"These are the yearlings that pile up sticks,
then pack them with mud like mortar and bricks,
repairing the lodge that Beaver built.
These are the muskrats, crafty and bold,
that pop in one day out of the cold,
sharing the lodge that Beaver built."
The beaver plays an essential role in creating a healthy habitat. Young readers learn much about the work done to find the most convenient place for building, down the trees needed to construct the lodge that dams the water, and move on to the hard work of getting each tree in place. The dam built to block the stream provides an environment conducive to the many animals who also make their homes nearby.
The lodge itself is maintained by yearling beavers who work tirelessly to keep it in good repair, while also offering safety and comfort for a muskrat family in need of a temporary place to stay. As the text moves forward children learn about the other animals who are affected by the lodge's construction: musk turtle, coyote, geese, heron, and moose. When a flood destroys both dam and lodge, the beavers swim away to find a new spot. Their work begins again. The book moves full circle to a repeat of the sentence that began the story.
Ink-and–colored pencil illustrations fully support the story. The watery habitat is inclusive of the natural surroundings and the the variety in animals that make their homes there.
Kids interested in knowing more will find help in a set of beaver facts, a glossary, and a list of resources that promises further learning.