HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Anybody Home?
Author: Marianne Berkes
Illustrator: Rebecca Dickinson
Publisher: Sylvan Dell Publishing, 2013
ISBN-13: 978-1607186182 (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 1607186187 (Hardcover)
ISBN-13: 978-1607186304 (Paperback)
ISBN-10: 1607186306 (Paperback)
Related websites: http://MarianneBerkes.com (author), http://rebeccadickinson.com (illustrator), http://www.SylvanDellPublishing.com (publisher)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Ages 5-8
Rating: ***** 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Berkes, Marianne. Anybody Home? (published in 2013 by Sylvan Dell Publishing, Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464). Do you know what the phrase “play ‘possum” means? And do you know why it means that? Polly ‘Possum is looking for a new home to raise her expected babies. Along the way, she meets a wide variety of diurnal and nocturnal animals. She learns how they build and live in spider webs, robin nests, bee hives, turtle shells, mole burrows, beaver lodges, fox dens, bat caves, squirrel dreys, and even woodpecker hollows. While those homes are perfect for those animals, they aren’t right for her. How does Polly find a home and will she find it in time? And when she senses danger, what does she do?
Anybody Home? is a wonderful complement to a classroom or homeschool science study of animal homes. In this delightfully charming story of Polly `Possum who is searching for a home of her own, author Marianne Berkes describes how Polly `Possum holds on tightly to her little red polka dotted suitcase as she glances up into the branches of an old oak tree. Young children will definitely enjoy accompanying Polly as she hunts for the perfect place to raise her own little family in. The upbeat tale will help children to understand the purpose of why animals choose certain areas in which to make their homes with an emphasis on Habitat and Environment.
The full-page, full-color artwork by illustrator Rebecca Dickinson is bold and bright with a touch of humor and helps tell the story. There is a great deal of information covered in a kid-friendly fashion about how animals use their homes not only to sleep but also to protect themselves from predators, store food, and hide from the bad weather, as well as the concepts of diurnal and nocturnal. In the back of the book are several learning activities including an explanation of animal homes, a name the animal home exercise, diurnal or nocturnal quiz, and Polly’s map, and other resources can be downloaded from the publisher’s website.