Eerdmans. Mar. 2024. 68p. tr. from French by Vineet Lal . Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780802856203.
Gr 2-5–An artistic and poetic examination of 27 animal homes, extolling what makes each unique while also creating points of relation; the book unites STEM learning with literary excellence. Poems describing an animal or insect’s home and what makes it special in both construction and purpose are accompanied by elaborate illustrations. This provides excellent visual and verbal reinforcement for readers. Additionally, to encourage relatability, the poems include familiar words which contextualize the animal’s home within readers’ understanding of what home means. The educational impact of the book is further heightened with a global selection of animals and insects, as well as back matter of more facts, glossary, and additional resources. Simler excels at nuanced explorations of nature. The hyper-colored digital illustrations mimic intricate colored-pencil line drawings which naturally draw the eye to seek out every detail. The poems speak to the heart while subtly including educational facts. It takes brilliance to unite science and creativity, but Simler has done just that in a versatile work appropriate for English, writing, or science lessons.
VERDICT An essential purchase; this standout work of illustrated poems encourages readers to consider wild creatures’ homes and compare their similar needs to our own.

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