Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

A Pond Full of Ink

A Pond Full of Ink

Annie M. G. Schmidt
Illustrator:  Sieb Posthuma 
Poetry Picture Book
For ages 6 to 8
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2014   ISBN: 978-0802854339

Many poems capture a ‘snapshot’ of a moment in time, or describe a place, an emotion, or a person or thing. Then there are poems that tell a story. Annie M. G. Schmidt is the kind of poet who excels at telling stories through poetry, and this collection will introduce readers to a few of her delightful creations.

   The first story poem we encounter is about a writer who writes stories from the moment when the “roosters crow” to the time when the “dinner bell rings.” He is such a prolific writer that he has a pond of ink at the bottom of his garden. A little inkwell simply won’t do for a man who has “made up ten thousand stories already.”

   Then there is the poem called Three Elderly Otters. These venerable gentlemanly creatures have always wanted to go boating, but, alas, they discover that all the boat rental places have signs in their boats that say “FORBIDDEN FOR OTTERS.” Perhaps a train ride would be pleasant, but the same sign is stuck to every window in the train. The otters, not surprisingly, are very discouraged, but there is one form of active entertainment that might work for them.

   Another amusing poem is about some furniture. A table and chair decide to go out for a walk, and since they have legs, this is something that they can do. A sideboard and a bookcase, in spite of all the things they have on their shelves and in drawers, decide to go along with them. However there are some pieces of furniture that cannot make the journey into the great outdoors.

   Throughout this charming volume delightful poems that are threaded through with fun are paired with charmingly original illustrations.