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SWIMMY by Leo Leonni

5126507As a 50th Anniversary edition, you know it’s got to be a classic.  Indeed, it is.

Swimmy is a little black fish.  He swims the big sea alone much of the time and is lonely.  He does find other small fish to be fearful of those big fish, the predator fish.  Swimmy comes up with a wonderful teamwork plan to keep them safe and yet able to swim in their ocean rather than staying huddled up inside a cavern or behind a rock.  It is their home too, you know.

This is a book filled with great illustrations that takes the reader below the surface of the sea.  Through discovery in this big wide ocean, Swimmy finds that a little bit of community and working together to overcome danger and releasing fear turns loneliness into fresh expansive living by being open to what is before you.  We can take this lesson and use it whether under water, in the air, or on the earth.  You will love this book if it is new to you or if it is time to break it out for the grandchildren.

Award:  Caldecott Honor Book – 1964

Reading Level:  Age range: 3 – 7 Years

LEO LIONNI wrote and illustrated more than 40 picture books, including four Caldecott Honor books–Inch by Inch, Swimmy, Frederick, and Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse.  He was born in Amsterdam, The Netherlands in 1910.  He attended schools in Europe and the United States, eventually earning a PhD.  He spoke five languages.  In 1939, he immigrated to the United States, and was naturalized as a citizen in 1945.  He worked as a design director, artist, author, and sculptor. His work has been shown throughout Europe and America.  He died in 1999 at the age of 89.

Random House has devoted a page with links to learn more about Mr. Lionni @ http://www.randomhousekids.com/brand/leo-lionni/  It includes activities, videos, and all the books that they have published of Mr. Lionni’s.

Book Information

  • ISBN-13: 9780385753586
  • Publisher: Random House Children’s Books
  • Publication date: 6/11/2013
  • Edition description: Anniversary
  • Edition number: 50
  • Pages: 32
  • Product dimensions: 8.90 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Originally reviewed 3-23-2014


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