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The Salamander Room

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  1,420 ratings  ·  156 reviews
A boy finds a salamander in the woods and imagines the many things he can do to turn his room into a perfect salamander home. Together, Anne Mazer and Steve Johnson have created a woodland paradise that any salamander would love to share with a child.
Paperback, 32 pages
Published March 1st 1994 by Dragonfly Books (first published January 16th 1991)
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Average rating 4.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,420 ratings  ·  156 reviews

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Lisa  (not getting friends updates) Vegan
Feb 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nature lovers; fans of beautiful pictures; to teach about habitats; just for fun for boys & girls
Recommended to Lisa (not getting friends updates) by: Abigail, Melody, Chandra, Kathryn, Lee
Ha! My adult mind had me befuddled. I was expecting a different ending, and perhaps I’d have preferred a different ending. Yet, this book is practically perfect in every way.

A young boy finds a salamander in the wild and wants to keep him. He has answers to every question posed to him by his mother about how he will create the perfect environment for the salamander, and for himself too. The story does a good job of showing the interconnectedness of various animal and plant life in an ecosystem.
Mar 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Kathryn by: Chandra--thank you!
What a great concept! I love how the story grows with the little boy's imagination, how the mother carefully weaves "reality" into the boy's perceptions of taking care of a captured salamander--the story and beautiful illustrations do a great job showing nature, habitats and the food chain while also illustrating a boy's sense of wonder, imagination and real desire to care for his dear little salamander.

I also like that it's left up to the audience whether they want to condone or condemn taking
Dec 30, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone Looking for Children's Stories Explaining Why Some Animals Shouldn't Be Kept as Pets
Recommended to Abigail by: Melody
In this deceptively simple picture-book, young Brian finds an orange salamander in the woods, and brings him home. Brian's mother wonders how the salamander will live in his room, and a lovely dialogue develops, as Brian describes the many changes he will make, in order to create a habitable environment for his new friend...

The Salamander Room is an excellent little title, ideal for teaching children about the habitat needs of other species, and would probably also function very well as an expla
Dec 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't count the number of times I read this aloud to my usually story-phobic kid. He preferred field guides to narratives, but would always sit still for this lovely, quiet story of a boy who loved salamanders so much he would remodel his room for their comfort. I love this book with all my heart. ...more
Oct 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Salamander Room is a story of a little boy who finds a wild salamander and brings him home to live as a pet. As his mother questions him on how he will care for his new friend, his room slowly begins to transform and take on wildlife qualities.

The first thing I noticed when I began the story was the insects. There is a small blue and gold beetle sitting in a pile of green leaves on the title page, the dedication page has a Monarch butterfly, and on the second opening there are three crickets si
almost positive i read this as a kid but i didn't remember the story, only the cover was familiar to me when i picked this up at a library sale. reading it now didn't really jog my memory too much, but it was an okay story with beautiful illustrations that can be interpreted differently depending on your perspective.

it's basically a book about a little boy who wants to bring a salamander home to live in his room with him, and his mom is trying to reason with him by asking questions about the log
Oct 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
For young animal lovers, nothing is as strange and upsetting as the early lesson learned that wild things must stay in the wild; that you are not a field biologist, a zoologist, and that your room is not the ideal place for that bird you heard, or the baby rabbits in the yard, or the salamander that you found in the woods.
The book follows a boy through his imaginings of all the things he could do to his room to make it a good place for his new little friend to live in, but as he keeps going on,
Aug 10, 2009 rated it liked it
This simple conversation book between mother and son about how this boy would take care of a salamander he brings to his room was unexpectedly enchanting for my 7 yr old.
Lush illustrations allow you to see right into this boy's head which is lead by imagination and not barred by the gently questioning of his mother's practicality.
Jul 04, 2017 rated it liked it
I prefer this to Sendak's, Where the Wild Things Are. In both stories, boys dream, launching from their own rooms into another world.

