Inspire Imagination with Beyond The Pond

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Did you ever try to dig to the other side of the world? In Beyond The Pond by Joseph Kuefler, we meet a little boy who finds adventure by exploring a seemingly-bottomless pond in his yard. I love this dreamy book for reminding me that boredom can be the best kind of inspiration.

[NOTE: This book is a wonderful companion for Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen. Check out Sam and Dave and some other books you might love.]

Kuefler captures the special logic of childhood perfectly. His hero, Ernest D., concludes that his pond has no bottom because he cannot touch it with a stick, and when he finds that the deepest parts of the pond are dark, he muses that someone must have forgotten to turn on the lights down there. Ernest D. swims through sharks and shipwrecks to the other side of the pond and finds a magical land that is just for him, but he goes too deep into his own imagination and finds some things that frighten him, too. When he returns to his own side of the pond, he brings some of his adventure home with him and sees that his own world is more exciting than it was before.

 

Click to enlarge.

 

The illustrations in this book are fantastic. I love Kuefler’s soft colors and how Ernest D.’s red hat stands out agains them. I wonder if this is supposed to show how bright the hero's imagination is? I especially enjoy contrasting the first and last pages of the book because they capture how a flight of imagination on an empty afternoon can inspire a new point of view.

 


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