cover image All Eyes on the Pond

All Eyes on the Pond

Michael J. Rosen, Tom Leonard. Hyperion Books, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-56282-475-4

Giving the reader a dramatic, pond-dweller's-eye view, Rosen and Leonard memorably depict a freshwater ecology. On each spread, a lush, fluidly composed acrylic painting places the reader at the sight line of a different representative of pondlife--snail, bat, ant, dragonfly, snapping turtle, mallard and so forth (12 in all). Rosen, meanwhile, relays each creature's perspective via not altogether buoyant verse (``The snapping turtle sometimes sees / the muddy deep, sometimes the trees, / and sometimes nothing but inside /the painted shell where it can hide''). Bursts of lyricism (``The water strider walks the shine / where air and water form a line'') occasionally boost the impact of the text to the same level as the thoroughly striking art. Ages 4-7. (May)