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4.06  ·  Rating details ·  353 ratings  ·  77 reviews
When Matt is out for a late winter hike he sees a trickle of water in the old deserted and junk-filled dirt pit at the edge of his neighborhood. Matt imagines the pond that must once have been there, shining in the early spring light, freezing in the winter for skating and the perfect place for swimming in the summer.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 13th 2016 by Simon Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
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Average rating 4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  353 ratings  ·  77 reviews

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Wow, the use of color in this book is outstanding. He uses light and color to make beautiful pictures and works of art. 3 children dam up a little stream and create a beautiful pond. We see the pond through a whole year of seasons. Each season has a different aspect of light play on the pond. The kids play around the pond and skate on the pond in the winter. I am blown away by the art of this story. It’s a good story also, but the art has captured me. Warm oranges and light blues with some soft ...more
Nov 23, 2016 rated it liked it
Truly gorgeous, and a terrific testament to the joys of being outside. But good golly, how come the boys sand and repair the boat while the girl paints a dragonfly on the bow? How come the boys fetch stones to make a dam and Katie finds pretty feathers? Why is the girl's role that of discovering and creating beauty - and of using books to help them discern the world around them (for which she gets called "Know-It-All" - super, thanks!) - while the main character boy gets to think about what it a ...more
La Coccinelle
Aug 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children
This is a simple, gentle story about three children who restore a pond to its former natural state. Written and illustrated by Jim LaMarche, it offers some beautiful imagery to go along with its environmental message.

Although the overall look of the book is soft and dreamy, this isn't one of my favourite LaMarche titles. The illustrations are actually rather hit-or-miss for me. Most are fairly distant perspectives, showing people at a distance or in full-body poses. The exception, however, is on
Nov 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Young Nature Lovers / Anyone Who Enjoys Beautiful Picture-Book Art
When Matt finds a tiny stream bubbling up out of the ground in the old dirt pit near his home, he has an idea: why not clean up the area, and turn it into a pond? Enlisting his sister Katie and best friend Pablo's help, that's just what he does, and the three children end up enjoying the beauty of their creations throughout the four seasons. The local animals also enjoy the new pond...

Apparently based upon an incident from author/artist Jim LaMarche's childhood, Pond is a lovely picture-book exp
Sep 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful book. Lovely story. This one captures much interest.
Jim LaMarche has long been a favorite illustrator of mine. His pictures are so gorgeous and serene, especially the nature ones. In Pond, Matt discovers a small spring in a damaged area that inspires him to try restoring the pond that once existed. With the help of his friend Pablo, and his sister, Katie, as well as his father, Matt works hard to recreate the pond. And with hard work and dedication, they succeed. I found it delightful to watch the pond come back to life. It was fun spotting the a ...more
Dec 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ellie, jacob, mom
Absolutely one of my favorite books now. I loved reading this and looking at the pictures. This is where I would love for my children to grow up but since we can't live there we can experience it through this book and make our own childhood memories where we do live.....krb 12/14/16
Lisa D
Sep 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is such a beautiful book about the love of nature & the environment! I sense a Caldecott ! This is an award winning book! Loved it!! ...more
Edward Sullivan
Oct 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nature, picture-books
A beautiful, powerful story superbly illustrated.
May 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is an absolutely beautiful book that celebrates the simple joy of playing in and exploring the outdoors--a rite of childhood that is fast disappearing as digital and scheduled activities take over kids' free time.

Cleaning up and restoring a habitat, as well as observing and appreciating the wildlife it attracts, are major themes. And I'd just like to say how wonderfully refreshing it is to find a picture book set on a body of water that doesn't depict or mention fishing--even in passing. I
Dec 28, 2017 rated it liked it
4 stars for the illustrations
3 stars for the story

