Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
"I have a pond in my backyard. I have one turtle, two catfish, three frogs and four goldfish," announces the young narrator of this cheerful counting tale. She also has a dog and cat which, though far less enamored of swimming than the other creatures, also end up in the pond. The setting remains constant as Jonas's (Where Can It Be?; When You Were a Baby) art and text follow the numerous ins and outs of the pondside animals ("My dog and cat climb out. A dragonfly falls in. One frog hops out"). After noting each change, the child repeats the question, "How many are in my pond?" The real freshness here lies in Jonas's luminous illustrations, rendered in acrylic paints on clear acetate, which show playful action and humorous shifts in perspective as tiny and larger animals-and eventually the girl herself-slip into the water-each making a "SPLASH" of proportionate size. Ages 3-up. (May)
Children's Literature - Karen White
The reader has to concentrate in order to follow this story about animals frolicking in and around a pond. Each time the reader turns the page the question is posed, "How many are in my pond?" The challenge is to keep track of which animal is jumping in and which is jumping out. At the beginning, all is peaceful. The dog, turtle and frogs are sleeping. There are six fish quietly swimming about. The question "How many are in my pond?" is easy to determine. Then... the cat comes home and disturbs the tranquil mood. The story progresses with the animals either falling in or climbing out of the pond. At one point, everyone is wet, including the little girl! Parents and teachers will appreciate the addition and subtraction practice that this book initiates. Children will enjoy keeping track of the who's in and who's out. The text is easy to read and the illustrations help guide comprehension.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2From the title page to the end, Jonas creates a book that keeps asking ``How many are in my pond?,'' but in which counting is not the centerpieceit's the splash that really counts. As in many of her books, the text is not confined to one part of the page, but changes color, size, and shape to work as part of and reinforce the illustrations. The blues of sky and water, soothing green of the lawn, and straight lines dominate the serene first page, but the mood abruptly changes as the turtle, then the frogs, the dog, cat, and even the young narrator jump into and then climb out of the water. White foam sprays up, the word ``splash'' floats above the spray, ripples appear on the water's surface, and the question waves at the bottom of the water. Each time, the response will be different as the number of creatures in the pond changes. On the last page, calm is restored, and the young African American narrator feeds her fish. This is an inventive picture book more than a concept book, since no numerals appear on any of the pages. Enjoy it as a beautifully illustrated, lively story about a girl, her pets, and lots of water.Jane Marino, Scarsdale Public Library, NY