Pond Circle

by Betsy Franco
illustrated by Stefano Vitale

Pond Circle is a beautifully illustrated look at the food chain of one small pond located in the backyard of a young girl's house. In rhythmic, cumulative text (ie: "I am the girl / who heard the coyote/ looked up from her book...), the reader sees all the steps in a food chain---from algae to nymph to beetle to frog to snake to skunk to owl to raccoon to coyote.

We are so taken with Vitale's breathtaking artwork that we immediately ordered a bunch of other books illustrated by him. His illustrations do sort of 'steal the show', but illustrations aside, this rhythmic tale does present a solid window into food chains for kids.  If you're looking for an example of a food chain in action, you can't go wrong with this book. Since the book doesn't explain food chains--rather provides an example--so use it after sometime after your initial food chain lesson. School Library Journal said it's "destined to find a home in story times and classrooms." We agree.

This book made it on the Bank Street Best Books of the Year List.

Interest Level:  Preschool - 3rd grade 

See inside
Below are sample spreads from inside this book. Beautiful, right? Each spread covers another link in a food chain, all in cumulative tale format. To give you an idea of the text on the pages, this first one reads: "This is the frog / the loud bullfrog / 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."

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