It’s been just over a year now, since our eldest son started swimming lessons. Spaces in after school classes are hard to come by in Berlin, but we managed to snag one. He was a bit fearful of the water at first, but after doing the beginners class twice he finally managed to gain his ‘Seepferdchen’ (Engl: seahorse) badge, which is what the beginners level is called here in Germany. We then unluckily missed out on a space in the next course up, after the summer holidays, which meant a six month break from swimming lessons. We did take him swimming at the weekends, but I’m not a swimming instructor and he is someone who really benefits from structured lessons. I was relieved, therefore, to get him back in to a class in the new year, and he is now working towards his bronze badge. One thing that really helped him to overcome his initial fear of the water, was reading some books together about learning to swim, which I’m sharing here with you in this week’s Friday Five (starting clockwise from the top):
- Maisy Learns to Swim, by Lucy Cousins – Good old Maisy the Mouse. She has a book for every occassion. This one actually belongs to our two year old, but we read it a few times together with his older brother when the swimming lessons started. In the book, Maisy and her friends go to a swimming lesson. They really enjoy it and have fun together, and they can’t wait to go back for their next lesson!
- Topsy and Tim Learn to Swim, by Jean & Gareth Adamson – I picked this book up from a second hand shop here in Berlin, I believe it’s been reissued as ‘Topsy & Tim Learn to Swim’. In this story, the twins go swimming with their mum, but Mr Pollack the swimming instructor helps out too. In no time, they are swimming without their armbands, and even take part in a race. They don’t win, but they still gain their beginners badge.
- Splish, Splat, Splat!, by Rob Scotton – We have this book in German, as you can see. It features Splat the Cat, who hates having a bath because water is horrible and makes him wet. He is horrified to hear that he was to go to swimming lessons at school, but in the end he discovers that water isn’t horrible and that swimming is fun – and he gains a new friend in the process.
- The Deep End, by Rebecca Patterson – In this cute story, a little girl swims in the deep for the first time during her swimming lessons. She works hard at keeping her bottom up, getting her face wet and not swallowing the pool, all things my son could relate to. She concludes that her swimming lessons are brilliant, which is a great message for any nervous swimmers.
- Sergio Makes a Splash!, by Edel Rodriguez – This is my favourite book out of the bunch, for the illustrations alone. The entire book is in just two colours – turquoise and orange – alongside black and white. It features Sergio the penguin, from Argentina, who loves water but can’t swim. It’s a firm favourite with both boys too.
Do you have any favourite books about swimming?
Please note that all the book links in this post are Amazon affiliate links. That means if you buy any books via these links, I receive a small percentage – at no extra cost to you! – which helps to keep this blog running.