The Noisy Puddle: A Vernal Pool Through the Seasons

by Linda Booth Sweeney (Author) Miki Sato (Illustrator)

The Noisy Puddle: A Vernal Pool Through the Seasons
Reading Level: K − 1st Grade
A lyrical dip into the noisy, magical world of a vernal pool

In this vibrant and poetic informational picture book, two curious siblings observe the hidden world of a vernal pool: a special kind of puddle habitat that pops up in the spring, dries up by summer, reappears in the fall, and freezes over in the winter—only to come back again in the spring.

Young naturalists and future water stewards will be encouraged to listen, watch, and wait to witness the seasonal changes of the ever-changing puddle and its inhabitants. As readers follow along with the rhythmic text, they will be fascinated to discover many familiar and not-so-familiar creatures that make up the surprising web of interrelationships living in these vital pop-up pools.

With buoyant, lyrical text and beautiful cut-paper collage illustrations, The Noisy Puddle is an immersive introduction to “now-you-see-me, now-you-don’t” wetland habitats.

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Kirkus Reviews

Nature offers up marvelous surprises at every turn—even via a humble puddle teeming with life.

Publishers Weekly

Sweeney's rhyming poetry highlights the sights and sounds of a "noisy puddle" in this captivating tribute to underappreciated vernal pools and their role in supporting healthy wetland ecosystems. Framed as a series of nature walks that take place over the course of a year, lines urge "LISTEN./ LISTEN." and "LOOK! LOOK!" as a pale-skinned, dark-haired child and caregiver accompany wildlife observations rendered in rhyming verse. Spring brings creaturely identification ("Wood frogs quack./ Ducks clown./ Fairy shrimp swim/ upside down"), but the vernal pool disappears with summer's arrival, replaced by buttonbush and butterflies, then fall rains and autumn leaves, and winter ice until, at last, spring's robins sing "Cheer-up." Cut paper and fabric gives Sato's outdoor scenes a crackling texture that makes pages feel touchable, amplifying the book's eco-embrace of attentive sensory exploration. Back matter includes a note, a list of wildlife pictured, and resources. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)

Copyright 2024 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

"A sensory experience promising to tickle the curiosity of young naturalists, whether in-classroom or on the scene."— "School Library Journal"
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
March 12, 2024
BISAC categories
JUV002000 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | General
JUV029010 - Juvenile Fiction | Nature & the Natural World | Environment
JUV032170 - Juvenile Fiction | Sports & Recreation | Camping & Outdoor Activities
JUV029020 - Juvenile Fiction | Nature & the Natural World | Weather
Library of Congress categories

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