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I gave "Castles, Caves, and Honeycombs" as a welcome gift for a new born. I wanted her and her siblings to learn about animal homes and to feel the coziness and safety of being "at home." We can all appreciate that: "Our home is our castle and our safe haven" in times of need.
We used this in our kids' science class when we studied Habitats. Sample of text: "Many places make a home: a heap of twigs, a honeycomb, an aerie with a bird's eye view... a warren in a grassy glen... a home's a house, a den, a nest. A place to play, a place to rest, a place to hug. A home is someplace safe and snug." A nice read-aloud with lovely illustrations, that shows several animal homes and ties them in nicely to the child's own experience of home. Good for class, but sweetness of it would also make for a good bedtime story. Age 3 - 6.
Rounded, almost amoebic, acrylic forms float on white pages containing few words of text. Warm, dark colors dominate the center of the pages. The story is similar in aspect to Mary Ann Hoberman's A House is a House for Me, perhaps a bit less lyrical and more strictly literal.
The opening title pages feature two children and their dog. They busy themselves on a nature walk, reading comics in a "house" made of a cardboard box, playing at an anthill, pointing to a bird's nest. Most of the scenes are in and around the children's house. Pine trees are heavily featured in the background of many of the illustrations, and a tree which squirrels scamper upon is clearly the same tree in the children's yard (complete with idyllic swing hanging from its branches.) The "castle" of the story's title is a charming little playhouse for the children. The easy rhymes lend a feel of the bedtime story to this book (the same brother and sister featured earlier are cozily tucked into bed by the end of the story.) This book could also find itself well suited as a discussion opener for any pre-school or kindergarten class discussing concepts of nature and homes.
I read these book recently as part of a "Houses and Homes" themed storytime, where it was a big hit.
Beautifully book with rhyming text describing the many types of homes in the world between people and animals; showing the differences and the similarities. Lauren Stringer adds rich color to the text with her illustrations. I think its interesting how the picture on each page is rounded and surrounded by white- it gives a unified feel to the many different examples showed.