child swimming

18 Splashy Children's Books About Swimming

swim little wombat swim

Wombat has always been pretty content about his life on land. But all of that changes when he makes a new friend, Platypus, who is a natural swimmer. Wombat would love to join Platypus  in the water, but he is overcome with doubt and fear. Kids will learn a thing or two about facing new challenges and the benefit of having a friend by their side along the way. This funny, gentle story may be just the push your kids need to jump into the pool.


boy swimming

 Best Books for Kids Afraid of Swimming

Some kids naturally take to the water from the time they are toddlers. They jump in without hesitation and are fearless about complete submersion. After a few lessons, they are ready to embrace the endless fun a pool offers on a hot summer day. In fact, the parents of these little fishies are challenged with teaching them to be safe around water and perhaps even try to instill a modicum of fear. Whether they are headed off to summer camp or to a friend's backyard, reading kids' books about swimming pool safety is a great place to start. These stories reinforce the importance of supervision, diving head first in deep water only, and generally behaving in a responsible manner.  


leo can swim

Leo is an adorable toddler who loves the water. His daddy takes him to  lessons where they have a lot of fun together. Leo kicks, splashes, and swims under water just like a fish. This short, simple book is perfect to read ahead of your own child's first class. The diverse group of children all have big smiles on their faces and enjoy their time playing in the pool.




peppa goes swimming

Peppa is ready for an exciting day at the pool, but George isn't so sure. He's afraid of getting into the water. Fortunately, Mummy and Daddy Pig provide him with just the right amount of encouragement to jump in with his sister. This book is filled with colorful pages of Peppa and George having fun splashing and playing games. A surprise poster is in the back of the book as an added bonus. 

 jabari jumps
Jabari is a little boy with a big dream- to jump off the diving board! He has watched all of the older kids do it and they make jumping look so easy. So he works hard during swim class and passes the test at the end. But why doesn't he feel like he is ready? Jabari does some extra stretching, squeezes his father's hand a few times, and thinks long and hard about how to make his very first jump special. Little readers will be rooting for Jabari as he peers over the edge of the board into the water. Will he find the courage to jump? An endearing story of overcoming fear and facing a new challenge.

 froggy learns to swim
Froggy is ready to face his greatest fear! He should be a natural in the water, but somehow this little fellow is not like the other frogs. Reading this story out loud, with all the silly sound words, never gets old for kids who can relate to Froggy's anxiety. Fortunately, with a little encouragement from his friends and a whole lot of practice, he finally gets the hang of it.

baby goes swimming
A calm, soothing story about a baby's first time at the pool with his mom and dad. The aqua tones capture the peaceful nature of an indoor pool. The child feels safe and secure in his parents' arms as they sing songs and move through the water. Getting accustomed to the water at a slow, gentle pace is the key message in this baby book about swimming.

ruby learns to swim
After just one reading, toddlers will be chanting along while Ruby splashes, blows, bubbles, and learns to swim. Short, repetitive verse is easy to memorize and soon little ones will begin to "read" this book all by themselves. The whimsical pictures capture the joy of this little girl enjoying her time in the water.

 llama llama learns to swim
The best-selling Llama Llama book series has helped toddlers face all the major milestones. Now Llama has his own Netflix show and a brand new line of books based on the series. In this splashy book, Llama learns to swim. At first he is afraid to get in the water, but soon he musters up the courage and has a fun day.

 swim jim
Swimming is supposed to come naturally to crocodiles, but Jim doesn't seem to fit the mold. He doesn't have a lot of confidence and fears he'll sink to the bottom of the swamp. So he search high and low for a small, shallow place to dip his feet in the water. Equipped with floats and the support of his siblings, Jim may just learn how after all. Soft, watercolor illustrations of a swamp filled with friendly critters and lots of detail to explore will keep readers coming back to this mesmerizing picture book.

maisy learns to swim
Maisy is a bit nervous about her first swim lesson. Eddie jumps right in and makes it look so easy. But Maisy and Tallulah think the water is too cold and are hesitant to get wet. With a little encouragement, they finally enter the pool where they follow the instructions of the teacher. In no time at all, they are splashing and blowing bubbles. A great book to read in advance of a child's first lesson.

