This delightful poetry collection 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 Aunt Sue and Uncle Steve who nest up in a tree, animated furniture that comes to life when no one is home, and three elderly otters who long to go boating but find themselves biking instead!

A Pond Full of Ink

Written by Annie M.G. Schmidt
Illustrated by Sieb Posthuma
Translated by David Colmer

Releases: 8/2/2022

Ages 6 & up


Twelve amusing poems by the “queen of Dutch children’s literature,” paired with charming illustrations of reindeer houseguests, mischievous little girls, ever-singing tea kettles, and more.

Much like the work of Shel Silverstein or Jack Prelutsky, Annie M.G. Schmidt’s poetry can transform ordinary events and places into extraordinary adventures full of imagination. Accompanying the poems is bold and expressive artwork that makes this book too charming to resist.

Three Elderly Otters
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 . . .


Three elderly otters standing there crying
there by the river,
there by the moat.
Crying and weeping and finally sighing,
“Maybe the train is fun and worth trying.”
But stuck in each window they spied a small note that had them howling with their heads bowed. It said . .


Three elderly otters, tired and spent,
leaving the river
and moat far behind,
saw in a meadow next to a tent
a big row of bicycles ready to rent,
and hung from each handlebar was a small sign that made their day, and what did it say?
It said . . .

Now the otters ride over the dike, over the dike and back on their bikes.

The Singing Tea Kettle
Their father’s gone out and their mother’s gone out, the children are out and nobody’s about,
the kettle’s been left on the stove.
Hear it go, hear it go, hear it go: TOOOOT.
The pan full of cabbage says, “Bah, shame on you!Why must you kick up such a hullabaloo?
I usually couldn’t care less,
but you sound like the Orient Express!”
The casserole dish full of gravy and steak
says, “Heavens to Betsy! Give us a break!
There’s someone here trying to braise.
I’ve never braised worse all my days!”
The kettle laments, “It’s not me! It’s not me!
My whistle’s to blame for it all, don’t you see?Whenever I boil, it sings.
I can’t stop it doing its thing!”
The parents and children still haven’t come back, the kettle is boiling and blowing its stack.
Its singing is worse than before.
We really can’t take any more . . . Can you?