Information Tacklebox

MinnAqua


Book Reviews

Aquatic Habitats

by Nadine Meyer

April 2008


Life in the Pond Book Cover

Life in the Pond

By Eileen Curran

Illustrated by Elizabeth Ellis

Grades: PreK-2 ISBN: 081670452X

This picture book is an excellent introduction to a pond for those too young to do a visualization activity and for those that do not have a pond nearby to observe. The text is simple with some onomatopoeia and many action words. The watercolor illustrations are accurate and dynamic with many little elements to search for on each page. Both the underwater and surrounding upland aquatic habitats are explored and the books spans from early morning to late night.

This out-of-print book can be found at libraries or online as used in either paperback or library bound.


Song of the Water Boatman Book Cover 

Song of the Water Boatman & Other Pond Poems

By Joyce Sidman

Illustrated by Beckie Prange

Grades: 2-10 ISBN: 0618135472

This book is a compilation of poems about aquatic habitats. From duckweed to wood ducks these poems describe the life of a pond and the interconnections between the pond inhabitants. Each poem is accurately and beautifully illustrated with hand-colored woodcuts. A brief narrative describing the poem?s concept, plant, or animal accompanies each poem.

This is a 2005 Caldecott Honor book and both the author and illustrator are from Minnesota.


Willa in the Wetlands

by Peyton Lews and Rory Chalcraft

Grades: PreK-2 (view of performance play); 3-5 (view performance and read)

This is a very creative, funny, and engaging play with catchy, upbeat songs. The cast includes Willa the student, Sherman and Shirley Shrimp, Johnny Rockfish, Wild Rice, Blue Heron, and many other wetland dwellers. The play begins with Willa setting off to find a “wetland treasure” mentioned by her teacher. She soon discovers that “looking for a treasure in a swamp or marsh is a hard job. I see nothing that looks the least bit priceless.” The treasures she finds aren’t what she expects, and her search leads her to a bald eagle, a muskrat lodge, some fiddling fiddler crabs, and much more. Willa concludes, “I came here looking for gold and silver but I think I’ve learned what the real treasure is. Everyone I met was a jewel.”

Scripts for Willa in Wetlands are available at no charge from the Wetlands Information Hotline, which can be reached toll-free at 1-800-528-7828. A teacher’s guide is also available.