Mama Dug a Little Den

illus. by Steve Jenkins. 32p. S. & S./Beach Lane. Aug. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781481480376. POP
PreS-Gr 2—In this this follow-up to Mama Built a Little Nest, simple, lyrical text explores all the ways mothers keep their young safe. Each beautiful spread features a four-line ditty that begins with "Mama dug a little den" and is followed with a paragraph of fascinating information on the topic creature. ("Mama dug a little den/Within a bubbling stream./A rugged lodge of sticks and twigs/Where we could grow and dream.") Beavers, platypuses, Gila monsters, and prairie dogs are a few of the critters on display. This versatile book will spark young readers' inquisitiveness and will surely encourage them to be more observant when out in nature. It lends itself well as a read-aloud for very young audiences or as a one-on-one with curious kids who want to know more about each animal. Jenkins's gorgeous collage illustrations are stunning and detailed, and will draw viewers.
VERDICT A charming addition to elementary collections where early science books about animals are needed and either Ward's or Jenkins's books are popular.

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