Step Inside! book cover image

Step Inside!

  • 1495

By: Catherine Ham

Explore the places that animals call home.

Discover crevices and pits where eels and reef fish make camouflaged homes. Peek through a bubble nest to find a spittlebug nymph hiding inside, cool and disguised. Then travel underground to see the trick tunnels of trapdoor spiders and the intricate highways and byways of moles.

Dozens of animal homes are presented in fun, full-color photographs, while their home-building and home-living behavior is explored in playful verse.

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Author & Illustrator Bios:

Catherine Ham, author

An avid birdwatcher and hiker, Catherine Ham enjoys writing about animals she has seen in the wild. She is the author of several best-selling knitting books, including Weekend Crafter Knitting: 20 Simple Stylish Wearables for Beginners. Catherine lives in Austin, Texas.

Read more about Catherine Ham.

Editorial Reviews:


There are no bricks or shingles used to build the homes featured in this title. Instead, animals set up camp in a variety of ways, and in rhyming poems and vibrant, close-up photographs, this picture book introduces a multitude of animal habitats, from subterranean abodes to treetop nests. The rhymes don't always scan: "Warthogs love a mudbath / It keeps them cool and clean / They'll let a mongoose pick off ticks . . . / A useful mobile canteen!" Still, the information is accessibly presented, and headlines on each page will lead young readers into the text with clues to featured animals, such as "Treehugger" (frog) and "Log Cabin" (yup, beavers), although some phrases may confuse children; "Cat on a Hot Thin Roof," for example, refers to a poem about termites. There are lots of homes to explore here, and interested kids may be hooked enough to burrow deeper. Pair this with Irene Kelly's Even an Octopus Needs a Home (2011). –Ann Kelley


Here's a picture book both educators and parents will find very helpful in showing children how various animals live. Illustrated with color photos and featuring a narrative written in verse, this volume covers an eclectic range of insects and animals.

Wasps, spittlebugs, ants, spiders, and termites are shown in their natural domiciles as are mongoose, prairie dogs, moles, bats, mice, elephants and warthogs. In some instances the critters carry their houses with them, so you'll find a turtle, crab, and snail. Not to be left out, birds like to build their dwellings on high while a variety of sea dwellers, like the octopus, move into premises vacated by other critters.

The author manages to cover a variety of animals' habitats, thus giving the reader a good idea of where they dwell, be it way above, below or at ground level or in the sea.

This valuable resource would be an ideal way of introducing a study unit on human/animal dwellings or one that looks at where one should look for animals.

Kutztown University

Catherine Ham has once again penned an informative read for children. Colorful pictures ranging from termites to elephants should delight our young readers. These extremely sharp, bright photos are poetically described in a fun and easy to read narrative. The proper name of each creature is printed clearly on the outside corner of its page, thus making Ham's "kid friendly" index even more helpful for eager readers. Children will learn how even "pesty" bugs have a good side. Because of the vast variety of Ham's selection I feel most children would enjoy this book, it truly holds its own with her previous book "Animal Naps". – Susan M. Schlosser, Employee, Tamaqua Public Library


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ISBN: 978-0-9832014-2-7

ISBN: 000-0-00000-000-0 PDF
For information about purchasing E-books, click here.

Ages: 4-7
Page count: 32
10 x 8

If you like this book, you’ll enjoy these:
Animal Baths
Animal Eggs
Animal Snacks
Animal Tongues