cover image The Skydiving Beavers: A True Tale

The Skydiving Beavers: A True Tale

Susan Wood, illus. by Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen. Sleeping Bear, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-58536-994-2

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. Ages 6–9. Author’s agent: Caryn Wiseman, Andrea Brown Literary. (Apr.)