Little Beaver and the Echo

Little Beaver and the Echo
By Amy MacDonald
Illustrated by Sarah Fox-Davies
Published by Penguin USA
Ages 2-7 years

• Ten Best Books of Year (New York Times)
• Best Books of 1990 (Parents Magazine)
• Top Books of Century (Dillon’s/UK)
• Silver Stylus Award (Netherlands)

Available in Hardcover, Paperback, Mini, Book & CD, Audio CD, Bilingual Editions, Foreign Language Editions

Locate all U.S. editions at Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | Local Library

Locate the U.K. editions at

Explore Classroom Activities
Listen to the author read the book (in PowerPoint format)

What’s it about?
Little Beaver has no brothers or sisters. Worst of all, he has no friends. One day he starts to cry by the side of the pond. When he hears someone else crying from loneliness on the other side of the pond, he sets off in his boat to find him. He never discovers who is crying, but he discovers something else even more important.

Where did the idea come from?
One day when my son, Alexander, was about 18 months old, I took him to visit a pond in New Hampshire where I had spent my childhood summers. I remembered that the pond had an echo, so I showed him how to shout “Hello!” so that the echo would answer “Hello!” Just as we turned to leave, Alex asked me what an echo was. I knew I couldn’t explain to a one-year-old how an echo worked, so instead I said I would write him a story that would help him understand what an echo was. I sat down and did it, right then and there.

Why a beaver?
Well, it just so happens that the pond we were visiting had beavers on it: I knew that because when I was little I used to get in my boat at dusk and go out and watch them building their dams at the mouth of the pond. There were also lots of turtles and every now and then some ducks and very rarely an otter.

How long did it take?
I wrote it in about 45 minutes. The story came to me very quickly – so quickly I was a little suspicious of it. I spent only about ten minutes on the beginning and middle of the story – and the rest of the time on the ending. Which shows you how important it is to get an ending just right.

What have the reviewers said?
Little Beaver has now been published in over 20 languages around the world. It has won awards in the Netherlands, Great Britain, and the US.

“the perfect picture book.” —The Bookseller

“heartwarming story about the beginnings of friendship.” —Parent magazine

“gets the mixture, for child and adult, just right and is a story of enormous charm.” —The Sunday Times

“a lovely, stunningly simple, deft story with a kind of classic feel to it.” –The BBC

“enchanting” —The New York Times

“all-time great.” –Artemis Cooper, The Mail on Sunday

Special Editions:

Bilingual Editions
Little Beaver and the Echo has been published in over 25 languages, including special bilingual and foreign language editions: English/Somali, English/Vietnamese, English/Bengali, Chinese, Urdu, and Punjabi.

Little Beaver and the Echo appears in several anthologies.


2 thoughts on “Little Beaver and the Echo

  1. It was nice to meet you last month; here is my short review of your wonderful book:

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