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New things can be scary — but as one endearing little girl discovers, it’s perfectly fine to take your time.
Swimming lessons are on Saturdays, and every Saturday one little girl has a stomachache. When she gets to the pool it’s loud, the floor is wet and slippery, and her swim cap is too tight. Her swimming instructor, Mary, says it’s OK to sit by the edge if she doesn’t want to get in the water this week. The next Saturday the girl has a stomachache again, but with Mary’s gentle encouragement, she eventually manages to make it into the pool to practice her kicks. Little by little, the girl’s confidence grows — until one Saturday comes around when she has no stomachache at all! In a charming and relatable story about trying something new, author-illustrator Hyewon Yum shows that sometimes a little bravery and a lot of patience are all you need to face your fear.
About the Author
Hyewon Yum is the author and illustrator of several acclaimed books for children, including Mom, It’s My First Day of Kindergarten!, which earned her the Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Award. She is also the illustrator of A Piece of Home, written by Jeri Watts. Hyewon Yum lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York.
This tender and accessible story of bravery and patience when facing a new situation encompasses a wide range of emotions for timid children of all shapes and colors.
While showing children they can overcome their fear of water and learn to swim, this quiet picture book realistically depicts how slow their progress will be, yet how rewarding.
Yum’s watercolor and colored pencil illustrations perfectly capture a young child’s expressions, conveying reluctance and nervousness as much through body position as through the text. The instructor and classmates are portrayed as a diverse group inclusive of ethnicity and body type. An empowering story of gradually overcoming fear that will resonate with young children. A great purchase for most collections.
—School Library Journal
Yum’s watercolor and colored-pencil illustrations show children with a variety of skin tones and features...There’s no preaching or reproach or trick here, just adults modeling the patience needed to give an anxious child time and space to try something new.
—The Horn Book
The illustrations depict ethnically and racially diverse characters and capture through body language the pains and joys of overcoming the fear of water.
Yum pays so much respect to the interior lives of children in this story that young readers and listeners will surely relate, even if they’ve never once taken a swimming lesson.
—Kirkus Reviews (blog)
Yum captures the power of empathic patience to turn apprehension into accomplishment.
—Shelf Awareness for Readers
This is a sweet story many families will relate to, illustrated with summery watercolor and colored-pencil illustrations and a cast of many colors.
—Palo Alto Weekly