cover image At the Frog Pond

At the Frog Pond

Tilde Michels. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, $11.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-397-32314-2

Inviting readers to ``be a part of things that live and grow around this small frog pond,'' Michels briefly surveys aspects of amphibian, insect, bird, fish, reptile and mammal life in a serene pond habitat. Included are details of animal reproduction, hibernation, predation (the pike is ``a thief and a glutton who snaps at anything''), the shifting of the seasons, and climatic changes, matter-of-factly narrated. Michl's watercolors realistically evoke the peaceful seclusion of a natural backwater, and dwell occasionally on the fantastic elements of nature, as when nocturnal creatures congregate with bacchanalian delight under a full moon, or when ``all the frogs begin a grand frog concert'' after a storm ends. Sharing a special fondness for their subject, Michels and Michl aptly convey the impassive playfulness of these aquatic acrobats. Ages 5-9. (Mar.)