Monday, February 20, 2012

Picture Book (Science): Hey Diddle Diddle (by Pam Kapchinske)

Summary of Hey Diddle Diddle (by Pam Kapchinske):   
The narrative takes place in the forest where living thing from tiny bugs to great bobcats live.  It begins with a jolly-looking insect roaming among the flora and with this stanza: 

A shiny green beetle was strollin' along
tappin' his feet and singin' a song.
He said, "Hey diddle diddle--whaddaya know?
I've got six legs to help me go."

On the next page, a slithering snake swallows him up, followed by hawk swooping down to snatch up the snake.  The illustrations help transition to a new food chain beginning in and along a pond with a group of frogs sitting on a lily pad.  The account continues using various creatures and rhyming quatrains, which also reveal facts about the various insects and animals.  It ends with a bobcat (the top of the food chain), singing

"Hey diddle diddle--now fancy that, 
a nap sounds good to this old cat.
The lion's king (or so they say),
I guess that makes me queen today."

Hey Diddle Diddle is an ideal way to introduce or reinforce the concept of food chains as well as science terms, like vertebrate, invertebrate, prey, predator, herbivore, and carnivore.  Children will enjoy the vivid illustrations in shades of green and brown that aptly capture the natural habitat of the living things.  In addition, the light-hearted, rhythmic lines are pleasing to the ears.  They can be used as a spring board for early readers to learn about sounds (rhyme and alliteration).  Older readers learn to appreciate poetic language and rhythm.  I recommend this book for ages 5-8.  

Teaching Opportunities:
Sylvan Dell has developed a 49-page across the curriculum teaching guide to help you with some of teaching ideas above and many more.  The book page also includes various quizzes and other resources.  

This post is link up at Hope is a Word for Read Aloud Thursday.  Check out other great read alouds HERE.  

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