Thursday, October 9, 2014

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 173

Picture Book: Swim! Swim!

Author: Lerch (with help from James Proimos)

Illustrator: James Proimos

Summary: Lurch, an outgoing but lonely goldfish, is looking for a friend in his fishbowl. He tries to start a conversation with pebbles, the lonely looking aqua man, and some bubbles, but they either ignore him or seem to speak another language, “blub” blub,” in the case of the bubbles. Then Lurch sees a cat spying him through the glass while licking his lips. The cat calls Lurch “Lunch” instead, picks him up out of the fish bowl (you’re certain Lurch is about to be eaten), plops him in another bowl, and introduces him to Dinner. The other goldfish quickly responds, “My name is Dinah!” Friendship and true love are found in that 2nd fishbowl and all ends well.

Hanna’s Comments: This comical tale will delight children. It is one of many children’s books I have offered on this blog about the skills of making friends and the practice of hospitality. There’s also a great deal of misunderstanding going on in these fishbowls. Misunderstanding is a problem for all humans and can lead to all sorts of problems including prejudice and dysfunctional relationships. Use this book to talk with children about the importance in your faith community of really listening to one another, not judging too early, and the concept of empathy.

Publisher & Date of Publication: Scholastic, 2010

Age & Grade Appropriateness: 4 and up, Pre and up

# of Pages: 32

Available in Spanish? Not at present

Formats other than Book: There are some amateur videos on

PBT Category: Post 2K

PBT Topics this Book Connects with: change, chosen, communication, companionship, danger, difficulties, disappointment, friends/friendship, God’s care/providence, God’s nature, God’s presence, God’s will, hope, loneliness, patience, perseverance, prayer, searching, surprise, vision, waiting

Scripture Connections: The whole law is fulfilled by, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Galatians 5:14); do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers (Hebrews 13:2)

Idea(s) for Application: We welcome a number of homeless people into our church each Sunday morning. This would be a good book to use in a lighthearted way to help children in churches like mine not judge or be afraid of these strangers who are sometimes unkempt or behaving strangely.

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