Swim, Jim! by Kaz Windness

Swim, Jim! by Kaz Windness. Simon & Schuster, 2022. 9781534483439

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 3.5

Format: Hardcover picture book

What did you like about the book?  Jim the crocodile and his two sisters hatch and prepare to jump into the swamp for their first swim. Sim and Kim go right into the deep, dark water, but Jim is afraid of sinking! Leaving a note, he sets out to find a smaller swamp for practice. He hears a splish, splash and finds…a pool, complete with lots of floaties. When the multiracial human kids clamor out for birthday cake, Jim puts on every flotation device plus a mask and snorkel and jumps in. Soon Sim and Kim join him, help him learn to swim,  and they all have a blast until the people return. Back in the swamp, much to Mom and Dad’s surprise, Jim gets to show off his new-found confidence. Full color graphite drawings with digital color are loose and amusing. One thing I did really appreciate about the book was its relatively simple language, which would be accessible to young readers starting to do their own decoding. Fun cartoon lettering stands in for onomatopoeia such as plurp, flurpity-flurp, splish-splash, and wiggle-waggle.

Anything you didn’t like about it? No

To whom would you recommend this book?  Recommended for hesitant swimmers! This could be a good read-aloud option for a water-themed storytime and could pair nicely with Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall.

Who should buy this book? Public libraries

Where would you shelve it? Picture books

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No

Reviewer: Susan Harari, Keefe Library, Boston Latin School, Boston, MA

Date of review: June 16, 2022

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