Pond Books for Preschoolers You’ll Love to Dive Into

Looking for some fun and engaging pond books for preschoolers? You’ll love these great picks! From stories about frogs and ducks to informational books about the animals that live in ponds, your little one is sure to find something they enjoy. So dive on in and explore these must-read pond books with your child today!

Pond books for preschoolers including This Way, Ruby!; Over and Under the Pond; The Ugly Duckling; and In the Pond.

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Pond Lesson Plans

Pond lesson plans with literacy activities, math activities, science centers, and books.

Over and Under the pond

by Kate Messner

Over and Under the Pond by Kate Messner is the PERFECT way to introduce pond life to your students. In this book, a mother and son row through the pond, seeing the pond life above the water. But what they don’t see is the secret life below the water: the minnows darting around and the tadpoles growing into frogs. 


I love how this book exposes children to the hidden world below the pond – the part that we don’t get to see and explore.


To expand on the concept presented in this book, we sorted photographs of pond life based on whether the animal or insect spends most of its time above or below the water. This is such a great way to introduce new vocabulary centered around the pond theme and get the kiddos thinking! These cards can also hang beautifully in the science center after they are sorted. Check it out in our pond science centers!


I Don't want to be a frog

by Dev Petty

The grass is always greener on the other side, or so we always think. And the little frog in this pond book, I Don’t Want to Be a Frog by Dev Petty,  wants to be anything but a slimy frog. He’d like to be a cat, perhaps, or an owl. 


As this little frog carries on a conversation with his father, his dad tries to explain why the frog can’t be the other animals that he is imagining. 


I love the playful conversation that the author creates between father and son throughout the book. The best part is how the little frog learns that accepting that being a frog, that being himself, is actually the best.


As a class activity, ask students which animal from the book I Don’t Want to Be a Frog they would like to be. The book goes over different qualities of each animal, so students will have a good idea of why they’d choose each animal.


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The ugly duckling

Pond Books for Preschoolers

A classic tale: The Ugly Duckling. The perfect book to pair with our pond theme. After reading many versions of this book, I found one that I really enjoy reading to preschoolers – the one retold by Mara Alperin. It is not atrociously long like some versions and the author has an excellent voice, making the story fun and enjoyable. 


In case you don’t know, a mother duck hatches her ducklings, and one of them turns out different than the rest. The other ducklings make fun of the ugly duckling and end up leaving him at the pond for the winter. The message of the story is that even though we don’t fit in with some, we can always find our place in the world.


It is never too early to start retelling stories, and this sequencing activity for The Ugly Duckling is an excellent introductory activity for little learners. 


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in the pond

by Anna Milbourne

This next book is the perfect way to show the life cycle of a frog to little learners. In the Pond by Anna Milbourne takes readers through the life cycle of a frog in a narrative with captivating illustrations. From egg to tadpole to frog, the author shows how frogs grow and change. She also talks about different life around the pond, including some predators!


When I was about nine years old, we caught tadpoles from a friend’s pond and placed them in cups. It was so fascinating to see the wiggling tadpoles and wonder in awe how this fish-like creature would soon grow legs, its tail would disappear, and it would turn into a frog. Nature is absolutely crazy and enthralling.


After reading In the Pond by Anna Milbourne, we sequenced the events in the frogs life cycle by placing the cards on the poster in the correct order. I also created a model of the life cycle using plastic jumping frogs and played FroggyLand, which you can read more about here in our pond science activities.


This way, Ruby!

by Jonathan Emmett

Another great pond book for preschoolers is This Way, Ruby! by Jonathan Emmett. Ruby is the littlest duck and likes to take things at her own pace while her brothers and sisters race off, looking for adventures. They are always trying to hustle her along, saying, “This way, Ruby!” 

One day, the ducklings are exploring the pond, her siblings speeding ahead while Ruby stops to notice the trees and cattails. A loud thunderstorm approaches, and the ducklings get lost. It’s up to Ruby to lead them all back home. Good thing she stops and notices her surroundings!


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Pond Books for Preschoolers

These pond books are a great way to teach kids about pond life. They can learn about the different types of plants and animals that live in ponds and how they all work together to create a balanced ecosystem. Plus, these short fiction stories are fun for kids to read! If you’re looking for some good reads to help teach your little one about ponds, check out our list of the best pond books for preschoolers.

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