Hey Diddle Diddle: A Food Chain Tale

Kirkus - July 2011

The [beat is] 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. In a niche that includes elegant, realistic and natural offerings, this is cute.

Science Books and Films - February 2012

Upon first reading  Hey Diddle Diddle: A Food Chain Tale, I asked myself whether young children would be upset to see animals eating other animals. When I reread the book and did some research on it, I found comments by children who had read the book. This helped me realize that I may have overreacted. The author, Pam Kapchinske, is a long time educator and curriculum developer who knows her audience. Children will enjoy the rhythm and rhyme of the book. Since most young children are familiar with the nursery rhyme upon which the book is based, it was a good choice to keep them interested. The author’s goal with this book is to introduce young children to the food chain within a single ecosystem by observing several colorful characters moving through three food chains in their North American habitat. The book begins with a small animal, a green beetle, which is eaten by a snake. The snake, in turn, is eaten by a hawk. This continues until the end of the book, when a lizard is eaten by a bobcat, which is at the top of this particular food chain. The colorful, large illustrations by Sherry Rogers are sensitive to young children and don’t show the animals actually eating other animals. There is a “For Creative Minds” section at the end of the book to engage children in various activities that can be lead by a teacher or parent to further understanding about this subject. This rhyming book should keep young children engaged and is appropriate for children in pre-school through the third grade. It would be a great addition to any elementary school science curriculum.
Carol April, Gaithersburg, MD

Learning Table - January 2012

When you combine Arbordale's Hey Diddle Diddle:  A Food Chain Tale by Pam Kapchinske, illustrated by Sherry Rogers with the online teaching activity downloads, you have a unit study which encompasses all subject areas.  This book can be revisited time and time again, and will captivate young learners as they learn about food chains and food webs, herbivores and carnivores, predators and prey, animal classification, and animal adaptations.  To stretch the learning even further, the online resources provide cross-curricular learning opportunities such as math activities, mapping, journaling, word families, sequencing, and so much more. 

Books 4 Learning - February 2012

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.

Mom of 3 Dolls Now 4 - June 2012

"Hey Diddle Diddle” is a whimsical journey along a riparian food web through the songs and antics of eight interconnected species. From a shiny green beetle “tappin’ his feet and singin’ a song” to a smug bobcat that feels like the “queen” of the jungle, readers will observe several colorful characters moving through three food chains in a familiar North American habitat.

All the Arbordale Publishing books comes with a Creative Minds for extra activities related to the books. This includes Herbivore or Carnivore?; Predator or Prey?; Food Chains: True or False?; Animal Classification; and Animal Adaptations Matching. It's a fun and educational way to read a book! The ebook version also comes in Spanish.

Heck of a Bunch - August 2011

This book quite possibly has one of the catchiest rhythmic "jingles" I've ever read. It's a delightful read that's sure to be enjoyable and educational.

Book Loons - September 2011

Hey Diddle, Diddle gives a simple overview of how a food chain works. The animals themselves tell their story in rhyme, which makes the book easy to read again and again. It is a very basic book for children as young as four and a nice introduction for ecosystems both in and out of the water.

Feathered Quill Book Reviews - August 2011

From the frog who hops into the river to feed the fish, all the way up to the snake slithering through the garden where the bobcat awaits, each and every page offers information on animals and their natural habitats - AND in a way that is easy to understand. The illustrations are absolutely fabulous, as readers watch nature go about its business of survival, and the activities within the book are truly a whole lot of fun!
Quill Says: Another Sylvan masterpiece!

Home School Book Review - October 2011

Do you know what a “food chain” is?  No, it’s not a ring of fruits or vegetables that you put around your neck to munch on.   This book doesn’t so much define a food chain as it simply illustrates different food chains within a single ecosystem, thus introducing children to the concept of the food web.  A shiny green beetle is eaten by a slithering snake which in turn is eaten by a hawk.  A frog is eaten by a bass.  A plump leaf-eating caterpillar is eaten by a lizard.  What animal do you think is at the top of this last food chain and eats the lizard? Even though the fact that some animals eat other animals is part of the food web and must be understood, sensitive children will appreciate the fact that Sherry Rogers’s colorful illustrations don’t show any of the animals actually chomping down on their prey.

NC Teacher Stuff - December 2011

No one is safe in Hey Diddle Diddle. As soon as you start celebrating your latest meal, you end up on someone else's dinner plate. Welcome to the food chain. Each sequence is presented in a four line rhyme that will be a popular shared reading experience. It is an AABB pattern so you can withhold the last word in the second A and B lines and see if students can predict the word. Speaking of predicting, you can also ask students to use their background knowledge and predict what animal will be on the next page. Hey Diddle Diddle is a good science lesson (Lessons on herbivore/carnivore, predator/prey, and habitat are possibilities), but I think the hidden strength of this book is in the writing lessons that can be taught using this text. Author Pam Kapchinske loads these verses with vivid verbs which can be used as a mentor text for beefing up stale writing. It would also be a fun activity as a class to create your own pair of four verse rhymes featuring a predator and their prey. Perhaps a kid attacking a grilled cheese sandwich. As with other Arbordale titles, check out the back matter for activities that can be used in the classroom or at home.

Papertrails Family Blog, Myles Age 7 - November 2011

At the bottom of the food chain is the leaf, and at the top of the food chain is the human being.

One thing that’s fun about this book is every time an animal eats something it says, “Hey Diddle Diddle!” (Maybe I’ll start doing that too.)

From this book I learned that different species of animals get their food different ways – from the water, the land and the air, for example.

I like nature and the food chain is a part of nature. If we didn’t have animals, we wouldn’t have food, and if we didn’t have food, we wouldn’t have people.

So I’m pretty thankful for the food chain!

Macaroni Kid - October 2011

My 7 year old thought that it was a fun way to learn about the food chain.

4 the Love of Books - September 2011

This story will take your child on a rhyming food chain journey as they wonder through the ecosystem.  They start with a beetle and end with the queen.  The illustrations are excellent.

Just Our Thoughts - September 2011

What a fun book!  The rhythm and the rhyme was so fun to read.  The beat was definitely there!  At the end of the book, I got, “Again, again!” from my little Rayna (almost 3).  We’ve talked about herbivores and carnivores in our homeschool before, I noticed some instruction for further discussion in the back pages of Hey Diddle Diddle.  Habitats though might need a little more discussion.  We have a game called “Science Stadium” that the kids like to play that help with classification of animals.  This book will be a great addition to our science curriculum.

Reader Views Kids, Cayden (Age 7) - September 2011

"Hey Diddle Diddle: A Food Chain Tale” is about animals eating other animals.  The first animal in the book is a green beetle with six legs.  He sings a little song and then gets gobbled up by a snake.  Then the snake gets eaten and everything keeps getting eaten up by something else.  That is a food chain.

I liked the part at the back of the book where you could learn more about the animals and you can learn about things that they eat.  My favorite picture in “Hey Diddle Diddle: A Food Chain Tale” was when the bass ate the frog.

Reading to Know - August 2011

I really wasn't sure what my son would think of this one. He likes animals after all. But I read it to him without any emotions attached. Apparently I should only concern myself with my own emotions. He requested multiple re-reads of this title, animals gulping each other and all! No worries.