Read this with Madam and she was NOT thrilled when I first showed it to her, but I reminded her that we don't judge books by their covers ("it looks boring" was her verdict). However, as we read along, she said that it was "really pretty" and then she really started identifying with the character Katie, and by the end she said that I was right (!) and that she really liked it. Yeah.
Sep 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully illustrated and equally beautiful storyline. Ah, to see that imagination come to fruition with school-aged children. It would be nice to see more kids exhibiting a need to connect with nature in an earth-friendly way instead of seeing their faces and fingers menacing with those stinky devices! Yes, I'm a bit of a Luddite!
Mar 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm resisting the urge to dock those kids a star for making a pond in the first place, haha. We backpackers learn to leave nature alone to do its thing.
That said, this book captures in an unusually sentimental way exactly how it feels to be a kid and to have no sense of time like adults do. Children are blissfully event-time oriented and I ached to be back in that world when I read this.
Libby In Libraryland
Feb 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
I want to live inside this book.
Oct 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This beautifully illustrated picture book portrays what a childhood summer should be like. The connection with nature and appreciation for it really touched me, probably because it was done in such a natural way, without any sort of socio-environmental or ecological agenda. A group of children determine that a sunken area they frequent must really be a pond. There is a natural spring that should feed it, but any dams and barriers that had been there previously are gone. They spend their summer r ...more
Jul 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Beautiful, quiet illustrations invite readers into the story as we follow a boy who explores an empty terrain. He comes upon water bubbling up and has an idea. He recruits his friends Matt and Kate and the three clean up the land, block off the water and form a pond. They fix up an old boat, learn about wildlife and minerals when Kate brings out her books. To celebrate summer’s end, they camp out, to celebrate fall they watch bird migrations, and in winter they ice skate. In spring they climb th ...more
A group of friends fix up a pond during the summer, helping the water return, creating an oasis for themselves and the animals in the surrounding woods.

Reading this made me want to go camping and exploring. It also made me realize how longs its been since I've seen a natural location like the one illustrated in this book. In recent memory, I've only ever been to artificial ponds or lakes.
But honestly, even if I did find one I wouldn't ever get it. I've read too many medical horror stories to ev
Kate Matheis
Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this story. Three kids realize that the "pit" used to be a pond They work together cleaning it up and then building a dam so that the dried up pond can form once again. The book then discusses their adventures over the next year at the pond.
Nov 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful pictures accompany this beautiful story about 3 friends and a pond they help bring back to life. Highly recommend for all ages.
Mireille Messier
Nov 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
A beautiful story told with stunning illustration but using, alas, too many words.
Alyssa Gudenburr
Jan 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
A beautiful book about caring for and enjoying nature. Would make a good read aloud for elementary children.
Benjamin Bookman
Aug 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Perfect book of childhood.
Nov 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
This is the kind of book I adore. A simple story of children exploring nature and playing freely.
Kristin Boot
Nov 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Beautiful artwork but the story was somewhat lacking.
Randi Kennedy
Beautiful illustrations!!!
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Beautiful landscape drawings. I'd call it a must-purchase for a rural community where students can relate closely to the exploring and playing in the wilds. I'm not sure how engaging it would be for urban kids and it is quite texty. Good for environmental issues and the value of free play and the value of the contributions of children to the wider world. it has potential for exploring the differences between rural life and urban life as well. It would be an interesting partner for a city-based c ...more
This would be a lovely read-aloud for middle elementary, or for experienced listeners in the younger grades. A group of friends see the muddy "Pit" for what it could be--a pond--rather than what it is. The story plays out over several seasons as they patiently wait for nature to do its work. Wildlife and plants arrive on cue. The illustrations are beautiful.

Another reviewer noticed a bit of stereotyping among the friends though I'm willing to deal with that, since the author bothered to make th
Samantha DeVoir
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful story with beautiful illustrations. I love the friendship depicted and that the siblings in the story actually enjoy being together. I also have no problem with the boys working on the boat while the girl paints, those tends to be the roles children choose for themselves, though not always, and not every book, movie, tv show, etc. needs to make it seem like the minority is actually the majority, just saying.
Liz Todd
Loved watching the seasons pass at the pond. Beautiful picture book..and it's always good for kids to remember that they can find lots to do outside!

On the other hand, I sometimes felt left out of the story. The events did not connect for me.. just a little abrupt in places. I feel like I'd have to do some explaining if I were to read aloud to a class.
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
Beautiful illustrations, BORING story. It just didn't flow well.
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Jim LaMarche is the illustrator of more than twenty books for children, including Dennis Haseley’s A Story for Bear; The Carousel by Liz Rosenberg; The Rainbabies by Laura Krauss Melmed; and Albert by Donna Jo Napoli. He is the author-illustrator of The Raft. Jim LaMarche grew up in Wisconsin and now lives in California.

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