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Over and Under the Pond

(Over and Under)

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  1,841 ratings  ·  340 reviews
In this gorgeous companion to the acclaimed Over and Under the Snow and Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt, Kate Messner and Christopher Silas Neal bring to life a secret underwater world. In this book, readers will discover the plants and animals that make up the rich, interconnected ecosystem of a mountain pond. Over the pond, the water is a mirror, reflecting the sky ...more
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published March 7th 2017 by Chronicle Books
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Average rating 4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,841 ratings  ·  340 reviews

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Dave Schaafsma
Nov 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Each year my family reads all the Goodreads-award-nominated picture books, and we have been doing this for years. Everyone rates each book and adds a comment and it may (or may not) affect my overall rating. This is book #19 of 2017, and is one of my and our favorites of the year.

Tara: 3.5 stars. I like outdoors books. There were several paintings that depict the over and under the pond perspectives I liked a lot.

Harry (12): 3 stars. I got to see just how many animals are under the surface of t
Both lyrically poetically sweet and at the same time factually informative (showing a mother and her young son exploring a pond environment in their small rowboat) Over and Under the Pond indeed presents a wonderful marriage of text and images. And yes, I also certainly do very much appreciate that illustrator Christopher Silas Neal depicts the African-American mother and child as something unspectacular and natural, that there thus are no textual allusions whatsoever as to their ethnicity made ...more
Alex  Baugh
Apr 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nature, picture-books
Just in time for spring and especially for Earth Day, Kate Messner gives her young readers Over and Under the Pond, a beautiful companion to her previous books Over and Under the Snow and Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt.

As a curious young boy and his mother paddle around a pond in their rowboat, he asks his mother what's under the water's surface. His mother tells him there's a secret world underneath their boat, a world of minnows, crayfish, turtles, bullfrogs, and tadpoles slowly growing
La Coccinelle
This is the third book in the Over and Under series. I quite liked the first one, but the second one fell a bit flat for me. Over and Under the Pond falls somewhere in the middle.

I found this book to be a little more interesting than Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt, possibly because there seemed to be a wider variety of creatures covered. We see everything from mink and moose to crayfish and tadpoles, and each one is illustrated in a bold, graphic style. I'm still not a fan of the illustra
Kenya Wright
This was nominated for best children's books in 2017 Goodreads, so I wanted to check it out. I loved the illustrations. The diversity. The education of animals in the water and on land.

But even deeper, there was this sense that the author wanted the children to realize that life is happening above and under you. I thought that was cool.
If any organization should have this as part of their collection, it IS our library (Stow-Munroe Falls Public Library in Ohio), which has its entire Children's Department, from the base of the stairwell and going up the stairs and all throughout the second floor, designed and decorated to be like you are over and under a pond.

