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Over and Under the Pond Hardcover – March 7, 2017
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About the Author
Kate Messner is the award-winning author of more than a dozen other books for young readers, including Over and Under the Snow, Up in the Garden and Down in the DirtOver and Under the Snow, Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt, and How to Read a Story. When she's not writing, she loves spending time outside. Kate lives in New York with her family.
Christopher Silas Neal is an award-winning illustrator. He is a regular contributor to the New York Times and shows his art at various galleries nationwide. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn and teaches at Pratt Institute.
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Top Customer Reviews
sweeping through reeds. The water's a mirror, reflecting the sky. Sunshine
and clouds - then a shadow below. 'What's down there?' I ask. 'Under the
pond?' Mom says. Under the pond is a whole hidden world of minnows and
crayfish, turtles and bullfrogs. We're paddling over them now.' " And so
begins the third in Messners' Over and Under series. The rhythms and
pattern of the opening pages echo her other two Over and Under books,
creating a familiarity before the book is barely begun. Once again, Messner
uses alteration, rhythm, and rhyme, in addition to descriptive metaphor ("minnows dart though waving
forests of grass") to describe the pond eco-system, both above and below the
waterline. These books are perfect bits of picture book nature
writing: engaging, interactive, educational, fun, and beautifully written
in their simplicity. Beautiful illustrations enhance the story, adding a whole other dimension to the work.
Messner’s prose is evocative, inviting readers fully into this habitat both as the humans witnessing the beauty and as the animals who live there. The human perspective of the mirror of the water and turtles being startled is an important piece of this book. Even more vital are the underwater scenes and the scenes that bridge the two using animals and plants. That’s where it gets filled with wonder and Messner is happy to join us in that amazement and joy.
Neal’s illustrations are detailed and lush. I appreciate that the human characters in the canoe are people of color, a small detail that makes that book all the more diverse and welcoming. The natural elements are shown from a variety of perspectives. One of my favorites is looking up from the bottom of the pond to the boat above, seeing fish and turtles above the reader. Bliss!
A strong third book in this series, make sure to get all three for your library. Appropriate for ages 3-5.