Ponds are defined as a still body of water smaller than a lake, shallow enough for rooted plants to grow throughout. And they are teeming with life — from bullfrogs and bass to herons and dragonflies.
Authors are also drawn to ponds, and there are a great number of books about them for children of all ages. Here are a few that are included in our “Once a Pond a Time” STEM Kit, described in the right- hand column on this page.
THE DARK, DARK NIGHT
By M. Christina Butler; illustrated by Jane Chapman.
Intercourse, Pa.: Good Books, 2008.
Upon awakening from his long winter’s nap, Frog spends a happy day playing with his friends. When he reaches his pond after dark, he sees a huge pond monster and needs his friends’ help to face it.
IN THE SMALL, SMALL POND
By Denise Fleming.
New York: Harry Holt and Co, 1993.
The rhyming text and vibrant illustrations will have the very young enraptured by the exciting life in and around a pond.
By Betsy Franco; illustrated by Stefano Vitale.
New York: Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2009.
In the pond by Anna’s house, a food chain begins with algae that is eaten by a mayfly nymph that is eaten by a beetle that is eaten by a bullfrog…
SONG OF THE WATER BOATMAN & OTHER POND POEMS
By Joyce Sidman; illustrated by Beckie Prange.
Boston: Houghton Mifflin 2005.
This collection of poems provides a look at some of the animals, insects and plants that are found in ponds, with accompanying information about each.
By Cathryn Falwell.
New York: Greenwillow Books, 2001.
As they are startled by the activities of other nearby creatures, the number of turtles on a log in a pond decreases from 10 to one.
Includes factual information about the animals mentioned in the story.
Anyone in Wisconsin can borrow these books. Just email
The Wisconsin Water Library welcomes a new addition to its ever-expanding STEM kit family. “Once a Pond a Time” introduces concepts related to ponds, including ecosystems and types of bodies of water.
It’s the third water-themed STEM kit created by the library for teachers and librarians who work with children ages three through nine. The kits combine literacy and science into one storyhour extravaganza, including read-aloud books (see the list in the left column), ideas for a “science chat,” craft ideas, songs, science experiments and other activities.
Two earlier kits — “Jump Around with Frogs!” and “Does It Sink or Float?” — are already in circulation and have been making their way around the state.
The kits are available to anyone in Wisconsin directly from the Wisconsin Water Library by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org, (608) 262-3069 or from the website at aqua.wisc.edu/waterlibrary.