Neither story caught the imagination of our kids. I like the idea of imagining what it might be like to make a home for a salamander. Maybe the kids never took a liking to the salamander ... I don't know.
Matthew Parks
Sep 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: store, 6under
Good book to teach some basics about how many things in nature depend upon each other, e.g. in the sense of the food chain and much more.

Liked the illustrations a lot.
Dani K.
Oct 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
The Salamander Room is a simple and engaging story about a child’s imagination. While exploring the woods, young Brian discovers a little orange salamander underneath some leaves. To his mother chagrin, he brings the salamander home. The story proceeds in a question and answer fashion, with the mother asking questions about the salamander’s care, and Brian coming up with more and more creative ways to take care of the salamander. From spreading wet leaves on the ground to removing the ceiling to ...more
Oct 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The Salamander Room by Anne Mazer tells the story of Brian, a young boy who finds a salamander in the woods. He imagines all the things he would do for his salamander if he were to take him home. His mother asks all the questions, such as, "They will be hungry. How will you feed them?" Brian responds, "I will bring insects to live in my room. And every day I will catch some and feed the salamanders." The story continues like this, and you can just imagine Brian's room becoming a paradise for his ...more
Sarah Ravel
Oct 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Salamander Room by Anne Mazer is a delightful picture book that expresses both a love and appreciation for nature as well as the power of of a child’s imagination. A young boy finds a salamander in the woods and delighted by it’s “warm and cozy” feeling he decided to bring it home. The book continues as the mother gently questions the boy as to how he will take care of such a creature. The boy first response is very reasonable; he will bring in bits of natures, leaves, moss, rocks, etc. to m ...more
Ashley M.
Oct 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This story is rich in vocabulary as it tells the process of keeping an animal in your care. The author uses may words that can be found in nature as they tell this story. The book in informative as well as fictional. The colorful vivid illustrations on each page keep your eyes moving all around as you find the many things present mentioned in the story. This story would be great for starting a unit on incest with a classroom of first graders.

The Child in the story wants to keep the salamander he
Oct 14, 2013 rated it liked it
The Salamander Room is about a little boy named Brian and a tiny salamander he finds in the woods. Upon bringing the salamander home Brian's mother begins to question how he will care for the little creature. As Brian's mother poses questions for him his imagination grows as he describes in great detail how he will care for his new pet. Brian has grand plans for the salamander that only a child could imagine! The reader is left wondering will Brian's mother let him keep his new friend?

