Bored boy goes on mysterious adventure to the center of the Earth… or beyond?

Title: Beyond the Pond
Author and Illustrator: Joseph Kuefler
Rating: 8
Readability: 8
from publisher for review

Description from Goodreads:

Just behind an ordinary house
filled with too little fun,
Ernest D. decides that today will be the day he explores the depths of his pond.

Beyond the pond, he discovers a not-so-ordinary world that will change him forever.

What I Thought:

This gorgeously illustrated book tells the story of a magical journey to the bottom of a pond – and beyond.

Beyond the Pond has an ethereal feel to it, and was almost dream-like in both word and picture. When Ernest D. swims to the deep he comes up the other side again, a la when we were little and thought we could dig a hole to China. (I swear I got close once.)

Ernest’s magical land is beautiful, fantastical, and a little frightening – but never fear! He is also a terrifically brave adventurer.

Once he is done exploring the new world, he decides he better go back home. And when he does, he realizes that it might not be quite as boring as he thought it was.

I loved the use of sophisticated words that need explaining to little ears – words such as exceptional, raucous, ghoulish, and ghastly. Books are the perfect way to introduce new vocabulary to children, since with re-reads the same words are repeated in a familiar context with beautiful pictures.

The real stand-out with this story is definitely the illustrations. Beautifully toned colours and adorable characters mean I can’t wait to see what first-time author Kuefler comes up with next.


This is one of the most beautiful book trailers I’ve seen!!



All the best journeys remind us exactly what we love about being home.