Saturday Is Swimming Day.
Yum, Hyewon (Author) , Yum, Hyewon (Illustrator) Jun 2018. 40 p. Candlewick, hardcover, $16.99. (9780763691172).
A little girl awakens on Saturday with a stomachache. Since she has no fever, her mother takes her to her first weekly swimming class. She reluctantly dons her bathing suit, but she won’t swim. Instead, she stands poolside and tells Mary, the class instructor, that her stomach hurts. The following Saturday follows the same pattern, but she lets Mary carry her in the water, and she tries to participate. The next week, after practicing at home in the bathtub, the girl begins to relax and join the other kids in trying new skills. Best
of all: no stomachache. The child narrates the story in direct, matter-of-fact sentences. Meanwhile, the artwork, created with watercolor and colored pencil, clearly expresses her initial dread, sadness, and sense of isolation from the other children, as well as her happiness when she joins them in the end. While showing children they can overcome their fear of water and learn to swim, this quiet picture book realistically depicts how slow their progress will be, yet how rewarding. — Carolyn Phelan