Sporty Kids Swimming by Felice Arena
Published by Penguin Books Australia
Ben, Jessica, Oliver and Emma are all learning to swim. When their teacher Kylie instructs them to dive in, Ben, Jessica and Oliver all dive in no trouble. Emma’s turn is more like a belly whack than a dive. Its stings her belly, but she doesn’t let on.
Next class they have to glide from the side of the pool and see how far into the water they can surface. Oliver says he will win of course, as he is the best swimmer. The kids push off, one by one, each making it further than the other until its Emma’s turn. She imagines she is a crocodile, and glides right on past to victory.
Oliver is not deterred, next lesson he tells Emma being a crocodile won’t help when they are instructed to dive for rings. Emma says she isn’t a crocodile, she is a dolphin. She dives for the ring and gets it. Emma decides that swimming lessons aren’t as hard as she thought if she just keeps pretending.
On the final day of lessons, Kylie instructs them to try their dive again. Emma is worried she will do another belly whacker. Oliver taunts her that he can’t wait to see her belly whacker. Emma decides she will be a penguin. She dives in, no belly whacker in sight.
Kylie congratulates them all, especially mentioning Emma’s imaginary animals that helped her swim just like them.
This was a great little story, to help kids with water fear and anxiety. The illustrations in classic Tom Jellett style were fun and helped to demonstrate the body motions of the animals that Emma was imitating. I read this with my almost 4 year old and she loved the idea of imitating the animals during her swimming lesson.
With an underlying theme of determination, I believe kids ages 4-6 will really enjoy this series that encourages them to keep trying new sports.
CKT Book Reviewer
Author: Felice Arena
Illustrator: Tom Jellett
Title: Sporty Kids Swimming
Publisher: Penguin Books Australia
Published: April 2015