This is a nonfiction book about the decimation of a beautiful pond. Each spread is broken into three parts.
On the left top page, in large dark type and simple vocabulary, Peter Simon tells the story of frog and his friends butterfly, turtle, fish, and dragonfly who live happy and productive lives in the pond. It also includes the migratory ducks and geese who visit seasonally. Humans create a subdivision nearby and decide the pond needs to be tamed. By the time they are finished, it is stark and dead. All the creatures have left. Eventually, the humans realize their destruction needs to be rectified and they replant the pond and allow nature to return to its own balance.
On the left bottom page, the type is smaller. The author explains what is happening in detail, providing statistics such as “Over the many years since Europeans began coming to North America, Canada has lost more than 70% of its original wetlands.” He describes the importance of wetlands to wildlife and to clean water.
On the right page, Peter Simon has painted detailed, realistic, and informative illustrations to bring home his message.
The only time this pattern is broken is in the middle of the book. Simon shows a dramatic double page illustration from the point of view of the animals as humans stomp through the pond and area around it, damaging the plants and frightening the wildlife.
This would be a highly useful book for grade school teachers and for families interested in ponds, animal habitats, and the natural balance.