Book Reviews: The Pond of Reflection, 2nd ed.

“I finished your book, and left a review (under the name Baby Boomer), and was just notified that it posted already — #35! Loved your book! I hadn’t actually planned to review any fiction books or children’s books, since I’m a non-fiction author, and time is very limited. But I was so impressed with your video that I bought your book, and once I started reading it, I had to finish it! And once I finished it, of course I had to leave a review! Now I’d better get back to finishing my own book. Many blessings on the success of yours!”

Sally, from the Self Publishing School Mastermind Community on FaceBook. The video Sally is referring to announces our January, 2022 free books giveaway raffle. Watch it here.

Amazon Verified Purchase Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars Written for young children, but the lessons are universal
Reviewed in the United States on December 10, 2021 Verified Purchase
I bought this book as a gift for a friend’s two daughters aged 5 and 7, but the illustrations by Brooke Connor were so inviting and the book’s write up so engaging that I had to read it myself before wrapping it! The story is extremely well-written and easy to follow for a child to read on their own, and anyone reading aloud to children will find the story unusually engrossing. The themes in the book are ones that face not just the youth of today, but indeed ones that we face well into adulthood: the age-old questions of ‘Who am I?’, ‘What if I don’t measure up to expectations?’ and the pursuit of wisdom and courage through our life experiences. A wonderful and quick read, I shall be getting this as a stocking stuffer for all my young friends!

Samuel Scheeres
5.0 out of 5 stars Full of Biblical metaphors
Reviewed in the United States on December 16, 2021 Verified Purchase
Reading your work was a real delight, Cat. I won’t forget what I learned from your story. I enjoyed your illustration of the proverb (27:19), and I’d even call this a work of biblical exegesis for children. I enjoyed the character mix-up in the Whoami woods. You did a good job of presenting identity confusion in a light-hearted yet sincere way. I was glad to see how the character mix-up ended with a baptism in the Identity Falls. We only become free from our confusion when we find our identity in Christ.

I imagine that a child would really love this story, although I’m twenty-four and all beaten up and sad, so my word about children isn’t the best. What I can say is that the story is mature yet simply written. It is fun and happy and worthy of my laughter, yet I found a real pearl of wisdom within it. I imagine that a thoughtful child, while enjoying it, would also be moved to “commune with his heart”, to learn what he truly is.

I look forward to reading your other work.

Joe in Carolina
5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful, fresh take on a timeless lesson
Reviewed in the United States on December 12, 2021 Verified Purchase
At 70 years of age, I found this precious tale to be very enjoyable and at the same time very educational. It enabled me to re-remember similar themes from my childhood books. The lessons woven throughout this wonderful story should be shared with children at an early age, but alas, also shared with those elderly children like myself. A thoroughly enjoyable story with magical illustrations too!

5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful and heartfelt
Reviewed in the United States on December 9, 2021 Verified Purchase
What a lovely story! The mouse princess could be anyone who is not quite sure of themselves and who is determined to know themselves for who they truly are. The mouse king provides wisdom and stability. The characters all have distinct traits and personalities, and they make the story relatable, interesting, and fun. The story is full of creativity and vivid imagery. The artwork is amazingly beautiful and whimsical. The idea of being happy with yourself just as you are – and that sometimes it requires a “journey” to realize it – is relevant for anyone of any age at any time.

Debbie Ash
5.0 out of 5 stars Know yourself from the ‘outside in’
Reviewed in the United States on December 13, 2021 Verified Purchase
The Pond of Reflection by Catherine Russell is a delightful book which I truly enjoyed reading. The little princess, Journee, who lives in a kingdom with no mirrors, wants to find out who she really is so she decides to seek out her own reflection. She sets out on an adventure and is joined by a noble steed, a homely little frog, and a wise and skilled owl. These four become fast friends as they discover and appreciate not only who they are, but also accept and appreciate each other. As I read, I found myself wishing that I had a 10 year old sitting beside me with whom I could share this lovely book.

Sydney Hostetler
5.0 out of 5 stars Charming and uplifting
Reviewed in the United States on December 8, 2021 Verified Purchase
Love this affirming story! Precious characters will charm your children and grandchildren, and who can help loving the Toad!! This message about identity is so very needed today! A very safe and inspirational read, and great for reading out loud. Illustrations are beautifully done!

