Leo Can Swim
Anna McQuinn, author
Anna McQuinn has worked in children's books for more than twenty-five years as an editor, publisher, and writer. She is the author of more than twenty books for children, including Lola at the Library, Lola Loves Stories, Lola Reads to Leo, The Sleep Sheep (Scholastic), and If You're Happy and You Know It! (Barefoot). Anna leads groups like Leo's at her local library.
Read more about Anna.
Ruth Hearson, illustrator
Ruth Hearson has illustrated and written several children's books, including Cinnamon's Fairy Sleepover and Knitted by Grandma. She lives in England.
Read more about Ruth.
Leo is back (Leo Loves Baby Time, 2014, etc.), and now he happily attends a community swim class with Daddy. "Leo loves the water. He is like a little fish!" A smiling Leo is in sudsy bath water, his dark, curly head and brown body held up by a pair of strong, brown, adult arms. As the story continues, readers see Leo and Daddy interact lovingly throughout, from sitting together on a big chair—viewing a swim-class brochure—to changing into proper swim attire in the locker room and taking part in a class that features a pool full of other happy baby-and-adult pairs. The range of skin and hair types is commendable, even including one adult-child combination of nonmatching skin. Getting used to the off-center noses of the babies requires a little time—probably more for adults than children. The text has some sentences that will sound delightful to little ears as little eyes view the water babies: "They swish and swoosh. They splish and sploosh." The tender and competent care given to Leo by his father is reason enough to praise this book. Also, like its predecessor, the codex itself has rounded corners and strong, resilient paper to accommodate its audience. The ending is a bit abrupt, but it parallels babies' and toddlers' tendencies to play hard and suddenly run out of energy. A welcome addition to the toddler bookshelf.
School Library Journal
Leo (of Lola Reads to Leo fame) loves the water. In preparation for an upcoming swim class, the toddler and his dad read a book that gives a nod to Eric Carle's Mister Seahorse, then head off to the pool for baby/parent swim time. The families represented are of multiple ethnicities. At swim class, the children learn how to kick and splash, and Leo gets a fun ride on his daddy's back. Many children have loved other stories by McQuinn that feature Leo's older sister Lola (Lola Loves Stories), and this offering is no less delightful. Hearson's colorful acrylic illustrations are as fun and playful as the text. VERDICT A solid choice for preschool storytime or one-on-one sharing, especially to introduce a swim class or lesson.
ISBN: 978-1-60734-898-6 EPUB
ISBN: 978-1-60734-899-3 PDF
Page count: 24
8 x 8
Correlated to Common Core State Standards:
English Language Arts-Literacy. Reading Literature. Kindergarten. Standards 1-7, 9, 10