At The Pond


Groundwood Books
Canada & United States, 2020


Bilgi . Turkey, 2021


On a gray day, a boy takes his dog for a walk. They arrive at a pond full of snowy-white swans, and one of swans invites them for a ride. They sail into a sunny landscape of wildflowers and birds. Foxes, rabbits and deer frolic in this paradise. Then butterflies appear along with even bigger, more beautiful flowers. The boy unleashes his dog on shore, and it bounds off to play.

Now the boy puts the leash around the swan’s neck — he has a new friend. But suddenly, everything changes.


“A provocative drama inviting readers to question their behaviors toward all of the creatures in their orbits.”

Kirkus, starred review


“Each image is richly decorated. The glossy pages and emotive characters draw readers in. This is an important story for readers of all ages to reflect on love and what is required to earn and keep it.”

School Library Journal, starred review


“…one of the masters of wordless picture book.

A poignant exploration of just how important it is for us to respect the natural world. Valerio uses a variety of mediums to create the big beautiful illustrations.”

Globe and Mail


“Complex illustrations move the story from monotones to brilliant colors, creating a magical world of joy.”