Learning about the food chain can begin with a chart in a science book—or through reading about twenty-four hours in the life of Butternut Hollow Pond. At dawn, a dragonfly snatches a mosquito in midair and then the dragonfly becomes breakfast for a tree swallow. A snapping turtle "drags his heavy body from the pond bottom," but not quite fast enough to snatch a duckling—"Sometimes you're lucky in Butternut Hollow." A heron seizes a fish; a woodchuck escapes the outstretched talons of a hawk; a frog snares a moth with his sticky tongue but promptly vanishes into the gaping maw of a largemouth bass. The bass is hauled into a rowboat by a boy with a rod and reel. "The hunters and the hunted are one and the same, and tomorrow is just another day." Brian Heinz has gently but honestly introduced readers to pond ecology, while Bob Marstall has softly painted the life of Butternut Hollow Pond with great detail and full-page action. Marshall has also provided a "behind-the-scenes" look at the process of creating this book on his web site—www.marstallstudio.com. 2000, Millbrook Press, $22.90 and $15.95. Ages 4 to 8. Reviewer: Karen Leggett
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-Heinz explores the life in a pond from dawn to dusk. Turtles nip at mallard ducklings, hawks hunt woodchucks, and herons eat pumpkinseed fish. The cycle of life is evident. The informative, matter-of-fact narrative descriptions are almost scientific, as are the pictures, done in watercolor. The individual animals are illustrated with great attention to detail, and the close-ups of many of them are excellent. The pastel landscapes help soften the book, and are more impressionistic. The quiet text and appropriately serene or active artwork pair up to present a realistic look at this habitat.-JoAnn Jonas, Carlsbad City Library, San Diego, CA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.