Story time is the best time of the day. Whether we're snuggled up on the couch or cozy in our pjs before bed, reading stories with my little ones is one of my favorite things to do. Everyone has a favorite book they remember from their childhood, and every day, parents and kids are discovering new classics of their own. There are many fabulous children's books out there, some of which everyone knows about and others we would have never discovered had my son not simply pulled a random book off a library shelf. I created this blog to share some of these wonderful stories with you. Think of it as a year's worth of the best children's books around, since no day should be without a great story. In the end, I hope we'll all have discovered at least a few new titles that will have made their way onto our list of family favorites. Enjoy!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Day 176: Swimmy

After falling in love with Leo Lionni's classic story Frederick, I knew I had to read more of his books.  We've read a few others since then, and Swimmy is definitely among our favorites.  I was thrilled to find a copy at our local library's book sale recently, and both of my children request it frequently. Swimmy tells the story of a little fish who is different from all the rest.  After he finds himself all alone in the sea, Swimmy discovers some of the ocean's most magnificent and beautiful creatures.  "A medusa made of rainbow jelly... an eel whose tail was almost too far away to remember..." and sea anemones who look like "pink palm trees swaying in the wind."  Finally, Swimmy discovers another group of little fish and invites them to come out and explore the ocean with him.  When they are too scared to leave the safety of their crevice for fear of being eaten by bigger fish, Swimmy comes up with the perfect plan; one that empowers them all, while at the same time celebrating his uniqueness and individuality.  I don't want to give away the ending, but it's sweet, clever, and bound to feel empowering to young children.  Lionni's descriptions throughout the story are gorgeous, and I love the way his simple words are so vivid and rich in detail.  To me, Swimmy is about the importance of always being yourself, and the power one individual has to inspire others and bring about change.  At the same time, it's also about the collective power of teamwork; a wonderful reminder that we are far more influential together than we are on our own.  If you have not yet discovered the fabulous and beautiful works of Leo Lionni, be sure to look for them the next time you are at your local library.  Swimmy, among others, is a classic that is sure to delight you and your child.


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