As the days lengthen, as buds and tiny shoots appear, and as a greater variety of birds visit the feeder each day, the urge to wander, to explore outside, returns. What better way to embrace the spirit of adventure and exploration than through this Perfect Picture Book Friday.
Title: Beyond the Pond
Written & Illustrated By: Joseph Kuefler
Publisher/date: Balzer + Bray, 2015
Suitable for Ages: 4-8
Themes/Topics: Exploration, nature, imagination, adventure
Opening: “Just behind an ordinary house filled with too little fun, Ernest D. had decided today would be the day that he’d explore the depths of his pond.”
Brief Synopsis: A young boy, Ernest D. is bored with his ordinary, too little fun house, so he decides to explore the depths of the pond. He discovers a different, exciting world on the other end. But when he returns home, will he view it the same as when he left?
Links to Resources: Children of all ages love to explore! But what do you need to explore?
Discuss and assemble the tools necessary for an exploration of the back garden, the local park, a body of water, or even the basement or attic of your own home.
Try a scavenger hunt.
Older children in warmer climates could don a mask and explore the bottom of a local pond, stream, or bay.
Why I Like this Book: In this debut picture book, Joseph Kuefler combines words and pictures to describe a perfect day out for any would-be explorer. Like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, Ernest D. leaves his everyday, ho-hum backyard and enters a big, raucous, colourful world. As in Barbara Kingsolver’s The Lacuna (Harper Collins, 2009), the doorway to this other world is through Ernest D.’s pond. I especially love that the adventures begin, and end, where all the best ones do: at home (which may just be a little less ordinary than we thought!).
This Perfect Picture Book entry is being added to Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Books list. Check out the other great picture books featured there!