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Pond Circle

3.67  ·  Rating Details  ·  118 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
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 na ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published June 9th 2009 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
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Oscar Pagoada
Jun 29, 2014 Oscar Pagoada rated it liked it
The story behind Pond Circle is one that explains how one ecosystem is connected with another. A simple place such as a pond has its ties indirectly with many other living things. These connections might not be widely known by the younger intended audience. The authors writing style for this particular story makes it easy for the students to follow along. The author adds another step of the food chain and repeats the previous creatures and their activities. The book could be easily followed by s ...more
Jun 17, 2009 Tasha rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Follow the life cycle in a small pond as this story builds one layer on the next in a traditional folktale style. The book starts with the “deep, still water” and moves from one plant to creature growing and growing. This is a simple story that culminates in a young girl looking out from her window over the pond and seeing all of the creatures and plants mentioned. By tying humans into the story, we are connected and reminded of the world around us in a subtle way. I also appreciated as the repe ...more
Dec 17, 2014 SmokingMirror rated it really liked it
The pictures mesh with the text in a hypnotic way; I cannot praise Stefano Vitale too much. He seems to be at his best when he is depicting non-human subjects: his imaginative framing of each concept is exceptional.
Feb 25, 2015 Natalie rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed how this book teaches about the pond ecosystem by using the "In the House that Jack Built" routine. It was fun and interesting because that was the type of story I loved reading as a kid.
Nov 06, 2014 Bailey rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed the way they brought out the concepts of food chains in this book. It had that fun rhythm to it that you get in similar count down type books. I really enjoyed the artwork as well.
Melanie Lee
Feb 24, 2015 Melanie Lee rated it liked it
It was a cute little cycle story with fun words, however, I didn't love the ending. For a children book it kind of spins off and drags on. But it's super cute.
Jan 05, 2015 Jillian rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tikka-s-books
Love the illustrations in this book and like the animals that appear and the hints of a food web as well. Will definitely get again!
Oct 03, 2014 Hannah added it
I enjoyed the unique wood-like texture in the illustrations.
Linda Silva
Oct 24, 2012 Linda Silva rated it it was amazing
This book is an example of pattern writing much like the book "The Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly". It takes place in the pond with the algae being at one end of the food chain and a coyote being at the other. The artwork is really beautiful and vibrant and kids would enjoy the pictures. Upper elementary students could use this for science as an example of a food chain. Little children may be frightened by the animals eating each other.

Franco, B., & Vitale, S. (2009). Pond circle. New York: Ma
Mar 01, 2010 Carolynne rated it really liked it
_Pond Circle_ is a cumulative tale similar in rhythm and structure to "The House That Jack Built." Stefano Vitale's beautiful paintings (acrylic on boards, I believe)illuminate the somewhat grim story, which deals with the food chain in and around the pond. Vitale was nominated for the Prairie Pasque Award in 2009 for the _New York Times_ bestseller, _Why War Is Never a Good Idea._ The author, Betsy Franco, was nominated for a Bluegrass Award for her book _You Hear Me?: Poems and Writing by Teen ...more
Jul 18, 2009 Katie rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books, nature
Told cumulatively like 'This is the House that Jack Built'.

Beautifully illustrated.

I didn't realize that this book illustrates a food chain, so some of the illustrations caught me by surprise (the cute little frog being swallowed by a snake, the skunk chomping down on the snake, and the raccoon stealing owl eggs). :(

Won't be reading this one to my toddler! Recommend for school-agers.
Oct 27, 2010 Angie rated it liked it
Shelves: picture
This is the most poetic example of an ecosystem/food chain I have ever seen. I really liked it!

Sort of a building story ...
"This is the water
the deep still water
that filled the pond
by Anna's house.

This is the algae
the jade green algae
that grew in the water
that filled the pond
by Anna's house."
May 16, 2014 Heather rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-kids
Catherine Woodman
A variation of I know an old woman who swallowed a fly, I don't know why, but cleverly rewritten to be less preposterous and more anchored in nature--and really truely gorgeous illustrations--I would get this for an infant to one year old because it is lovely to look at and rhythmic to read.
Jun 01, 2010 Sima rated it liked it
This is similiar to THE LITTLE OLD DAY WHO SWALLOWED A FLY. I like it because it is using a pond as the setting. It ties in a food chain using the animals living in the pond habitat. I especially like the animal facts in the back of the book.
Oct 28, 2013 Tracy rated it really liked it
Beautiful illustrations, had to read REALLY fast towards the end as each page repeats the previous pages. Kept the girls interested by asking them to point out animals and what sounds they make...frog and coyote were favorites.
Jan 02, 2010 Molly rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Depicts the circle of life in one pond, reads like The House That Jack Built. The large, clear illustrations make this a nice choice for group read alouds. I'm considering it for my 4-6 storytime this year.
Oct 28, 2010 Marcie rated it really liked it
Recommended to Marcie by: CBC Bank Street 2010
Lovely Read Aloud to teach food chains. Love the illustrations and the facts to pond-er. I call this a cross-over book. That is it crosses the fiction - information line.
Jun 18, 2009 Sue rated it it was amazing
Luminescent pictures illustrate the life cycle of the animals that live in the pond, told in the classic This is the house format.
Esther May
May 06, 2013 Esther May rated it really liked it
Written in the style of the House that Jack built we can see the relationship of different animals that live at a pond.
Oct 19, 2009 Kristen rated it liked it
Nice life cycle / House that Jack built tale. Love the oil-on-wood paintings that let the grain of the wood show through.
May 24, 2011 Beth rated it liked it
The pictures were beautiful, but the kids kept asking why I kept repeating myself.
Jul 30, 2009 Julie rated it really liked it
Food chains, pond ecology
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Beyond the Pages
Beyond the Pages rated it really liked it
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Betsy Franco has published more than eighty books, including three previous anthologies. She lives in Palo Alto, California.
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