DOWN BY THE POND by Margrit Cruickshank


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A fox after chickens is foiled by the other barnyard animals in this cheerful tale, set among the vivid greens and rolling hills of the English countryside. The rhyming text tells how ""A red fox crept across the yard,/His black-tipped tail was twitching hard,/In the farmyard, down by the pond."" One by one the other animals take note of the intruder's presence until the collie dog bolts after the fox and everyone else follows. They ""meow!"" ""yowl!"" ""oink!"" ""woof!"" ""moo!"" and ""cluck!"" until the cow butts the interloper into the pond. Those on land congratulate themselves on their bravery. The elements of repetition and animal noises in the chant will appeal to children and make them ready participants in the hullaballoo, while the bright gouache paintings and the dramatically cropped paper of the center pages add interest. Children may have a little trouble discerning the action in one or two scenes that at first appear to be double-page spreads, but need to be distinguished as separate pictures. Barring that quibble, the illustrations project well for story hours or bedtime sharing.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1995
Page count: 26pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster