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Beyond the Pond
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Beyond the Pond

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  1,075 ratings  ·  163 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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Average rating 3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,075 ratings  ·  163 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 dee
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 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Readers Who Appreciate Beautiful Picture-Books and/or Stories of Imaginative Play
Narnia meets Where the Wild Things Are in Beyond the Pond, the tale of a young boy embarking of a voyage of the imagination (or is it?). Curious as to what lies in the pond behind his house, Ernest D. decides to explore, diving down and down (with his dog, of course!), until he finally comes to the land on the other side of the pond. Here he has many marvelous adventures, from riding on the back of a massive bird, to fleeing from a rather ghoulish (and giant) primate of some kind. When E ...more
Feb 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this one. Great illustrations, good voice, a nice book about the power of imagination to change our world.
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.
Feb 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: story-time
"Local Boy Drowns Trying To Reach Bottom Of Pond."
Alyssa Hague
Jun 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The illustration reminds me of Jon Klassen which I absolutely love. The watercolor, tones and fonts are all carefully selected and utilized. He also has great vocabulary which I appreciate for my early readers. My kids enjoy pointing out all of the details throughout this book and his others which we also own. All of Joseph Kuefler's books are thoughtful and well crafted.
Jul 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a sweet book demonstrating imagination and getting new perspectives on our ordinary lives. I loved the illustrations!
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
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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. ...more
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.
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
The Brothers
May 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: exploration, ponds
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.
Casey Rislov
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a favorite in our house as it is an adventure found in your own backyard. I love the use of tools to show the boys imagination- everything from a stick, fishing pole, flashlight, wooden sword, chocolate bar, dog bone, net, and more. Also great use of light in the illustrations. Sometimes the adventures would be dark and mysterious, other times bright and light.
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.
Laura Salas
Mar 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
"But the world wasn't quite as he left it." Right now, we're exploring mostly through our imaginations and our very own homes. And maybe we'll gain some "exceptional" insights from our shared journey.
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.
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