One summer night by a small pond, mayflies dart, beetles dive, frogs spring, skunks shuffle, and owls swoop. As a young girl watches, the circle of life unfolds.The rhythmic, cumulative story and rich, luminous paintings capture the bold beauty of nature. Take a short journey into one backyard and experience all the wonder of the living, breathing world around us.
On a summer night by a small pond, all seems still. But a closer look reveals a world of activity—mayflies dart, beetles dive, frogs spring, skunks shuffle, and owls swoop. As a young girl watches, the circle of life unfolds. Betsy Franco’s rhythmic, cumulative text makes this a lively read-aloud, and rich, luminous paintings by Stefano Vitale capture the bold beauty of nature. Young readers will be inspired to journey into their own backyards and discover the wonder of the living, breathing world around them.
Betsy Franco has spent more than twenty years showing children the beauty, depth, and fun of math and science through her picture books. She lives with her husband in Palo Alto, California. Visit her website at betsyfranco.com.
Stefano Vitale is the illustrator of several books for children, including the New York Times bestseller Why War Is Never a Good Idea by Alice Walker. Stefano lives with his wife and children in Venice, Italy. Please visit his website at stefanovitale.com.
Rhythmic cadences and a dark palette are paired to explore the shadowy setting and circle of life for creatures that live near a pond. The majority of the book is a cumulative poemThis is the water/ the deep, still water/ that filled the pond/ by Annas house./ This is the algae/ the jade green algae...though Franco abandons the format, somewhat awkwardly, with two closing stanzas in Annas voice. The algae is eaten by a mayfly nymph, the mayfly by a beetle, and a frog, snake, skunk, owl, raccoon and coyote make appearances, too. The overall tone is matter-of-fact yet lyrical, and Francos ending Facts to Pond-er offers kid-pleasing details about the books creatures. Vitales somber, nighttime panoramasoil on wood, with a strong horizontal grainfeature stylized figures that, while striking, may detach viewers from the insect gobbling and egg stealing described. Annas facial expression is static, as if she were a carved figurehead on an ancient ship. Although the text is sometimes difficult to read against the muted paintings, young naturalists and poets will be intrigued nonetheless. Ages 48. (June) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.