Learn more about CCRLS
Reading recommendations from Novelist
Online learning resources
Cover image for A pond full of ink
A pond full of ink
Uniform Title:
Vijver vol inkt. English
Grand Rapids, MI : Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, [2014]
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : illustrations ; 27 cm
This delightfully humorous collection of poems offers children and the young at heart a refreshing, inventive look at the world from the well-known Dutch author, Annie Schmidt. Ordinary events and places become extraordinary adventures full of imagination.


Call Number
J 811.54 SCHMIDT 2014
J 839.31 Schmidt 2014

On Order



This delightful collection of poems offers children and the young at heart a refreshing, inventive look at the world from the well-known Dutch author, Annie Schmidt. The rollicking poems tell the stories of such intriguing characters as three elderly otters who long to go boating but find themselves biking instead, animated furniture that comes to life when no one is home, and Aunt Sue and Uncle Steve who nest up in a tree!

The poems in A Pond Full of Ink transform ordinary events and places into extraordinary adventures full of imagination, much like the work of Shel Silverstein or Jack Prelutsky. Accompanying the poems is bold and expressive artwork that makes this book too charming to resist.

Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

Gr 1-4-Fans of Shel Silverstein will love this collection of light, humorous poems that is full of fantastical characters. The titular pond features in the first selection about a prolific fairy-tale writer who refills his pen at the giant inkwell. Troublemakers abound in poems like "Nice and Naughty" and "Isabella Caramella," whose crocodile eats annoying visitors, "like Mrs. Hudson-Rote, who thought that children were a pest,/and the lady with the fox-fur stole, who was awfully overdressed." Other poems introduce Mrs. Keller, who owns seven bears, to the chagrin of her neighbor, and Aunt Sue and Uncle Steve, who live and raise their family in a tree. Inanimate objects come to life in "The Singing Tea Kettle" and "The Furniture," in which a house's furnishings head out for a seaside stroll. The well-constructed rhymes are fun to read aloud. Complemented by whimsical illustrations, they offer glimpses into an unusual world that readers will want to visit again and again. The drawings and collage images are colorful and quirky, full of patterns and details that add depth. Illustrated spreads follow some of the poems, providing a closer look at the situation or characters introduced in the preceding poem. This book is a kid-pleasing must-have for any poetry collection.-Marian McLeod, Convent of the Sacred Heart, Greenwich, CT (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Horn Book Review

A skinny, long-nosed poet fills his pen from the ink pond in his garden and offers the reader a selection of story poems featuring personalities old and young, human and animal, animate and inanimate. There's a cautionary tale of Belinda who refused to wash. There's gentle satire as village gossip escalates a small domestic incident into a major disaster. There's the love story of Aunty Jo and the reindeer who dropped by. In a couple of cases, a poem leaves us with a question (how do you manage a baby stroller when you live in a tree?) that is answered on the wordless double-page spread (in pen-and-ink and collage) that follows it. The wordplay is energetic; healthy handfuls of enjambment mitigate against dreary dum-di-dum, and the micronarratives celebrate lateral thinking, community, and kindness. "Three elderly otters longed to go boating / out on the river, / out on the moat. / For years, they had wished they could be out there floating, / but, being otters, they couldn't help noting / signs on the seats of every last boat. / Written by renters, the miserable rotters, / they said / FORBIDDEN FOR OTTERS." It ends happily. sarah ellis (c) Copyright 2014. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

A dozen poems from the inimitable Dutch writer magnificently translated and illustrated. Although she was the winner of the Hans Christian Andersen Prize in 1988, Schmidt's work, while widely translated elsewhere, is largely little known to English speakers. But through the award-winning talents of Australian translator Colmer and Dutch illustrator Posthuma, this volumefirst published in the Netherlands in 2011, 16 years after Schmidt's death, and for which Posthuma nabbed his second Gouden Penseel prize for best illustrated children's bookshould change all that. Schmidt's zany characters burst to life in Colmer's florid translation. Between the ravishingly well-crafted verse, with its tight meter and lithe rhyme, and Posthuma's stark, richly layered mixed-media illustrations, readers can spend hours savoring each page. Schmidt's sympathies for the daring and slightly misbehaved shine through in these wry, whimsical sketches. The fairy-tale writer draws from his pond of ink; furniture with legs steps out of the house for a walk; the intolerant Isabella Caramella feeds her hungry pet crocodile, Crabbit; and so on. Seasoned bath avoiders and their kin will thrill at "Belinda Hated Getting Clean": From her ink-splotched aura, Medusa-like hair and creepy talons to full-blown leafiness, Posthuma delectably marks Belinda's transformation from fauna to flora. Heartwarming creative genius abounds here, offering visual and aural pleasures aplenty: not to be missed. (Picture book/poetry. 6-14)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Would you like to come out walking? said the table to the chair, I've been standing here forever, and I'd like to take the air. Originally published in 1978, this collection of translated story poems from the beloved Dutch author Schmidt is poignantly illustrated by Schmidt's compatriot Posthuma. The combination of collage and ink illustrations delight and soften dire situations with both subtle tones as a backdrop for text and deep color hues in double-page spreads. Schmidt's blend of loony characters, bizarre adventures, and anthropomorphism offers a poetic experience reminiscent of Edward Lear. In translator Colmer's gentle hand, the text is lyrical and rhyming, and people, animals, and furniture express believable emotion. For young audiences who might enjoy bears in the cellar or robbers stealing the moon and can sit through several verses in each poem, A Pond Full of Ink will provide ample read it again encores.--Bush, Gail Copyright 2014 Booklist