 too many pigs in the pool
 A funny, mathematical book about a pool overrun by a bunch of splashing, squealing swines. Mr. Jenkins allows the first pig through the gate as a guest of Ms. Peal, in part because she comes bearing a bowl of her delicious seven layer dip. But after a short while, the pigs begin to multiply until it becomes quite a predicament for Mr. Jenkins. Lots of laughs in this silly book about swimming pigs.

bluey the pool
Based on the popular Disney+ show, this fun story is about all the fun Bluey enjoys at the local pool. Kids who have seen the episode will especially enjoy reading this book that closely follows it. Despite their careful planning, Bluey, Bingo and Dad run into some unexpected mishaps at the pool. Adorable illustrations and a simple storyline work well for preschoolers who can't get enough of Bluey.

 sakamoto's swim club
 This non-fiction, little known story about a team in Hawaii is an inspiration to all little competitors. During the 1930s, the kids of the workers on the sugar plantation were seen as a nuisance. With little else to do, they spent their days splashing around in the irrigation ditches. A local science teacher, Soichi Sakamoto, took them under his tutelage and formed a swim team. Taking advantage of the natural current in the ditch water, Sakamoto developed the children's strength and endurance. This small team soon became a formidable contender in swim meets around the world and eventually won a gold medal in the Olympics.

 heidi heckelbeck pool party
Heidi is part of the Little Mermaids swim team, and they are in desperate need of new googles and swim caps. Funds are short, so Heidi comes up with an amazing idea. The temperatures are on the rise, so she plans an epic pool party to raise money. With her superior planning skills, a little bit of magic, and the help of her friends, this resourceful girl pulls it off.  An illustrated chapter book perfect for kids ready to read on their own. 

 A gorgeous, award-winning picture book about a special friendship that forms at the pool. This wordless masterpiece captures the chaos of a crowded public pool above the water. But when a shy boy dives deep into the water, he encounters a little girl who has also found the peaceful beauty beneath the surface. Together they go on an exploration where they discover a world filled with exotic fish and aquatic plants. Ethereal and magical, this book takes children on an underwater journey that is limited only by the bounds of imagination.

the whale in my swimming pool
It's a hot day outside, so a boy decides to cool off in his pool. Much to his surprise, it is occupied by a whale. Since there is not room for two, the boy tries to entice the whale into playing some games on land. He even resorts to bribing the mammal with his allowance. This whale is content just relaxing in the water, so the boy decides to simply cool off under the water spraying from the whale's blowhole. Short, simple and imaginative story just right for toddlers.

When these dinosaurs get together, there is always a fierce competition. This time they have taken their athletic abilities to the pool. An epic meet plays across the pages of this colorful, detailed picture book. Readers will enjoy the action as the various dinosaurs race to touch the wall first. They do the freestyle, the butterfly, the individual medley, and cap it off with a tight relay. Just like a lot of kids on a swim team, these athletes get nervous, get false starts, and sometimes pout when they lose.  Overall, an interesting and worthwhile addition to your child's bookshelf.

 spot goes to the swimming pool
Spot is ready for his first day swimming in a pool. Like many kids, he is feeling a bit nervous and anxious. But thanks to his supportive mom and friends, Spot finds the courage to hop in the water. Within no time, he is splashing and having fun. A great introduction to swimming for toddlers who will relate to Spot's initial hesitation around water. 
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boy in pool

Picture Books About Characters Learning to Swim

Learning how to swim is a critical life skill that all children should learn as early as possible. First and foremost, it is important that children can safely navigate the water to avoid accidental drowning. For this reason, it's always a good idea to begin swimming lessons when kids are toddlers. Once children are competent in the water, swimming for fun and recreation is a healthy outdoor activity, like bike riding, jogging, and other types of exercise. Reading children's books about pool safety is a good way to help boost confidence while kids are still learning to swim. These stories also reinforce swimming pool safety for kids who need to be reminded from time to time. 

girl in pool

Stories For Kids With Anxiety Around Water

For many children, overcoming anxiety about swimming is a real challenge. These are the little ones crying at swim lessons, maybe even refusing to dip their little feet in the pool. The more parents and instructors try to coax them into the water, the more they resist. It's frustrating for everyone involved and can often feel like no progress is happening. One surprisingly helpful tactic is to take the swim lessons out of the pool and inside the home where kids feel secure. Reading children's books about swimming can be an effective tool. Kids will relate to the feelings and experiences of the characters in the books. They will learn how these boys and girls conquered their own fear and (hopefully) will do the same next time at the pool.   

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