CM . . .
. Volume XXI Number 29 . . . . April 3, 2015
Gary Clement is an award-winning Canadian artist and illustrator who is probably best known for his political cartoons which have been appearing daily in the National Post since the newspaper's inception in 1998. Swimming, Swimming is an almost-wordless picture book celebrating that wonderful activity we all enjoy (even those of us stuck in the city) in the summertime. Swimming, Swimming has the feel, in fact, of a requiem to our community swimming pools, more than one of which is under attack as our cities run short of money for infrastructure repairs.
Clement's 34 word text is actually a variation of an old song and fits perfectly to the tune of "Sailing sailing, over the ocean blue.... " Inside the dust cover, a website is listed which apparently gives readers "...the instructions for acting out this classic song." (Although what instructions any adult reader would need to engage a young listener in this most loved activity is hard to imagine.) In fact, the instructions were not available on a recent check of the website.
Gary Clement's bright and bold illustrations are exactly right for the spirit of this book. The joy of swimming, of friendship, and of summer (and of the community pool!) are wonderfully represented in the artist's 26 double-spread pictures depicting the young swimmer's day, from the moment he wakes to the time he goes to sleep after his day in the pool. Clement's text, with its rhyme and rhythm, begs to be sung, thereby making Swimming, Swimming an absolutely perfect book for beginning readers who are guaranteed to be able to "read" the book from cover to cover the second (or third and fourth) time round! Even the endpapers on this artist's beautiful picture book are worth mentioning as an aside. There, swimming enthusiasts of all ages will find illustrations of the five major swimming strokes.
A retired teacher-librarian, Valerie Nielsen lives in Winnipeg, MB.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any
other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.