Monday, February 20, 2012

SWIM! SWIM! by James Proimos

Proimos, James. Swim! Swim! New York: Scholastic, Inc, 2010. ISBN: 978-0-545-19419-1. $16.99. Ages 4-7

Big blocks of color are the best part of this picture book about a lonely goldfish who looks for a friend. Some pages are framed in foursquare panels. The typeface is too rough and doesn’t match the smooth lines of some of the drawings. All of the text is shown in dialogue bubbles next to the goldfish. The tone is that of a comic book and the fish’s conclusion that no one loves him is surprising. The loneliness is depicted on that two-page spread by a solid grey background around a smaller-sized fish on the page. The midpoint of the book with solitude quickly jumps to action as a hungry cat preys on the goldfish. But the cat puts the lonely goldfish with another goldfish and the two become friends. The reversal of cat as villain to nice guy is a pleasant surprise.

Linda Salem

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