Sherry Rogers spent twelve years as a corporate graphic designer and artist before -leaving it all behind- for the freelance world of illustrating children's books. Through illustrating The First Fire, Sherry remembers her own ancestor, Na Ni, a Cherokee woman from the mountains of North Carolina. Some of Sherry's other Arbordale titles include The Penguin Lady, Ten for Me, Hey Diddle Diddle, Newton and Me, Moose and Magpie, Paws, Claws, Hands & Feet, and The Deductive Detective; as well as her award-winning titles: Sort It Out!, Kersplatypus, Burro's Tortillas, and If You Were a Parrot. Sherry lives in Northern California with her family and their pets.
PreS-Gr 3-The jacket flap invites readers to "sing along" but they might have a difficult time settling on a tune as they slog their way through the awkward and stilted rhymes. The text, paired with serviceable, clear illustrations, follows three food chains in and around a pond. The anthropomorphic animals can be slightly disturbing as readers have a chance to get to know them a little just before they are gulped down. This is particularly true when the bass and the frog have a disagreement just before the frog becomes a meal. To make matters worse, the frog's horrified friends watch the whole thing from the safety of a lily pad. Animal facts are included in the text, sometimes as non sequiturs, and they do nothing to help the rhyme scheme. "He snatched that snake right off the ground./Gobbled him up without a sound/and sang, `Hey diddle diddle-I don't ask why/I've got feathers to help me fly.'" Unfortunately, while making an appearance at the top of a food chain, a bobcat is described as sneaky and sly, giving her negative qualities she doesn't deserve; she is just hungry after all. Forced and kind of creepy, this book isn't the best choice for the topic.-Heather Acerro, Rochester Public Library, MN (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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. - Science Books & Films The [beat is] rollicking and will likely have readers and listeners alike tapping their toes. - Kirkus Reviews 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. - Home School Book Review