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Beyond the Pond

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  992 ratings  ·  152 reviews
Just behind an ordinary house
filled with too little fun,
Ernest D. decides that today will be the day he explores the depths of his pond.

Beyond the pond, he discovers a not-so-ordinary world that will change him forever.
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published October 6th 2015 by Balzer + Bray
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3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  992 ratings  ·  152 reviews

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Henry Herz
Sep 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Bored Ernest decides to plumb the depths of the pond behind his house. Accompanied by his loyal dog, he takes the readers past squid, fish, and sharks. Ernest eventually finds an opening on the other side. The magical land beyond the pond is filled with fun and exotic creatures, as well as more grim ones. Ernest learns in the end that there is wonder all around us and that things are less ordinary then they first appear.

As in Mac Barnett's SAM & DAVE DIG A HOLE, the character goes deeper and
Apr 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Fantastic illustrations. I honestly wanted to crawl inside and live in this book.
Nov 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
I loved this book! It reminded of the Dr. Seuss book, McEliggot's Pool. This was a great story about the possibilities of the world beyond our backyard. Loved the illustrations and the sweet story that surrounded it. Look forward to his next book.
Liza Nahas
Oct 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
"Exceptional" illustrations & story.
Feb 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: story-time
"Local Boy Drowns Trying To Reach Bottom Of Pond."
Mindy Rose
Jul 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids
a boy and his dog explore the depths of their pond and what's on the other side. charming, lovely. 5/5.
Tory S. Anderson
The imagined-world-with-a-friend idea, and the general feel of this story and its lone but precocious writing, remind me of things I love in Calvin and Hobbes. In this story of a boy's quiet day of imagination with his pond and his dog, the illustrations have a particularity of style that highlights both the personality of this quiet day and the mystery of his imagination. The book was particularly interesting to me because of the surprisingly advanced language thrown in, with vocabulary and gra ...more
Dec 29, 2015 rated it liked it
I loved the illustrations (they are fabulous) but have mixed feelings about the text. Lots of big words that seem out of place in a picture book...and there's really not much of a story. The child will have to fill in a lot based on the pictures. Not a bad thing, but not really what I was anticipating when I started reading.
Dec 03, 2015 rated it it was ok
Spoiler alert - Where was the editor? A pond is a freshwater body of water....a shark in the pond - seriously then the author uses the word RAUCOUS!!! I am all for learning vocabulary but really - isn't this a children's book? The story line mimics the digging a hole in your backyard to China. Adorable story but just a little to non-child friendly for me.
Jillian Heise
I absolutely loved this book! It's a great story of imagination, adventure, and a magical world beyond what we see with a Klassen-esque feel to the sensibility of the illustrations. Am anxious to share with my students as I think they will appreciate this story, especially with its themes of bravery, curiosity, and determination.
Jun 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What's beyond Ernest's pond? A journey full of imagination, peril, adventure, and ultimately joy.

I did not realize the author, Kuefler was a Minnesotan. Look for this outstanding debut to be in the running for a Minnesota Book Award in 2016!
Eden Grey
Jul 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: juvenile
Best picture book of the year.
Jasmine Marie {#thebookishmama}
Feb 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Very similar to Sam & Dave Dig a Hole. Nice message about imagination.
Oct 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I can't wait to read this aloud with students and listen to them talk afterward. It is a great companion for Sam and Dave Dig a Hole, and it is exceptional!
Nov 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
A story to stir the imagination of a child. The pictures facilitate it as they are clean and beautiful. I'm so glad I bought this one for our home library.
Edward Sullivan
Oct 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
As Ernest D. might say: "An exceptional debut."
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
How exceptional...!! A story about a kid named Ernest D. who decided that he will explore the depths of his pond. After several tries, he concluded that his pond has no bottom and that means a great new adventure waiting. He then gather his explorer supplies and dove to the pond with his dog. When he finally came up on the other side, he discovered a whole new world with all things unimaginable. He then returned to his pond and dove back to his real world. But now, his real world looked a little ...more
Nov 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
A great book on the power of imagination and the wish to explore. I think my favorite part was how he looked at the world differently when he came back from the pond.
Will probably use for story times on discovery, exploration, that sort of thing. A few pages are predominantly pictures, very few (or no) words - be prepared. These do offer some good interactive question moments for story time, though - what animals are there, what is the characters finding - that sort of thing. Some big words in t
Claudia Rodriguez
Aug 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The Brothers
May 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: ponds, exploration
A little boy finds his small house and equally small world a tad boring. So he goes exploring to the bottom (and beyond!) in his pond and discovers a magical world full of fascinating things. When he returns, his experience has helped him to open his eyes to the wonders of his own world.

Illustrations are ok.
Jun 28, 2016 rated it it was ok
2.5 Stars
The artwork in this book is exceptional. But he story is only ho hum. Ernest D has a little pond that he decides to explore. Not only is the pond exceptionally deep, it has another side. This other side has things both wondrous, new, and completely different. The upside down this is not, and I wish it was.
Jenny Larges
Summary/Classroom Integration: Beautifully illustrated, this book is the story of Ernest D. and his dog who venture into the pond behind the house. It is a story that I would share before a writing project about where you might go (literally or figuratively) to explore when you are feeling alone or bored. It's also a good book to introduce words and shapes.

AR: LG, BL 3.4, AR Quiz #178024
Dec 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-library
Beautiful illustrations and a great concept. The text is a bit sparse, though that leaves a lot of room for discussion and imagination. Also some fairly big words that will probably need some defining (not necessarily a bad thing).
Donna Mork
Feb 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Kid explores his pond and comes out on the other side in a strange new world. He thinks his world is boring. But when he returns to it, he realizes it isn't so boring and there are lots of new things to explore.
Dec 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I like this book because he goes and goes into the pond and on the other side [spoiler alert] it was raucous and he kept saying "how exceptional!" and he stretched three times and he dove back. And I bet he dove forward the next day.
Aug 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
What a book! Beautiful illustrations, great text. This is fun and quirky with a nice message about exploration and giving familiar places a second look.
Aug 20, 2017 rated it liked it
young boy decides to explore the depths of the pond "behind an ordinary house filled with too little fun" - lovely illustrations and lyrical text.
Cheriee Weichel
Oct 11, 2018 rated it liked it
A boy dives deep into a pond and discovers an unimaginable world on the other side. Upon his return home, he sees his ordinary world isn’t so ordinary after all.
Feb 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture
Lovely artwork. Reminds me a bit of what it was like to come back home from college for the first time. If you are a fan of Sam and Dave Dig A Hole, you'll like this one.
May 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is the sweetest little thing. 😍
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