Old Duck Pond by Jane Yolen and Illustrated by Bob Marstall

Those who are looking for a book to help teach the wonders of our outdoors should look no more. Old Duck Pond, the sequel to On Bird Hill, is here. I’m really excited to share this text by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Bob Marstall with you today.

Out this month from the Cornell Lab Publishing Group, Old Duck Pond, a children’s picture book, is absolutely fabulous. Yolen tells this story of a boy and his dog walking around a pond in beautiful rhymes. Her poetic lines narrate the boy’s journey around the pond and make for a wonderful read-aloud text.

The boy approaches first a pond, “its stillness as the morning dawned.” This stillness, however, is disrupted quickly by “a quack of ducks both large and small.” What ensues is a quite a show for the boy and his dog. The show consists of animals splashing, hiding, and trembling and comes when the ducks swim away.

The boy’s reflection – as it changes with the pond’s disruptions – becomes a metaphor for the incessant cycle of balance and imbalance that occurs within the pond – and in life.

I often am saddened by the incessant destruction of forests being chopped down for new neighborhoods and shopping centers. Yet I am hopeful that books like Old Duck Pond will make us all think about how important it is for us all to have exposure to the grandeur of the natural world. For I want nothing more than my little one to not see the magnificence of nature presented only in books but for him or her to have a “pond of his or her own.” We all need a duck pond.

A wonderful book for young and old readers alike, Old Duck Pond book will fit wonderfully in a text set with Kwame Alexander’s Animal ArkA picture and description of each of the ducks – as well as several others animals – portrayed in the book are presented at the end of the book.

Please let me know what you think about Old Duck Pond in the comments below!

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