Carol C.
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, inspirational books for your children and grandchildren!
Reviewed in the United States on December 8, 2021 Verified Purchase
Catherine Russell’s books are so timely and inspirational. Each book in her series reflects a verse from Proverbs. In The Pond of Reflection, Proverbs 27:19 (NIV) is referenced: “As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart.” This is an opportunity for a parent to read along with their child and to have the opportunity to discuss the fact that inside beauty is more important than outside beauty. The message is beautiful and the illustrations are lovely.

5.0 out of 5 stars Charming story
Reviewed in the United States on December 12, 2021 Verified Purchase
This is a charming story, beautifully written and inspired by Proverbs 27:19 (“As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart”). It speaks to the importance of each of us having unique and wonderful gifts, and how to share them with each other through friendship and love. A great positive message for young readers, definitely recommend.

5.0 out of 5 stars Kids and parents will love this one!
Reviewed in the United States on December 28, 2021 Verified Purchase
An adorable little book with great illustrations! The book is also very well-made and study, so it will last through the test of time and many, many storytime sessions. I’m not sure who is going to enjoy this one more, me or our daughter! Highly recommended! It’s also available as an eBook!

Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring and heartwarming
Reviewed in the United States on December 10, 2021 Verified Purchase
This story is timeless and beautiful and teaches us that when we live our truth and embrace our God given talents we become the most beautiful version of ourselves. The author herself plans to donate the profits from this book to famine relief which is the exact message this book gives us. Beauty comes from the inside out. This book may be intended for children but the message resonates for every adult too.

5.0 out of 5 stars The kind of book that grows with your child
Reviewed in the United States on December 11, 2021 Verified Purchase
Like any other children’s items, the best books are ones that have multiple layers of engagement to last throughout the years. The beautiful illustrations, the face- value entertaining story and characters, and the underlying values of self discovery will keep a child rereading, and rediscovering, this book over the years. Love all of Cat Russell’s books!

5.0 out of 5 stars Adorable tale, wonderful message
Reviewed in the United States on December 8, 2021 Verified Purchase
This book is so charming and sweet with endearing characters! It is an adorable tale of self-discovery with a wonderful message of who you are inside is what matters most.

Lucas McClain
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful with an Important Lesson for Today’s Youth
Reviewed in the United States on December 12, 2021 Verified Purchase
A pleasant tale full of delightful creatures that set out on an adventure and learn that who we are on the inside is far more important than what we look like on the outside. An important lesson for us all to learn. This book could be enjoyed by children all throughout elementary school as either a read aloud or on their own.

Valerie Froscher
5.0 out of 5 stars A heartwarming adventure
Reviewed in the United States on December 9, 2021 Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed this read. An appreciation of the wonders of nature, of the value of friendships. And the importance of self discovery and learning to be comfortable in ones own skin. All very positive messages for you g and older reader alike. I recommend this book.

Sandra J.
4.0 out of 5 stars Charming with a good moral!
Reviewed in the United States on December 8, 2021 Verified Purchase
A good read-aloud for preschool – grade 1. 2nd and 3rd graders may need help with some of the vocabulary, but even 4th and 5th graders will enjoy these charming characters, their thought-provoking insights, and the lovely illustrations.

Scott Herrmann
5.0 out of 5 stars Pearls of Wisdom
Reviewed in the United States on December 10, 2021 Verified Purchase
Heartwarming parable with beautiful illustrations and a charitable mission.

5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book and Love the Illustrations!
Reviewed in the United States on December 13, 2021 Verified Purchase
A most enjoyable read for kids of any age.

AnnaMaria 5.0 out of 5 stars Valuable Lessons for Life
Reviewed in the United States on December 17, 2021 Verified Purchase
If you are a parent looking for a creative way to instill an authentic sense of self in your child, The Pond of Reflection will be a wonderful family reading experience. The story gently moves through the Whoami Forest and Identity Falls as characters search to “know who you are.” The journey ends and the true heart of self is revealed. It’s the perfect way to talk about these life-affirming themes with children.

See all Amazon reviews

Top reviews from other countries

JoAnn Niebur
5.0 out of 5 stars A sweet book
Reviewed in India on December 12, 2021 Verified Purchase
This is a sweet story about identity and a loving king. Great for young readers or for reading to younger children.