Top 5 Books About Learning to Swim

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PudStar has done swimming lessons for a LONG TIME.  Learning to swim is a crucial skill – but for some it is easier than others!

Swiming at last

I’ve spoken before about how young children (well all of us really) like to see our lives and experiences reflected in literature – it helps us to know that we are not alone. When a child has a new sibling on the way, it’s nice to read books about babies and new siblings. There is a plethora of books about starting school or kindergarten to ease nervous little heads. There are even books about toilet training  so that parents and children alike know they are not alone in the horrid battles!

Top 5 Books about Learning to Swim

(okay there is 6, but that didn’t sound right!)

‘Ruby Learns to Swim’ written by Phillip Gwynne and illustrated by Tamsin Ainslie

I was so excited about receiving this one in the mail: Gwynne text and Ainslie illustrations = perfect picture book. We follow main character Ruby as she has her swimming lesson and learns about bubbles, straight legs and kicking hard. PudStar’s favourite part of this book was the lovely assortment of swimsuits and swimming caps that Ruby is featured in…the patterns and colours are just gorgeous and it would be great fun to make more swimsuit and cap combinations for Ruby as a follow up activity. This is a learn to swim book for the very young and it’s just delightful.

Ruby cover

‘The Deep’  written by Tim Winton and illustrated by Karen Louise

Well it’s Tim Winton, need I say more? Alice lives near the beach and she loves the sand and playing in the dunes. She’s not scared of many things at all, but she is afraid of the deep. We follow Alice as she enjoys the beach, but not the water until one day when she’s tempted in by some new friends.

the-deep ‘The Deep End’ written by Ursula Dubosarsky and illustrated by Mitch Vane

I’ve spoken before about how much I enjoy the Aussie Nibble books, and this one is particularly great. At swimming lessons, Becky all set to move up from the Frog group, to the Platypus group. She loves swimming lessons, but being a Platypus means facing…the deep end. An amusing tale about facing some swimming fears! aussie-nibbles-the-deep-end

‘Clem Always Could’ by Sarah Watt (currently out of print – check your library!)

Clem was good at lots of things. He was always good at just so many things; well that is how he remembers it. So when he has to learn to swim…he has a bit of a confidence crisis when he find something he cannot do! clem-always-could-

‘Granny Grommet and Me’. Written by Dianne Wolfer and Illustrated by Karen Blair. (currently out of print – check your library!)

This book has a surfing granny so for starters it’s a winner! My granny and her friends go to the beach, and I go too. When they hit the surf, they duck and dive and twist and turn. It looks like lots of fun. But I don t want to go in the water. There are strange things under the waves. There is also some great tips at the end about visiting the beach. Perfect summer holiday read!


‘The Deep End’ by Rebecca Patterson (currently out of print – check your library!)

A funny look at swimming lessons, and the dreaded deep end of the pool! The main character decides that although swimming lessons are brilliant, the best part is the hot shower at the end! For early childhood and lower primary.


beach babe


Megan Daley Bio

Looking for more great book reviews and recommendations? I’m Megan Daley and you can find out more about me here.

My book recommendations (for babies to young adults) is here and you can peruse ALL of my reviews (searchable by age, genre and theme) here.

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