by Kate Messner (Author) Christopher Silas Neal (Illustrator)
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As day turns to night, a boy and his mother take in the sights above and below their rowboat in this contemplative follow-up to Over and Under the Snow and Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt. Messner's elegant narrative, written from the boy's perspective, creates an intimate connection with the setting ("Over the pond we drift, heads tipped up to the sun. A woodpecker clings to a teetering pine, digging for ants"), and Neal's milky mixed-media images examine the pond and its inhabitants--moose, painted turtles, ospreys, and others--from virtually every angle, soaring high above the water and down into its depths to dazzling effect. Ages 5-8. Author's agent: Jennifer Laughran, Andrea Brown Literary. Illustrator's agent: Stephen Barr, Writers House. (Mar.)Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.
K-Gr 4—Messner and Neal have followed up on their proven formula (Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt; Over and Under the Snow), this time focusing on the ecosystem of an Adirondack pond at twilight. While a woman and boy in a canoe are seen at various points admiring the pond, the wildlife and plants are the real characters of this story, beautifully illustrated in mixed media. Neal captures minute details that will have readers easily recognizing specific species. With descriptive verbs and the use of onomatopoeia, Messner's prose is both playful and lovely to read aloud, and the slow close of the day and early night depicted make this an ideal bedtime book. An author's note, an "About the Animals" section, and a list of further reading bump up the age of potential readers, as even older budding naturalists will find something to enjoy here. VERDICT Librarians can confidently purchase this title for elementary schoolers.—Courtney Lewis, St. Catherine's School, Richmond, VACopyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.