For years, we have had a turtle named Spike (the kids named HER) and she is the star of the show! She also has animal friends -- all of whom you would find in nature that
David Cluett
Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: animals
Really enjoyed the continued comparison between the two worlds over and under the pond. Really great illustrations and effective descriptive language. Slightly simplistic story, more of a description of a journey. Lots of potential for wider learning about pond life and a great style of writing to learn from.
Jan 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Ender got this as a Christmas gift. Our friends thoughtfully chose it for us because 1. The people are a mom and son and 2. It focuses on the pond ecosystem and celebrates how interesting it is. I have always believed in stewardship of the environment, so this was a perfect choice for us. Another plus is that the people in the book are people of color. An excellent first book of the year!
Katt Hansen
A close look at the pond habitat, told through peaceful illustration. Don't ignore all the interesting facts at the end of the book! I really enjoyed this one, as did my children. This should be coupled with a trip to a pond or lake if possible. :) ...more
Apr 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Another great book in this series. All about pond life. Above and below!
Maxwell Rae
Feb 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Very informative read. I liked how there is an encyclopaedia in the back explaining all the animals mentioned.
Jul 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
So fun, and I loved the appendix with more info on all of the different animals!
Cindy Dobrez
Feb 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
I live on a "bayou" in Michigan with a similar ecosystem out in front of my house to the pond presented here and I see many of these "over" sights while I kayak. Others I see when I dive under while swimming, and some I have to imagine when I feel the nibbles on my toes while I am floating. It is great to have such a beautiful view of these scenes presented in Messner and Neal's collaboration in their Over and Under series. This one is a treasure, like the others. Young children will be fascinat ...more
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
I love this just as much as I did Over and Under the Snow. This book examines what you'll find over (or on the surface of) the pond as well as what you'll find under the pond. While the text is relatively short, it introduces a variety of animals and a few plants found in this wetland habitat. And the illustrations are simply wonderful!! At the end, additional information about ponds is provided, as well as further information about each animal and a list of sources for further information. ...more
Callie *Fights Censorship*
Nov 29, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: picture-books
Not for me. A little boring, nothing memorable.
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful picture book!
Dec 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book really spoke to me. It's about so many things I love and that are close to my heart. Long before we had Earth Day celebrations and recycled all our paper, metal, glass and plastic, or cared about genetically modified food, or knew about companies dumping their hazardous waste into our waterways, I was reading Silent Spring as a 7th grader in 1963 and checking out every book I could find on nature and ecology, (a word I had never heard of and just happened to find books on that subject ...more
Kelsey Badgett
Over and Under the Pond is an informational text on the ecosystem of pond life. This book is informational while also having a story and being story-like to students. A mother and son go out on a pond when the son starts asking questions and the mom starts telling him about the pond life. Many different animals and plants are addressed, even ones that you would not think of with a pond. The mom talks about something that is out of the water in the pond ecosystem and then something that is under ...more
Oct 15, 2019 rated it liked it
I really love the illustrations and how we get a different perspective of the world around us : under the pond looking up towards the surface, and high up in the trees from the eyes of the birds.
Really simple pallet of colours use, which are very drawing to the human eye. Description of the different homes under the water and on land. Tadpoles are changing: introducing the cycle of life, which could be looked at in Science. All sentences start with either 'Over the pond' or 'Under the pond'. De
This nonfiction picture book is a great follow-up to Over and Under the Snow and Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt. Simple, engaging text and beautifully rendered mixed media illustrations make this a fun row across a summertime pond with a mother and her child. As the two glide over the water, the youngster wants to know what's going on underneath the boat. The child, and readers, are treated to explanations of the busy world of swimming minnows, painted turtles, otters, and many other fasc ...more
Erin Buhr
Apr 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have eagerly anticipating this, the third book in the over/under books by Kate Messner and illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal and it did not disappoint. In this one, a mom and her son are canoeing on a pond together. The little boy wonders what is under the pond and his mom tells him there is "a whole hidden world" under there. Messner and Neal paint that world with soft, lyrical strokes. As the mother and son paddle along watching the world above the pond, animals dart and dive and claw un ...more
Nov 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
A gorgeously illustrated and beautifully written book about the animals over and under the pond upon which a mother and son canoe. There is much action of the animals observed by the pair that creates a quiet excitement for what they might see next. The pond ecosystem is explored in its entirety within this fun children’s book. At the end, a picture of each animal mentioned or illustrated is set next to a longer description of the animal. My children had a great time reading these informational ...more
I absolutely loved this picture book, which informs young listeners about what goes on both above the surface of the pond and below the water. The language is simple but rich, with lots of evocative sound effects. The illustrations accurately depict the animals and make great use of perspective -- my favorite page is one that shows us a view of the pond and the woodpeckers that live in the trees towering above it, shown from an aerial view. I also appreciated that the boy and his mother who are ...more
Nancy Kotkin
While a mother and son float on a pond in a rowboat, they observe all the flora and fauna around then, interspersed with glimpses of the flora and fauna underneath the pond's surface. I wish the illustrations were more realistic in keeping with the subject matter. All the fish, birds, and other animals are described further in the back matter, which stretches across six pages. Information contained in the back matter is highly interesting and well written. Resources are also included in the back ...more
Nov 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank goodness we have woken up enough that a book about nature being shared with a mother, yes a female!, and her son, both being “of color” is on the shelves of our libraries. That it is also beautifully written, poetic, and full of information in a most appealing way, adds to my gratitude. And makes me want to get out in a boat and explore over and under a pond. I will be reading more of Kate Messner.
Alice Bennett
A book that takes you on a calming journey around a pond, looking at all the different animals and beautiful things to see. The descriptive language in this makes it a great model for a writing lesson and I would draw the children's attention to the different sounds in the text. We could use musical instruments to recreate these and produce ocean-themed pieces. The book also has lots of positional language which would aid learning in maths. ...more
May 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A poetic exploration of a pond ecosystem. Text follows a pattern of detailing the action taking place over the pond which is centered on a mother and her son rowing a boat and observing the beauty of nature and its many inhabitants, and the action taking place under the pond that gives readers fascinating information on how this ecosystem works. An author's note follows text as does information about each of the animals appearing in the book rounded out by a further reading section.

Mixed media i
Amy Layton
Jan 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picturebooks
Over and Under the Pond is an educational book about what types of creatures live in a pond's ecosystem.  There are fish, eels, crawdads, birds--not to mention a boy and his mother!  Paired with beautiful, blue-tinted illustrations, this book is great for learning repetitive sentences, for learning animals, and for simply appreciating the environment nearby!  Great for grades K-3.  

Review cross-listed here!
May 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: ecology and nature appreciation requests
Recommended to June by:
Beautifully illustrated, wonderful introduction to pond-life and will instill an appreciation of nature. Love the minority mother and son characters. Further information is given in an Author's Note and an About the Animals section. ...more
Dec 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
A beautiful insight into the habitats of pond life with lovely illustrations - the book has a very calming flow when read aloud, very enjoyable.
A bonus are the facts about all the different animals mentioned throughout the book at the end of the story!

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Kate Messner is an award-winning author, TED 2012 speaker, and former middle school English teacher. Her books for kids include THE BRILLIANT FALL OF GIANNA Z.,SUGAR AND ICE, and EYE OF THE STORM (Walker/Bloomsbury Dec. 2010) the MARTY MCGUIRE series (Scholastic), SEA MONSTER'S FIRST DAY, and OVER AND UNDER THE SNOW (Chronicle, Books). Kate also wrote SPITFIRE and CHAMPLAIN AND THE SILENT ONE, bot ...more

Other books in the series

Over and Under (4 books)
  • Over and Under the Snow
  • Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt
  • Over and Under the Rainforest

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