Written and Illustrated by: Ann D. Koffsky
Publisher: URJ Press
Publication Date: March 2011
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: June 20, 2011
Noah loves going to Jewish summer camp. He loves everything about it – well, almost everything. He loves arts and crafts, he loves playing sports, he even loves singing songs. What he doesn’t like is swimming. While the other kids love splashing around in the pool, Noah gets “…goose-bumpy, his eyes feel stingy, and his nose feel[s] stuffy.”
The camp lifeguard tries and tries to get Noah to hop in the pool and learn to swim. He offers Noah all sorts of fun things and rewards to get him into the water. But Noah refuses to get in the pool. That is, until he learns about an upcoming swim-a-thon. While the prizes the kids would get for raising money didn’t interest him, the fact that he’d be helping other kids who couldn’t go to camp otherwise, was a great reason to learn to swim. For the next few weeks, Noah practiced and practiced in the pool and also raised money for the swim-a-thon. If he could swim a lap during the swim-a-thon, he’d raise $25 for disadvantaged children. Would Noah be able to swim a lap?
Noah’s Swim-a-Thon is a wonderful book to help get the timid swimmer in the water. While letting children know it’s okay to feel “goose-bumpy” in a pool, the book gently shows them not to be afraid of getting in that pool and learning to swim. It also teaches an important lesson about tzedakah – charity – and how a simple act can help others less fortunate. While the illustrations are rather simplistic, they are bright and cheery and mesh well with the story.
Quill says: If you have a young, reluctant swimmer in your household, Noah’s Swim-a-Thon might just convince him/her to get in that pool.