On Duck Pond
Author: Jane Yolen; Illustrator: Bob Marstall
Published: April 11, 2017 by Cornell Lab Publishing Group
Goodreads Summary: From award-winning and NY Times bestselling children’s author of more than 350 books, Jane Yolen, and award-winning illustrator, Bob Marstall, On Duck Pond is the first sequel to the acclaimed On Bird Hill, which launched the children’s picture book series written for the esteemed Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the world authority on birds.
In On Bird Hill, Yolen and Marstall took readers on a surreal journey with a boy and his dog, as they stopped, looked, and noticed things along their path—ultimately discovering the miracle of the birth of a baby bird. On Duck Pond continues the journey of the boy and dog story, this time in a new place—a serene pond, filled with birds, frogs, turtles and other creatures going about their quiet business. Their intrusion stirs the pond into a cacophony of activity, reaching climactic chaos, before slowly settling back to it’s quiet equilibrium.
This beautiful and enchanting sequel is sure to delight On Bird Hill fans and millions of readers and fans of Jane’s popular classics.
Ricki’s Review: This is a beautiful book that is reminiscent of the classics. Kids will read this book and be reminded of the beauty of nature—its sights and its sounds, in particular. After we read this book, my kids and I took a walk and stopped to remind ourselves of how beautiful the world is around us. Too often, I think we forget to take in how wonderful our world is, and this book will make us pause. Jane Yolen is a rock star, and this book is another winner. I am in awe of how she writes so many stunning books. Her language is incredibly powerful. I recommend you get this one. It is a book that will endure.
Kellee’s Review: This book reminds me of many of Yolen’s book in that it is multi-faceted and beautifully done. At face value, it is a story of nature. There have been many reports recently about kids’ lack of time outside, and Yolen combats that by pointing out so many different species that can be found at a pond and interesting information about them. In the back matter, even more facts about each of the species are shared along with activities to do in nature. If you go a bit deeper though, it is also a book of poetry. The consistent rhyme scheme throughout gives the book some really great rhythm and a really beautiful, lyrical feel.
Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: This is a great book to read before a nature walk with kids. Ricki is planning to give it to her son’s preschool teacher because the teacher is always teaches the students about the things they are seeing outside. We’d also love to compare this book with other duck books (e.g. Dump Truck Duck, Make Way for Ducklings) to look at the ways that ducks are featured in different writing styles and genres.
Discussion Questions: How do the other animals react to the ducks? What other animals cause big reactions?; How does the simple text make the story more compelling?; How do the author and illustrator work together to make for a beautifully depicted setting?
Flagged Passage: “Old Duck Pond, once still and quiet / Now seemed battered by the riot.”
Read This If You Loved: On Bird Hill by Jane Yolen, Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey, The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, 5 Little Ducks by Denise Fleming
**Thank you to Tracey from Media Masters for providing copies for review!**