As part of my Post-K Summer Reading Boot Camp:
Saturday is Swimming Day is a textbook example of “Give it a try. You might like it.” Green Eggs and Ham did it much better, though a child being afraid of swimming is more grounded in the real world than eating green eggs and ham (unless you live in the tundra and happen to be served 20-minute eggs and chimichurri pork).
Unfortunately, the story was boring and generic.
This book is more of what I call a process book–a recipe for how to overcome a fear (in this case, swimming).
There was nothing special or interesting about the little girl, who remained unnamed; the only person named is the adult.
What I did like about the story is that it showed the need for teachers–moms can’t do everything, but they can help their child find the help they need when books aren’t enough. However, the mom didn’t seem very intuitive as she didn’t make an effort to talk to her child about why she got a stomachache every Saturday before class.
The purpose of the other children served to show that the girl, without class participation, wouldn’t likely make any friends. Friendship, in this case, was the participation trophy; the joy of swimming was the win.
Saturday is Swimming Day showed that if you expose your kids to something long enough, they just might try it.
One thing I did find odd was the little girl calling an adult by their first name; as a child, I never call adults by their first name, unless it was preceded by a title, like Aunt or Uncle.
Because my daughter loves going to the pool–she even practices “swimming” in the bathtub to get used to the water like the little girl in the book–she liked looking at the pictures (which were dull and flat), but it definitely didn’t make for interesting reading.
Suggested activity: If you can give your child swimming lessons, do it. Uncontrolled water, such as bays, rivers, and oceans, are no places for learning how to swim; pools (controlled water) are far better. In such an environment, you don’t have to worry about being eaten by varmints or contracting flesh-eating bacteria; you can also add toys without worrying about them getting carried away by the current. What’s more, you don’t have to worry about getting heat stroke or sunburn. Swimming is great resistance training that is low-impact, and it works out the entire body.