Over and Under the Pond – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Spread the love

Title: Over and Under the Pond

Author: Kate Messner

Illustrator: Christopher Silas Neal

Publisher: Chronicle Books, 2017

Ages: 5-8

Themes: pond ecology

Genre: nonfiction

40 pages


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.

This entry was posted in nonfiction, Perfect Picture Book Friday. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Over and Under the Pond – Perfect Picture Book Friday

  1. Andrea Mack says:

    I love these books! Can hardly wait to see this new one.

  2. What a beautiful story about a mother and son exploring the wonders of nature. Kids will be fascinated with what’s happening beneath the water.

  3. I was immediately drawn to the front cover illustration. That’s always a good sign I’m going to enjoy the whole book. I also love that this book is part of a teaching series of nature books for children. I hope my library has all three.

  4. Such a beautiful cover!

  5. Joanna, I love Kate Messner’s books. I look forward to reading this one.

  6. I love Kate’s books – can’t wait to read this one.

  7. Patricia Nozell says:

    I haven’t seen this one yet, but hope to do so soon. Great review!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.