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Castles, Caves, and Honeycombs Hardcover – March 1, 2001

5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

With glorious acrylic paintings, Stringer (Scarecrow) shows how, in debut author Ashman's words, "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" for a wide range of animals (including humans). Using a palette of deep, smudged hues, Stringer works her heady visual magic in two formats. Most of the illustrations are single-paged, womb-shaped vignettes on white backgrounds; in one picture, a beaver family waits in a cozy stick den for the arrival of father beaver, who swims in a swirled arc of blue-green, tree-fringed water that seems to cradle the home. In double-page spreads, the artist renders a monarch butterfly cocoon close-up, its luxuriant ripeness foreshadowing the being about to burst forth; in another, a sinuous, olive-green snail coyly slides away from view, all the better to display the hypnotic allure of its coppery, spiral shell. "There's no place like home" has been said many times and in many ways, but rarely so convincingly. Ages 2-5. (Mar.)
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 3-Written in verse, this book looks at the many varied and unique dwellings that different creatures live in: "Many places make a home-/A heap of twigs./A honeycomb./A castle with/a tower or two./An aerie with/a bird's-eye view." The various habitats are described in a well-balanced rhythm, as single-page illustrations move to double-page spreads. The short phrases and rhymes make the text accessible to beginning readers. Because the names of the animals are not mentioned, children can try to identify the creatures that live in each place, adding an element of participation to the story. Done in swirling acrylics, the bright and cheerful art provides visual clues to the text and reinforces the message about homes being "safe and snug." This title can be enjoyed as poetry or paired with Mary Ann Hoberman's A House Is a House for Me (Puffin, 1982) as part of a unit on dwellings.-Maura Bresnahan, Shawsheen School, Andover, MA

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 7 years
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; ILL edition (March 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152022112
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152022112
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 10.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #273,797 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on March 23, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is a lovely book that I have read basically everyday since we bought it. My daughter, who loves animals, is fascinated that animals do not live in houses. To her, animals have real lives and she now likes to talk about the different homes that the animal mommies and daddies make for their animal babies. The soothing text and beautiful illustrations make this a cuddly, cozy picture book. I just love it. I think it's a book you'll find yourself enjoying again and again and again.
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By A Customer on April 6, 2002
Format: Hardcover
It's like a lullabye. Sing the words to this book and you'll see and enter into a magical, warm and cozy world that Ashman has created. It's a beautiful book.
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Format: Hardcover
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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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.
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