School Library Journal - The Legend of the Beaver's Tail
School Library Journal (Sep 2015)
This retelling of an Ojibwe legend successfully illustrates a moral and explains an important natural concept, while still being an enjoyable read. The story tells how Beaver once had a fluffy, soft tail that made him so prideful he drove away his friends. When a tree lands on his tail and he has no one to help him, he frees himself but is left with a flat and hairless tail. In simple language, the message comes across clearly and the way Beaver helps his friends in the tale is also the way that beavers help their environment in reality. A helpful endnote explains that beavers are a keystone species and how their actions make an environment that is suitable for other species. For example, their dams slow the water and raise the temperature to make it suitable for fish to lay eggs. The painterly illustrations make each spread feel like a landscape, which is suitable for the tone of the text. VERDICT Whether for classroom use or as a pleasurable read-aloud, this is a good addition to picture book collections.