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This picture book with its simple text fosters an appreciation for nature and wetlands. The muskrats are urged to come out of their house and spend time in the marsh. They finally emerge to eat cattails, dry their fur and swim around, all while sharing their space with other wetland creatures such as the wood duck and damselfly. Quietness descends as the sun sets and nightime spreads over the marsh. But the muskrats who were so reluctant to come out during the day now "stay out" to swim and play until dawn returns.
This story provides an excellent introduction to wetlands and would be a valuable precursor to a wetland field trip. The illustrations are accurate and students could learn identification skills by trying to recognize the different species in the book. Students could also learn more about the life history of muskrats and compare and contrast the similarities and differences between muskrats and beaver. The book could also be used as the basis for a project where students identify the importance of wetlands, and how they can be protected through simple actions such as not pouring pollutants down drains.
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