Kapchinske’s picture-book debut is a fact-toting trip through several food chains.
After a snack of a little green beetle, a snake slithers along: “He sang, ‘Hey diddle diddle—I’m feelin’ fine. / Call me cold-blooded, but I’ve got a spine.’ / A hawk looked down a tweetin’ a tune / and said, ‘I’d like some breakfast soon.’ ” The second food chain consists of a frog and a bass, while the last begins with a caterpillar that is eaten by a lizard and ends with a bobcat. The forced incorporation of so many facts comes off as didactic at times, although they will serve to teach readers about the various species. While the verses sometimes falter in their rhythms, which are based loosely on the titular nursery rhyme, the beat is nonetheless rollicking and will likely have readers and listeners alike tapping their toes. Extensive backmatter includes more information and questions that will deepen children’s understanding of food chains and animal classification and adaptations. Rogers’ digitally illustrated animals are slightly cartoonish with too-bright colors and anthropomorphized expressions and body language. Most offputting, this injects human emotions into what is a natural cycle in the animal world.
In a niche that includes elegant, realistic and natural offerings, this is cute. (Informational picture book. 4-7)