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Secrets of the Garden: Food Chains and the Food Web in Our Backyard
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Secrets of the Garden: Food Chains and the Food Web in Our Backyard

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  97 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Perfect for spring planting season--an outstanding book about backyard science the whole family will appreciate.

Alice's family plants a vegetable garden each spring, and this budding naturalist reports all she sees about how the plants grow, what insects come to eat the plants, and what birds and animals come to eat the insects. It's the food chain, right in her own backya
Paperback, 40 pages
Published April 8th 2014 by Dragonfly Books (first published February 2012)
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Alice loves it when spring arrives and they can start planting the garden. Her dad gets the soil ready for planting and then she and her brother start putting the seeds in. It seems like a long time before the seeds finally sprout. Then other seedlings are transplanted from pots and potatoes are sown. Lettuce and radishes are ready to eat first, and Alice spots a rabbit munching on them too. She also thinks a mouse might be eating the fallen corn. Hawks hunt in the garden and there are plenty of ...more
Kendra Wheeler

Secrets of the Garden: Food Chains and the Food Web in Our Backyard by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld, is a narrative book told by the character Alice. Alice talks about the processes of having a garden and the animals that live around there. This book is very educational talks about plants and the food chain that can happen in a garden.

This book uses fun illustrations that are more cartoonish then real life. The content in this book is very detailed but it is still easy enough for kids to be able to
I chose this book in honor of spring.
This book is very educational. It goes through and talks about different plants and it has illustrations of each plant and what its sprout looks like. After going through some of the plants, it begins to talk about the food chain. It has an illustration of a plant, a mouse eating the plant, and then a hawk swooping down and eating the mouse. It gives ideas for caterpillars that eat the vegetation. The little girl in the story caught as many as she could and f
This author's living/nonliving book is so very accessible to even the youngest child, and this food chain book is as well. It brings food web studies right to the reader's own backyard. Love that rhubarb is mentioned as a stem we eat! Didn't know that earthworms have tiny bristles that help is stay in the earth. Very engaging and gentle food chain book.
Jennifer Miera
Loved this book, but forgot to write down the title/author and have been trying to track it down for some time. I stumbled upon the author's new book Secrets of the Seasons, recognized the illustrator's style and tracked down the gardening book. Love serendipity like that.
Sharon Lawler
Very simple exploration of a family's backyard garden. From the need for sun and water, to the value of composting, children will learn about the plant development from spring through fall. They will also learn about the interdependence between plants and the insects, birds, and animals. The book concludes with the family harvesting and storing the vegetables, and using the winter months to plan the next one. Even though there is a lot of information, you can use this book with many levels, from ...more
Alfred A. Knopf (NY)
Kathleen Zoehfeld
Priscilla Lamont
30 pages
Picture Book

I was surprised at the academic depth of this picture book. The reader could choose to read the story alone, but the reader could also get an education by reading the bubbles spoken by the family or the animals that benefited from the garden. I was surprised that a picture book would explain topics such as compost, nutrients, sprouting plants, photosynthesis, energy, food chain, herbivores, carnivores, omnivores, cultiv
Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld address all the wonders of backyard gardening. She tells about a family planting seeds in the spring and explores various garden food chains. The text is simply but addresses fairly sophisticated ideas. I loved the page about worms! The words are laid out in the tunnels that worms dig through the earth. The pictures are an excellent complement to the text and really help clarify ideas.

Recommended as a great science text for grades 2 - 4. This is a great addition to a sc
Christian Lyles
This was a cool book just because of all of the things that are in a garden!
A pair of plucky chickens introduce young readers to the great big world inhabiting their backyard garden. The concept of food webs and the importance of every plant and animal player is introduced. Questions are brought up for discussion.

Vegan families note: While this is an overall positive book about nature, you may want to be aware that there is reference to people eating hens' eggs. A cartoon of a food web includes a child who apparently eats chickens, rabbits, and grasshoppers(!)
Read this one with my 5 year old. It was on her kindergarten summer reading list. We really enjoyed it! It does a great job of introducing the concepts of food chains and food webs in a way that was really understandable. When asked, my daughter was able to easily relate the information back to me. She really enjoyed learning about how the entire family enjoys the garden. Her favorite parts were the map of the garden and the talking chickens.
I love gardens, all descriptions of gardens. This is a narrative of a small families garden from early spring to summer. A tad didactic, it does show preparation and planting of a garden. It might well encourage someone to start a garden and that would be quite wonderful.
A fact filled book about gardening, the soil and all the animals/insects involved in the growing cycle. Also a good explanation of food chains. The two chickens who give detailed explanations on each topic are my favorite characters!
Heather Jo
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Super book little gardeners everywhere. A combination of story and scientific facts are found with in the pages of this book. Invited illustrations, nicely organized. Would recommend with confidence.
A picture book with a story about a family gardening and the addition of information about food chains, webs, and gardening make this book good for a variety of ages. Gr. 1-4.
Smart and interesting with very friendly art, this is a garden-lover's book to share and educate while being entertained by the story of a family growing their garden.
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
Nice overlay of a story of a family who plants and harvests a garden with lots of garden facts and information in a very accessible format.
Zara Younus
Grade 4-5. The flow of energy through the food web/chain.

Students can put pictures of organisms in order in which the food web flows.
Chelsey Combs
This book is very educational. It discusses different types of plants and their parts and what they need to grow.
Shalini Noronha
Call Number Copy Material Location
J 577.16 ZOE BEGINNER BOOK 1 Juvenile Book Juvenile Nonfiction Collection
Melinda Garman
Recommended for 2nd-5th grade. Have your students realize that their are food webs in their own backyard.
Edward Sullivan
Simple, engaging explanation of food chains and food web through the example of a backyard garden.
Top Ten Crafts and Gardening Books for Kids 2012 (Booklist)
Clear explanation of food chains in our backyard.
Rachel Gall
Gentle introduction to ecology, food chains, and food webs.
Wooden Horse
Feb 17, 2012 Wooden Horse marked it as books-to-consider  ·  review of another edition
Reviewed by Horn Book Feb. 2012
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Nadia Malik
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Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld is the award-winning author of more than sixty books for children, including DINOSAUR TRACKS, "a great choice for even the most discriminating dinophiles" (School Library Journal); DID DINOSAURS HAVE FEATHERS?, a Children's Book of the Month Club selection, described as "fascinating" by Kirkus Reviews; and DINOSAURS BIG AND SMALL, a 2003 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Best Book ...more
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