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SWIM! by Marilyn  Brigham


by Marilyn Brigham & illustrated by Eric Velasquez

Age Range: 1 - 3

Pub Date: May 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-7614-6253-8
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish

This ho-hum dip in the pool skims the surface without wading in the deep.

A mother, son and daughter enjoy play and relaxation in and around the water. A couple of words on each double-page spread capture the action of a sunny day. An overabundance of exclamation points results in a forced sense of cheer, often inappropriate. They are applied even in quiet moments, such as when the children rest lazily on rafts (“Float away!”). Moreover, many of the visuals are unclear. "Swim! Swim" depicts just about as much splashing as "Splish! Splash!"; “Kick! Kick!” shows the little boy headfirst in the pool with his feet outstretched, in what looks more like a dive than a kicking motion. Facial expressions, though cheery, are stiff. The majority of the text and oil-on-paper scenes celebrate the children's interdependence. Above the little girl, the word “throw!” labels her behavior, while her sibling's response reads “catch!” (visually, it's not clear who is throwing and who is catching).

Forced enthusiasm and confusing images sink this experience. (Board book. 1-3)