Whether your little ones love the water or are a bit more hesitant to jump in, these pictures books celebrate the joy of getting in the water and splashing around. (Find our swimming-related reading for adults here.)
1, 2, 3, Jump!by Lisl H. Detlefsen illustrated by Madeline Valentine Recommended for ages 2+ A young girl gets ready for her first time in a swimming pool, learning about what to wear, putting worries to rest, and getting excited about what’s to come.
Bubbles… Up! by Jacqueline Davies illustrated by Sonia Sanchez Recommended for ages 3+ Oh, the things you can do underwater! Hanging out at the community pool, a girl does handstands on the bottom, surfaces like a porpoise, and looks for treasure as families play around her. A thunderstorm interrupts the fun, and then it’s back in the water!
This return of warmer weather has me thinking about swimming – dipping my feet in a lake,* seeking out a pool. I’m still feeling cautious about being in proximity to people, even as pandemic precautions wane, which means that while I scope out swimming spots I’m also finding books to satisfy my urge.
Waterlog: A Swimmer’s Journey by Roger Deakin Originally published in Britain in 1999 and now being published for the first time in the US, Waterlog is Deakin’s thoughtful reflection on swimming in wild places. Inspired by John Cheever’s story “The Swimmer,” Deakin began with a dip in the moat behind his farmhouse, and then conceived of a plan to swim the waterways of Britain, pristine and polluted alike. Swimming in seas, springs, rivers and ponds, he reflects on the history and geography of the waterways he visits, and on the general responsibility of environmental stewardship and maintenance of natural places that are open to all. Deakin’s work launched an international “wild swimming” movement; it’s good to see it published on our shores. (For a fantastic, in-depth review, check out Anelise Chen’s story in The Atlantic).