sandybrooksfoster

Picture Book Look

Beyond the Pond

on January 15, 2016

Beyond the Pond is author-illustrator Joseph Kuefler’s debut picture book, (Balzer + Bray) and it is delightful! Ernest D. is a little fellow who lives in an ordinary house in an ordinary town. One day he decides to explore the depths of his pond, and in so doing, he finds an exceptional world – one that has been there all the time!

I love this book because Mr. Kuefler is the author-illustrator, and I think it’s an awe-inspiring work of art when an author can take exactly what is in his (or her) heart and mind, and bring it to life on paper. This book is full of something (text and pictures) that I as a parent think is too often missing in our kids today. . .imagination.

I don’t want to give too much of the story away, but I do want to say that Ernest D. wouldn’t have had the experiences he did had he stayed indoors playing PS4 or Xbox One. I am also not going to turn this into a review for Last Child in the Woods, (Richard Louv) except to say that our children need more books like Beyond the Pond and more friends like Ernest D. Friends who will explore the woods with them. Friends who will wade into the coolness of the creek, and dangle smelly pieces of raw hot dog into the water for some unwitting crawdad to grab. Friends who will spend warm, summer evenings chasing fireflies and searching for toads while the only sound filling the night is that of crickets.

Thank you Mr. Kuefler for encouraging children everywhere to use their imagination to look past the ordinary, to see what is truly there. . .Maybe if more children did this, they, like Ernest D., would see that just beyond the ordinary is something, well, exceptional.

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