In the Small, Small Pond

by Denise Fleming

Denise Fleming's In the Small, Small Pond

Children's book review by Steve Barancik

Ages 0-4

Meet the Pond Creatures!

Author-illustrator Fleming won a 1994 Caldecott Honor for her colored cotton pulp illustrations in this bookend to her beloved In the Tall, Tall Grass.

The simple text introduces the creatures of the pond in two page spreads featuring four word rhymes:

Waddle, wade,
geese parade

The animals are big and colorful, the settings rich, and there's a friendly frog to find on every page, regardless of which animal is being introduced.

And there's not a lot more to be said of this simple but elegant book than that! Except this...

The publisher seems to have attempted to market this title as a book about the seasons. Well, it's aimed at 3 year olds, and yet this 49 year old missed that aspect of it. If that's your purpose in buying the book, look elsewhere!

If not, your small kids can enjoy In the Small, Small Pond for what it is: a delightful little book about accessible creatures.

Webmaster's note: For older kids interested in pond life, you'll want to check out the award-winning Song of the Water Boatman, reviewed on this site.

two sets of facing pages

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