A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Shows the many ways that water can be used for recreation and exploration.
Persevere and keep trying when learning to swim; it may be challenging; but it's so rewarding. Being courageous and prepared can lead to great adventures.
Positive Role Models
The adults are always next to the young swimmers to encourage them and reassure them that they have support.
The kids and families represented are diverse in skin color and body shapes and sizes, and show people with limb differences, wearing head coverings, and more, all exploring and enjoying bodies of water out in nature (ocean, rivers, lakes, waterfalls, etc.) and learning to swim in a pool.
Did we miss something on diversity? Suggest an update.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that When You Can Swim, written and illustrated by Jack Wong, captures the delight, adventure, and freedom that comes from being in water. Kids and families of all skin tones, body shapes, sizes, and abilities experience the natural world via swimming in various bodies of water. The kids are courageous when jumping into the deep water, and persevere when it seems like the swim might be too long. Positive messages about learning to swim and learning to swim better are reinforced by the colorful illustrations and an author's note.
Is It Any Good?
The immersive illustrations are a perfect match for the inspiring, inclusive, warm words that are about more than just the mechanics of swimming. When You Can Swim focuses the reader on the physical feelings and the emotions that swimmers have when they're floating, diving, moving fast, and sitting still. Jack Wong's book is both calming and invigorating, helping readers imagine the feeling of being in the water and the endless possibilities swimming creates. This book inspires awe and is a great read aloud for asking questions and sparking memories about being in or near the water. The hope and wonder throughout this lovely picture book will stay with readers young and old long after the final page.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.