A quartet of friends—three boys and one girl—revel in the watery joys afforded by the local public pool.
This book’s only text is the traditional children’s song “Swimming, Swimming,” but it communicates much more in its many additional, wordless spreads. The kids, apparently about 10 or 11, goof off as they walk, enacting crawl, breaststroke, backstroke, and butterfly on the pavement before changing and showering in the locker rooms. The pool is full of swimmers of many ages and skin tones; three of the four protagonists are pink-skinned, and the fourth is brown. As the kids enter the water, they begin to sing the song, joined by the other swimmers in happy unison. A giant speech bubble occupies a good half of the climactic double-page spread, all the swimmers and a lifeguard belting out the final line: “Oh don’t you wish you never had anything else to do?” Indeed. Clement works in appropriately splashy watercolors, figures, scenery, and speech bubbles defined by thin, hand-drawn lines. The action nominally follows one of the three boys, opening and closing scenes establishing him as an enthusiastic competitive swimmer. Endpapers offer diagrams of the various strokes.
Friendship and a pool: the perfect summer combination, here captured to a T. (Picture book. 4-7)