Saturday Is Swimming Day

by Hyewon Yum

A little girl is nervous about swimming lessons. Claiming a stomachache the first... read more

A little girl is nervous about swimming lessons. Claiming a stomachache the first week, she sits on the side of the pool. The second week, she still has a stomachache, but her teacher, Mary, offers to hold her, “so I could practice ice- cream scoops like the other kids.” By the third week, Mary helps her float like a starfish, even letting go (at first unexpectedly) so the little girl can float alone. This realistic, relatable look at anxiety is told in simple declarative sentences that are spare yet full of wonderful details, from the little girl’s strawberry swimsuit and too-tight swim cap to the cold, slippery floor. More important, it’s also full of comfort and reassurance, with neither her mom nor the brown- skinned teacher pushing her but instead offering just the right amount of encouragement and assistance. The little girl appears Asian; her mom is white. Honor Book, 2019 Charlotte Zolotow Award (Ages 3–6)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2019

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