Zeki Can Swim concerns a little boy’s trip to a swimming pool with his dad and the other children in his swimming class. As is to be expected with modern story books, the illustrations contain children of all ethnicities. But what is particularly noticeable in this book is that the babies are lifelike and truly adorable. Big brothers and sisters will be as captivated by the characters and their antics as toddlers will be. In fact, this is a perfect book for early readers to read and discuss with younger siblings, thereby benefiting both parties.
The story progresses through changing into a swimsuit, sitting on the poolside, sliding gently into the water and the fun of splashing and singing in the pool. It is a happy story with such wonderfully vivid illustrations that readers might want to keep a towel handy in case Zeki splashes water out of the pages onto them. Even the language is suitably wet, containing words such as swish, splish, splashy and sloshy. Children love onomatopoeia and there is plenty here to get their tongues dancing and giggling.
This book perfectly encapsulates the efforts of various organisations to encourage us to make our children and young people more water-safety aware. It is aimed at pre-schoolers’ early learning, but it would also be suitable for discussion with young school-age children, especially as an introduction to swimming for those not au fait with pools.