Whether you’re poolside, at the beach, or at your home on a hot summer day, we have created a go-to list of joyful picture books for swimming that feature water play of all sorts! From sun-drenched days at the pool and the beach to water creatures of all kinds, we love to bring a bit of summer fun to your storytime!
Lion & Dragonfly Book Collections was founded by a former school librarian, Mary Beth Manion Morell. She loves to discover the most extraordinary new books to delight young readers – and their parents!
Mary Beth Manion Morell is on a mission to get brand new books into the hands of superhero teachers working in underserved communities, so for every five books sold, she donates one.
She is thrilled to offer a 20% discount on any purchase to techworkout readers during August. Use the code TEACHWORKOUTLOVE at checkout.
Follow her on @lionanddragonflybooks
1. Lottie and Walter
Lottie is convinced that a shark lurks in her neighborhood swimming pool until she befriends a singing walrus named Walter who helps her face her fears! Kids will adore this sweet, delightfully-illustrated story about unlikely friends who are there for us when we need them (part of our “Lions and Gruffalos and Bears, Oh My!” collection).
A magical turquoise-colored celebration of the day at the community pool with somersaulting, diving, and dipping friends. We love how the words dance over the pages, evoking energetic movement and joy. This glorious story is sure to inspire a visit to your local pool. (part of our “Let’s go Swimming!” collection!).
Our hero dreams of executing the perfect cannonball but always seems to come up short in this import from New Zealand. Kids will be cannonballing off the bed during this wonderful summertime story about learning to listen to the voice inside and being exactly who you are! (part of our “Let’s go Swimming!” collection!).
4. Hey Water!
A spunky little girl plays a spirited game of hide-and-seek with water, in this one of the gorgeously illustrated nonfiction picture books for swimming. Join our little friend as she explores her surroundings and sees that water is everywhere, but in many different forms. Water can be a lake, it can be steam, it can be a tear, or it can even be a snowman. This simple introduction to water is an ideal read-aloud for the youngest scientists. (part of our “Let’s go Swimming!” collection!).
5. Sakamoto’s Swim Club
The inspirational and little-known story of a dedicated teacher who coached Hawaiian swimmers to the Olympics is beautifully told in simple rhyme with gorgeous illustrations. This is one of the inspiring picture books for swimming that offers excellent lessons in perseverance, believing in yourself, and not letting others define you, while wonderfully capturing how one person can make a huge difference in the lives of others (part of our “Let’s go Swimming!” collection!).
6. The Snail and the Whale
A jewel of a story – about an unlikely friendship forged during a globe-trotting adventure. We love this rhyming wonder of a book that touches upon creative problem-solving and thinking beyond the confines of one’s limitations (perceived or otherwise). (Part of our “Oceans, Sharks and Whales” collection!)
7. Ten in a Hurry
Ten little fish are minding their own business when a much bigger fish comes up behind them. As the pages turn, he eats them one by one, until the littlest fish takes a dramatic stand!
8. Oona and the Shark
Our beloved Oona is back in this charming sequel! In this beautifully illustrated tale, extroverts will see themselves in buoyant, chatty Oona, introverts will appreciate the shark’s need for solitude, and aspiring inventors will be delighted by Oona’s various contraptions (part of our “Oceans and Sharks and Whales” collection!).
9. The Tale of the Whale
A brilliantly illustrated gem. A child joins a friendly whale for a magical journey of discovery. They sail the blue ocean, dance with dolphins, and tail-splash seagulls. But the child also sees an ocean filled with plastic trash. And that inspires a promise of help, for the whale and all earth’s creatures (part of our “Oceans and Sharks and Whales” collection!).
10. Mako and Tiger
In this delightfully silly tale, Mako and Tiger, the ocean’s most ferocious predators, try to resolve their differences by trading jokes and making each other laugh. An unlikely friendship evolves in this adorable story (part of our “Oceans, Sharks and Whales” collection!).
Lion & Dragonfly is founded by a former school librarian, Mary Beth Manion Morell. She is on a mission to get brand new books into the hands of teachers working in underserved communities, so for every five books sold, she donates one. Follow her on @lionanddragonflybooks