Title: Over and Under the Pond
Author: Kate Messner
Illustrator: Christopher Silas Neal
Publisher: Chronicle Books, 2017
Themes: pond ecology
Over the pond we slide, splashing through
lily pads, sweeping through reeds.
The water’s a mirrror reflecting the sky.
Sunshine and clouds_then a shadow below.
“What’s down there?” I ask.
“Under the pond?” Mom says.
In Over and Under the Pond, readers follow and mom and child kayaking across a mountain pond. They discover the plants and animals that make up the rich, interconnected ecosystem of this aquatic world. Over the pond, woodpeckers, storks, beetles…. But under the pond is a hidden world of minnows darting, otters clawing for freshwater mussels, tadpoles growing…
There are many treasures waiting to be discovered over and under the pond.
Why I like this book:
I am an avid swimmer in and kayaker on inland ponds and lakes and love to stop, especially on the kayak, and float so that I can observe the nature around and below me.
This is the third gem in a series ( (Over and Under the Snow and Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt being the first two). The beautiful scenes presented by Messner and in their collaboration truly make science and nature fun and I think could persuade even the most avid couch potato to make a trip to their nearest wetlands to explore.
The mixed media illustrations use subtle shadings. Who knew there were so many green and bluey-green shades? Messner is a masterful wordsmith, skilfully using description and onomatopoeia to mimic the sounds and movement of nature. We become as excited as the little boy who realizes there’s a teeming world beloow
Teachers can use this book in ecosystem units.
This is the perfect season to take children out to explore their local pond life.
Find more “Perfect Picture Book Friday” reviews at Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog HERE.