Cover image for Beavers
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, [2018]

Physical Description:
96 pages : color illustrations ; 26 cm.
Uses humor to describe why the beaver is such an extraordinary animal.
Subject Term:
Added Author:
Interest age level:
Age 7-10.
Interest grade level:
Grade 4 to 6.
Series Sequence:


Material Type
Call Number
Children's Book 599.37 POLIQ

On Order



Beavers , the first book in the new middle-grade nonfiction Superhero Field Guide series by Rachel Poliquin and award-winning illustrator Nicholas John Frith, is a delightfully informative, laugh-out-loud full-color look at the most unsuspecting of animal heroes, perfect for readers who like their facts served with a large dose of humor.

Meet Elmer, an ordinary beaver. He may not be as mighty as a lion or as dangerous as a shark. He may be squat and brown. But never underestimate a beaver.
I can almost hear you saying, "But aren't beavers just lumpy rodents with buck teeth and funny flat tails?"
Yes, they are! And believe it or not, those buck teeth and funny flat tails are just a few of the things that make beavers extraordinary.
Humorous and engaging, Beavers is the first book in the new highly illustrated nonfiction Superpower Field Guide series, inspiring readers to laugh, think, and view the world around them with new eyes.

Author Notes

Rachel Poliquin has a PhD in the history of science and has written about subjects including taxidermy, heroic sled dogs, and unruly beavers. Visit .

Nicholas John Frith lives and works on the coast of Dorset, England. Like Elmer, he loves the great outdoors. His superpowers include Super Snoozing! Visit .

Reviews 2

School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-5-In this guide to a beaver's "superpowers," a nameless woman identifies and explains what is remarkable about beavers, as exemplified by a fictional pair she calls Elmer and Irma. The narrator introduces each superpower, or trait, by describing it as a special ability, then explaining how it works. Text boxes and quizzes are interspersed throughout and add a bit of fun. The illustrations, which have a vintage look to them, alternate between comic depictions of rodents and more detailed diagrams that identify different physical features of beavers and their habitats. The text is clear and friendly, though it occasionally tries too hard to be cute. The book's usefulness for students is hampered by the lack of a table of contents but it is helped by a clear glossary and a detailed further reading section. VERDICT Though it might take some hand selling, this is a serviceable addition to most libraries.-Sheri Reda, Wilmette Public Library, IL © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* This first in the projected The Superpower Field Guide series, about the natural world's resident superheroes, offers effervescent examinations of a beaver's super characteristics, from chainsaw teeth to ever-toiling tail (not to mention those posterior castor sacs filled with a turbocharged superstink used for territorial marking). Poliquin explains in simple but exact language how these wetland warriors chew down trees, build dams and lodges, exhibit indubitable deluge domination to survive both floods and droughts, and most awesome of all, function as a keystone species to create entire new ecosystems. She also covers in quick strokes the devastating effects of the historical fur trade and clever ways modern naturalists have found to control beavers' more destructive tendencies, and, in the upside-down answers to several, not-always-serious pop quizzes (True or false: Giant prehistoric beavers built the Egyptian pyramids ), elaborates on other related topics. Frith's very simple freestyle illustrations operate mostly as a complementary sidepiece to the truly excellent text, but they add both visual detail and further lighthearted notes. Eager beavers who likewise find these redoubtable rodents utterly gobsmackable! will find a chewy array of print and web resources to sink their teeth into at the end.--John Peters Copyright 2018 Booklist