Review: At the Pond

At the Pond
Author & Illustrator: Geraldo Valério
Publisher: Groundwood Books
Ages 3-8

What happens when a swan invites a boy and his dog out for a ride into a sunny landscape of wildflowers and birds? At first glance this wordless picturebook is merely an exercise in a boy’s vivid imagination–he’s out for a walk with his dog, sees some swans and imagines taking a ride. Upon closer inspection, however, it’s about so much more.

As I’ve written about previously, wordless picturebooks lend themselves particularly well to dialogic reading, a way of reading books that encourages both you and your child to more actively engage with the story. At the Pond is particularly suited for such an endeavor. From the dog’s golden leash (perhaps signifying golden handcuffs?) to what happens when our little boy tries to put the leash on the Swan, the book is ripe for interpretation.

Valério’s vivid imagery and simple but lush illustrations layer each spread with meaning upon meaning, creating a depth that can be explored over multiple readings. Look at the dog’s reaction when he’s unleashed. Notice how the weather changes during each of the books movements–how the color pallet changes throughout the book gradually shifting the mood back and forth. There are many stories in this book. How many can you uncover?

How many can you learn from? How many can you teach?

At the Pond (Amazon)*
At the Pond (Support an Independent Bookstore)*

My thanks to Groundwood Books for providing a Review Copy of this book. All opinions provided herein are my own.

More books for this Age Group can be found here and here.

Please, leave comments! I love a HEALTHY exchange of ideas. After all, critical thinking is essential to life.

*When something is purchased using one of our affiliate links, we may earn a small commission. We do not accept any monies for any editorial reviews. Our opinions, to the chagrin of many, are our own.

Leave a Reply