By Stephanie Shaw
Long ago Beaver did not look like he does now. Yes, he had two very large front teeth, but his tail was not wide and flat. It was thick with silky fur. Vain Beaver is inordinately proud of his glorious tail. When he's not bragging about his tail, Beaver spends his time grooming it, while the other woodland creatures go about their business of finding food and shelter for their families. Eventually Beaver's boasting drives away his friends and he is left on his own. But when his tail is flattened in an accident (of his own making), Beaver learns to value its new shape and seeks to make amends with his friends. Based on an Ojibwe legend.
A helpful endnote explains that beavers are a keystone species and how their actions make an environment that is suitable for other species. For example, their dams slow the water and raise the temperature to make it suitable for fish to lay eggs.
Age Range: 7 to 9 years
Hardcover, 32 pages, Full color illustrations
Dimensions: 9.25 x 11.25 x 0.25 inches
2016-2017 Keystone to Reading Elementary Book Awards Nominee
2016 Storytelling World Awards, Winner, 2016
"This retelling of an Ojibwe legend successfully illustrates a moral and explains an important natural concept, while still being an enjoyable read. ... In simple language, the message comes across clearly and the way Beaver helps his friends in the tale is also the way that beavers help their environment in reality. The painterly illustrations make each spread feel like a landscape, which is suitable for the tone of the text. Whether for classroom use or as a pleasurable read-aloud, this is a good addition to picture book collections." — School Library Journal