wavy lines on each page. There are a few missteps: The bee's comb has both honey and larvae, although brood combs are usually separate from honey combs. Text about bats sleeping in caves is illustrated with flying fox bats hanging from trees. Careful reading reveals that the nests, cells, tunnels and dens the author describes are used for nightly beds, places for hatching eggs and raising families or protective hideaways, but not always all three. The conclusion, calling these places where animals "live," supports a common misunderstanding of animal behavior.
Animals do not have "homes" as humans do. For the intended audience that cozy connection is an unfortunate oversimplification in an otherwise appealing title. (Informational picture book. 5-9)Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
K-Gr 3--Using illustrations done in watercolor, gouache, and pen and ink, Kelly introduces various animal homes. She divides the residences into categories: tree houses, towers, lodges, caves, burrows, floating and mobile homes, and bubbles. Some are familiar; others are more unusual, like the monk parakeet's treetop apartment buildings. The artist's palette skillfully broadens to accommodate each habitat, from the Great Barrier Reef to the brown bear's winter den. The well-labeled paintings are realistic and range from close-ups to a span of ocean floor. The baby bat peeping out from its mother's wing embrace is charming. The informational bits are ideal in length; they're great for fast-fact lovers but will tease out further study in many cases. The important message of environmental stewardship--"all animals…need homes for the same reason: to have a safe and snug place to live and raise a family"--should resonate with children.--Gay Lynn Van Vleck, Henrico County Library, Glen Allen, VA[Page 127]. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.