Sergio Makes a Splash

Book review by
Patricia Tauzer, Common Sense Media
Sergio Makes a Splash Book Poster Image
Great read before a child's first swim lesson.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

Fears don't hold back Sergio the penguin from learning to swim.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this would be a great book to read to young children who are a bit hesitant about taking their first swim lessons. Younger kids will enjoy the uncomplicated text and illustrations; beginning readers will enjoy reading it alone.

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What's the story?

Though Sergio loves water, he doesn't know how to swim, and he's afraid to try. When his class goes to the beach for a lesson, he finally jumps in, inner tube and all, only to find that swimming in deep water is \"better than the rain, puddles, and a cold bath all put together.\"

Is it any good?

For kids, the message of this book is clear: If you try things you are afraid of, you might have even more fun than you thought possible.

Learning to swim in deep water can be frightening, even for a penguin. In Sergio's case, he was given the chance to overcome his fears, at his own pace and with all the support he needed. No pushing, no ridicule, no humiliation. And, he made it. This it seems is one of the important lessons of SERGIO MAKES A SPLASH, and one aimed toward parents. 

The penguin, with his curious smile and yellow neck scarf, is a happy fellow with whom kids will easily relate. With just three colors (aqua blue, midnight blue, and yellow-orange), Cuban-born artist Edel Rodriguez has created poster-like images that tell this simple story of a simple little penguin who faces his fears.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about penguins, what they are, and where they live. They can find Argentina and the South Pole, and discuss what would happen if a penguin really couldn't swim. Why do you think Sergio was so afraid of swimming when he loved water so much? Do you think he was glad he tried it? What finally gave him confidence? Do you think he will always need his water wings and inner tube? Have you ever felt like Sergio did about swimming? Or about anything else? What should you do if you are afraid of doing something you just have to do?

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