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A Pond Full of Ink

Region: Western Europe, The Netherlands

Author: Annie M.G. Schmidt 

Original Language: Dutch

Translator: David Colmer

Illustrator: Sieb Posthuma 

Genre: Poetry, Songs, and Rhymes

Descriptors: magic; fishing; furniture; trees; mischief


Age: 8-12 years old 



Annie M.G. Schmidt was a Dutch author living in the Netherlands who died in 1995 as a well-known and notable children’s writer, although she also wrote musicals, plays, and songs. Her stories and rhymes have become common within homes in the Netherlands. Annie M.G Schmidt won the Hans Christian Andersen Award in 1988. A Pond Full of Ink is a children’s book of poetry that was originally written in Dutch in 1978 and then translated into English by David Colmer and paired with illustrations by Sieb Posthuma in 2011. The poems and the illustrations are stunning works of art as they stand alone and create a true masterpiece when paired together. While some of the flow and lilt of words feels off beat in translation, overall the poems in English are very catchy, witty, and comically absurd. This book would be beloved by anyone who enjoys the work of Shel Silverstein.  A Pond Full of Ink includes stories of furniture that learns to use its legs to leave the living room and dining room for adventures beyond; tales of a family making a home in the limbs of a tree, and otters who ride bicycles to go fishing. There are elements of mischief and rebelliousness in the story of Belinda who never wants to shower and finally becomes so filthy she turns into a mound of dirt, and a story of another little girl who defies societal rules and expectations that tell her she must be nice and polite and well-behaved.  

More About This Book

Reviewed: Print book by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers (2014). ISBN: 9780802854339


Reviewed by Laney Jones

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