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Comment: Very good condition. Clean text without highlighting or underlining. Tight spine. Exterior is worn with some rubbing and bumping to the edges of the covers.
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Pond Circle Hardcover – June 9, 2009


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Pond Circle + Who Eats What? Food Chains and Food Webs (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science, Stage 2)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books (June 9, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416940219
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416940210
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 9.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #339,250 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 3—This straightforward depiction of the food chain focuses on a pond near the house of a little girl named Anna. The poetic text builds in a "This Is the House That Jack Built" fashion, starting with "the deep, still water" and then introducing "the jade green algae," "the mayfly nymph," "the diving beetle," "the loud bullfrog," and so on up the chain. In the early pages, death is quick and no-nonsense: fly, beetle, frog, and snake are easily devoured by larger predators. Once the furry animals appear, however, the author is more circumspect; the owl merely dives for the skunk, and the coyote stalks the raccoon. Above it all, Anna hears the howl of a coyote and looks out her window, subtly reinforcing humanity's place at the top of the hierarchy. Vitale's rich, colorful oil-on-wood illustrations are as poetic as the text in their depiction of the natural world. An appended "facts to pond-er" section offers more information about the animals included. A clear, child-friendly look at ecology, this book is destined to find a home in storytimes and classrooms.—Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Carroll County Public Library, MD
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About the Author

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.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The dark pond had a slight ripple across the surface, reflecting the windows of Anna's house. The pond's "jade green algae" speckled the water and a mayfly nymph nibbled some next to a lily pad at the surface. Suddenly a diving beetle gave chase to the nymph who was unable to escape even when he quickly dove down under the water. Underneath the surface of the pond the lustrous colors of the plants and the water were beautiful. The diving beetle was spotted by a "loud bullfrog" and the chase was on. The beetle would be a great snack for him. In the animal kingdom there are many species below the tertiary predator, but in the scheme of things even a bullfrog was quite low down on the chain!

"This is the snake
the garter snake
that swallowed the frog
that gobbled the beetle
that ate the nymph
that nibbled the algae
that grew in the water
that filled the pond
by Anna's house."

I thoroughly enjoyed the storybook format of a pond food chain adventure. It is a great way to introduce children to ecology. The rhythmical text was a lot of fun and reminded me a lot of the song "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly" because the text is repetitive and cumulative. Anyone who is musical could easily strum or play a simple melody and sing the lyrics to their children or young students. The full page artwork is vibrant and creates a little aura of mystique and mystery . . . what will that critter eat? In the back of the book is a section of "facts to pond-er" that discusses the creatures in this food chain (algae, mayfly nymph, predaceous diving beetle, bullfrog, giant garter snake, striped skunk, great horned own, raccoon and the coyote). If you are looking for an introductory food chain who-eats-what picture book, this should be your book of choice!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Richie Partington VINE VOICE on July 31, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Knowing how essential it is that young people become aware of the interdependence of species in a natural system -- and the importance of each link in that system -- I am incredibly excited about Betsy Franco's simple, lyrical, beautiful, lively, exceptionally fun, cumulative-tale-of-a-picture book that is POND CIRCLE. This is a book that shows young readers how a neighborhood ecosystem begins with the algae in the pond and works its way up to the howling, prowling coyote:

"This is the coyote/out in the dark/that stalked the raccoon/the hungry raccoon/that stole the eggs/of the great horned owl/that dived for the skunk/the shy striped skunk/that caught the snake/the garter snake/that swallowed the frog/the loud bullfrog/that gobbled the beetle/the diving beetle/that ate the nymph/the mayfly nymph/that nibbled the algae/the jade green algae/that grew in the water/ the deep, still water/that filled the pond/by Anna's house."

But what makes POND CIRCLE a truly memorable picture book are Stefano Vitale's paintings depicting the circle of life in and about that pond.

I still clearly recall, a dozen years ago as Children's Buyer, first examining Vitale's re-illustration of Charlotte Zolotow's WHEN THE WIND STOPS. Vitale has an extremely distinctive style in which he uses oils on plywood in a manner that the grain is often still visible through the paint. Over the years I've been in love with so many of his covers and his picture books, but this is his best work yet. The flying-in-your-face horned owl, caught-in-the-act raccoon, and big-attitude coyote are absolute characters!
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Format: Hardcover
Written in the cumulative style of "This is the house that Jack built", this gorgeously-illustrated (by Stefano Vitale) picture book tells the story of the circle of life as it unfolds in a little pond. Author Betsy Franco's prose unfolds in a rhythmic and soothing fashion, lulling readers and listeners alike into a state of calm as the circle of life begins with the green algae, that gets consumed by the mayfly nymph, that gets eaten by the diving beetle, that gets gobbled by the bullfrog, and so it goes on and on.

The illustrations are not only beautiful, but painted in vivid colors, engaging my preschooler's attention, and delighting us both with the rhythmic, flowing prose. This picture book would be great for teaching children about the ecosystem in a pond and is perfect for reading aloud. Highly recommended!
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By A on August 3, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great book about food chains. It is realistic but not overly graffic. My 3 and 4 year olds loved it and by the end understood that animals eat other animals but it doesn't make them "bad" just hungry. Lol great repetitive story.... same style as "The House that Jack Built".
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