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Friday, August 3, 2012

Review: Castles, Caves, and Honeycombs

Castles, Caves, and Honeycombs by Linda Ashman
Illustrated by Lauren Stringer

I loved this book. This is a beautifully written story about animal habitats. It's written like a sing-songy, poem. There are minimal words. About four per page, if that. I liked how the author takes the reader to so many different animal habitats. The front flap of the book says,
Many places can make a home--a silent cave, a secret den, a silky web, even a sticky honeycomb. Each one is safe and snug and just right for the families who live there. Come visit some of them and see how different--yet alike--a home can be.
I also loved the ending of the book. Over seven pages, the following poem is written and illustrated. I think it is just beautiful and it makes me so happy!
A home's a house, a den, a nest.
A place to play, A place to rest.

A place to share, A place to hug.
A home is someplace safe and snug.
The illustrations, created with acrylics on watercolor paper, are minimal as well, but they are beautiful images of the words on the page. They are framed, in a sense, but not with straight lines. The illustrations are shaped somewhat like an oval.

I used this book also for my curriculum, instruction, and assessment class that I've mentioned before. I read it to introduce my lesson on habitats. It will be great for the younger grades but I enjoyed it myself, so I think it is appropriate for all ages. Plus it's a great example of poetry.

Check our Linda Ashman's website for more information about her other books. There you can find a Teacher Activity Guide with great ideas for how to incorporate this book into your class. Here is Lauren Stringer's website where you can see "A day in my studio while working on Castles, Caves, and Honeycombs..."

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