Swim, Duck, Swim! by Susan Lurie

Swim Duck SwimCindy: Swim season is upon us making Swim, Duck, Swim (Feiwel and Friends 2014) a perfect book to share. My own children took to water like, ahem, ducks to water, but not every child does. Murray Head’s close up and expressive photographs are paired with Lurie’s spare words to tell the story of a duck who does not want to learn to swim. His parents encourage him and wait patiently for him to be ready to join the other ducklings who are happily paddling away, but he does not. want. to. get. wet. Little duck finally makes the plunge and his self-esteem soars at his achievement. This is a book that will acknowledge many types of fear in little ones (and perhaps even in the adults reading the book aloud in laps or groups). It understands the heart of a three-year-old who wants to be “big” but is afraid of the leap sometimes. Bravo little duck!

Lynn:  Even if the text weren’t wonderful and so well suited to pre-schoolers, and the message SO appropriate for the age level, Murray Head’s photographs would make this book a gem for me.  The enchanting close-up photographs are full-page with the large-size text imposed over the top.  It’s not easy to choose a favorite as these wonderful pictures of the duck family would win over the hardest of hearts.  However, one stands out as the most adorable of all the adorable shots.  A close-up of our reluctant swimmer with his feathers fluffed and ruffled is one I’d like to keep forever.  This book is the definition of cute!

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About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

1 Comment on "Swim, Duck, Swim! by Susan Lurie"

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  1. Rosemariebria@mac.com' Marie says:

    I couldn’t agree more, Cindy and Lynn! Literally squealing with delight at every page made me realize how incredibly rare it is for a children’s storybook to be to be illustrated with photographs rather than drawings or paintings—probably because nature photographers of Murray Head’s talent are not well represented in the world of children’s books. I think we’re witnessesing the creation of a new, wondrous category in our field! Bravo!

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