Reviews/Press


Fun, informative article on International Beaver Day and The Skydiving Beavers, plus an adorable kid-friendly spool-beaver craft at the Celebrate Picture Books website!

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Striking a down-home tone, Wood (Esquivel!) unspools a real-life story of animal conservation. In 1948 Idaho, beavers presented a dilemma to a growing resort community: “The people were muscling in on the beavers’ habitat. And the beavers were trashing the people’s habitat. A real turf war.” Elmo Heter, an employee with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, relocated the beavers to a pristine wilderness area by gently dropping them in wooden boxes from parachutes. Van Frankenhuyzen (The Legend of the Beaver’s Tail) captures the historical setting in details like a woodie station wagon and copies of Life on Heter’s desk, while his lush, light-infused paintings reveal the region’s natural beauty. Wood’s story underscores the value in bringing innovative thinking to a problem—even a beaver invasion. —Publishers Weekly

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An Idaho game warden invents an ingenious solution for a growing town's wildlife problem in this tale set in 1948 Idaho.

Characterized as "a lovely place" and so portrayed in van Frankenhuyzen's golden meadows and hilly vistas, the town of McCall would be idyllic—except that humans "muscling in" on the local beavers' habitat means that it is vulnerable to flooded roads and downed trees. What to do? Enter Elmo Heter, a beaver expert with a notion that the remote Chamberlain Basin would be a fine place for beavers to live. Wood spins the tale as a yarn ("But Elmo had a problem. A big problem. A big, transportation-type problem") but sticks to historical records in describing how Heter considered and rejected various ways of safely moving the beavers before designing and (with the unwitting assistance of a beaver he calls Geronimo) testing a box that could be parachuted from an airplane and would open automatically upon landing. In her closing note the author reports that the successful airlift moved 76 beavers all told. She also perceptively suggests that communities today would more likely opt either to exterminate or, better, find ways of coexisting with local fauna. Human figures in the illustrations are all white. 

A true "tail" with a happy ending. Kirkus

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Though some people might find this hard to believe, this story is a true one. In 1948 Elmo Heter and his colleagues really did transport seventy-six beavers to the Idaho wilderness by using boxes strapped to parachutes. Young readers and grown-ups alike are going to enjoy this true tale, which has a wonderful ending. —Looking Glass Review (click for full review)

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Interview with author Susan Wood at Worth A Dam, the Martinez Beavers website.


© susan wood 2017