This story
Lisa Engebretson
Nov 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: K-2
The Salamander Room is a great addition to the K-2 classroom to allow students to visualize in beautiful detail the transformation of a boys regular bedroom into a salamander room where his new pet can co-exist with him in the salamander's natural environment. The boy provides his mother's inquiries imaginative answers to the problems she poses. Like so many children the boys tries to persuade his mother to let him have a pet and proposes the most unique solution. The book provides for the writi ...more
Chris Shue
Feb 19, 2016 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jenna Smith
Oct 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Salamander Room is the story of a young boy's imagination gone wild. After retrieving a small, orange salamander from the woods, he creates a fantastical scenario wherein he can allow the salamander to live in his room. His mother questions his every decision by prodding him for more information, and Brian, the young boy, provides them in minute detail: He will carpet his room with shiny leaves and water so the salamander can play; he will bring trees into his room and rip the roof off his c ...more
Mazer, Anne, and Steve Johnson. The Salamander Room. New York: Knopf, 1991. Print.
Summary:Brian is a little boy who finds a salamander. He desperately wants to keep his new friend. Each time his mother gives him a reason why he should not keep the salamander as a pet, Brian returns with how he can care for the salamander. This is a sweet tale of a little boy with a great imagination. I recommend this book as a read aloud for non and early readers as well as for elementary school students in the
Emily Scott
Feb 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is about is about a young boy named Brian who finds a salamander in the woods. Brian takes the salamander home to make him feel loved. Brian’s mom asks Brian many questions about where the salamander will live, where he will sleep, what he will eat and so on and Brian comes up with responses to all of the questions. His imagination eventually turns his responses into a fantasy story. He goes on and on about all of the things that the salamander will have and about how his bedroom will ...more
Valeria Ayala-Nazario
This book is about a boy who finds a salamander in the forest and expands his imagination. The boy explains a variety of things and ways that he will take care of the salamander in. The boy imagines to bring the salamander in his room along with other bugs, insects, crickets, and frogs. Also, the boy knows the salamander will miss the forest so he imagines bringing leaves and a big tree to put all in his room.
This is a fun, entertaining book for kids. This book is written in a question-and-answe
Sun Woong Oh
Oct 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Brian finds a salamader in the forest. He believe that he can provide a ideal place for the salamander to live in his room. His Mom asks some questions wondering Brian's room might be perfect place, and Brian answers. He is ready to do everything on any cost. He is even ready to blow his ceiling out.
I liked the vivid illustrations, which make me feel that I'm finding the salamander. Like 'Where the Wild Things Are,' the illustrations getting bigger as story goes deep into the climax, and finall
Elizabeth McDonald
Oct 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: parents, teachers, children-at-heart
Brian finds a salamander in the woods and brings it home. When his mother asks how he will give the creature what it needs, he envisions transforming his bedroom, step by step, into a salamander paradise. The illustrations in this short picture book immerse the reader and make her long for a salamander room herself. Mazer's writing hints of poetry without becoming overly flowery: "The rain will come through the open roof, and the sun, too. And vines will creep up the walls of my room, and ferns ...more
Courtney Nipper
Nov 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite
The Salamander Room is about a little boy who finds a salamander and wants to take it home as a pet. The mother asks him questions like, "where will the salamander sleep?" and the boy creates an answer. Then the mother has another question like, "where will he play?" and "how will you feed him?" and each time the boy comes up with an answer. However, to keep the salamander happy the boy has to keep bringing in more and more of the outdoors into his room. The facts are true about how to take care ...more
Sep 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book. I have never read it before and even though it is a children's book, I was really engaged and enjoyed it! I loved how imaginative the child was. It was as if the mom was being realistic and the child knew all the answers to have the perfect solution, but the mom never discouraged him. By the end of the story, the boy had created the same habitat he had found the salamander in. The pictures were vivid and the written literature really enhanced the story by using a lot of ...more
Megan Moore
The Salamander room is a really fun and interesting fantasy book because it tells a story that is not very common or many people think of off the top of their head. It is a perfect book for kids because it is about another young child finds a salamander and takes it home and wants to turn his home into the salamanders home as well. Young kids love learning about animals and bugs and insects so this book includes that in the main story plot. This book allows children to use their imagination and ...more
Such a beautiful book! I can see why so many people love this one. I would use this book during a science lesson on ecosystems since it does a wonderful job of showing how one animal could effect the system as a whole. It would also work well prior to a field trip to a nature center or going on a nature walk around the school to discuss how the kids should take only memories. I feel like you could also use the book to discuss pets, particularly how to choose a good pet and how to truly care for ...more
Bradley Sermon
Mar 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
I think is book is so cute and love the connection it makes between man and nature. The book does a great job illustrating the balance in nature and the cycle of life. I also appreciate the mother's questions to her child because it gets him to think a situation all the way through and problem solve. I especially like the connection between man and nature because I myself have a great respect for the world around me and the relationships between the various components that make up an ecosystem. ...more
Mariah Roze
Apr 24, 2016 rated it liked it
A young boy finds a salamander in the wild and wants to keep him. His mom asks him lots of questions about that situation and he always has answers to every question posed to him about how he will create the perfect environment for the salamander.

"The story does a good job of showing the interconnectedness of various animal and plant life in an ecosystem. This story is whimsical and funny and sweet. The boy’s imagination and caring is wonderful. The illustrations are gorgeous, really special. T
Oct 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Quite a lot of Anne Mazer’s writing education took place while she was unconscious. Her parents wanted desperately to become writers and made themselves get up at 4:00 a.m. Every morning in order to have writing time before their three young children awoke. The first thing Anne heard every day was two big, noisy electric typewriters. The furious sound of typing was her childhood wake-up music. Dur ...more

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