Picture Book Highlights | Fun in the Water!

By Monica C. RSS Wed, July 7, 2021

Back in 2014, I wrote a blog post suggesting books that can help kids feel comfortable playing in the water. Some of us have no problem getting in the water from the get-go, while others need a little time and encouragement, and that is perfectly fine!

Here are some new books to add to the list. Have fun reading (and later splashing in the water!)


1, 2, 3, Jump! written by Lisl H. Detlefsen; illustrated by Madeline Valentine

ebook available from Overdrive

From what to wear (a bathing suit, of course!) to what to expect (no, your teacher will not be a mermaid), this book covers the what if's and how to's of getting in the pool for the first time. There's a lot to worry about (can I be sucked in the filter?) and even more to be excited about (when can I wear flippers?), and our narrator has thought of everything. By the time she's ready, you will want to jump in!

Saturday Is Swimming Day by Hyewon Yum

Swimming lessons are on Saturdays, and every Saturday one little girl has a stomach ache. When she gets to the pool it's loud, the floor is wet and slippery, and her swim cap is too tight. Her swimming instructor, Mary, says it's OK to sit by the edge if she doesn't want to get in the water this week. The next Saturday the girl has a stomach ache again, but with Mary's gentle encouragement, she eventually manages to make it into the pool to practice her kicks. Little by little, the girl's confidence grows until one Saturday comes around when she has no stomach ache at all!

Bubbles… Up! written by Jacqueline Davies; illustrated by Sonia Sánchez

A day at the community pool is full of unwater magic—dunking and diving with friends, somersaulting, walking on your hands, and bursting up through the surface like a tortoise. But when a thunderstorm comes and a little brother ventures too close to the pool's edge, will our main character be quick enough and brave enough to save the day?

Let’s Go Swimming by Norm Feuti

ebook available from Overdrive

On a hot day, Hedgehog and his best friend Harry go swimming in the pond to cool off. When Hedgehog helps his friend overcome his fear of going underwater, they find a treasure... This sweet, laugh-out-loud friendship story with full-color artwork and easy-to-read text throughout is perfect for new readers!

Leo Can Swim written by Anna McQuinn; illustrated by Ruth Hearson

Baby Leo loves the water, so his father takes him to swim class with the other toddlers. Leo and Daddy kick, bounce, and dive like little fish. Joining other babies and their caretakers in the pool is a guarantee for unforgettable fun!

Splashdance by Liz Starin

ebook available from Overdrive

Ursula, a bear, and Ricardo, a human, are preparing for the water ballet competition. But a new regulation at the community pool—no bears—leaves Ursula cut from the contest. Luckily, she encounters a group of undaunted animal swimmers at a local pond, and Ursula and her new team figure out a way to participate in the competition and make sure everyone is welcome at the pool once and for all.

Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall

ebook available from Overdrive

Jabari is definitely ready to jump off the diving board. He's finished his swimming lessons and passed his swim test, and he's a great jumper, so he's not scared at all. "Looks easy," says Jabari, watching the other kids take their turns. But when his dad squeezes his hand, Jabari squeezes back. He needs to figure out what kind of special jump to do anyway, and he should probably do some stretches before climbing up onto the diving board.


Be sure to check our catalog and Overdrive Kids eReading Room, for these titles and many more being added!

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