Olvina Swims

Now that summer is officially here, why don't we explore a book that's all about swimming. 

*In addition to being a better than average story, it also can serve as an instruction manual for getting your kid in the water  
*It might seem simple, but the progression from tub to pool to ocean was a nice touch
*My son and I looked at that pool scene (with about fifty animals drawn into it) for minutes at a time

*Would have enjoyed a tad more humor -- which should have been fairly easy since chickens aren't exactly the Michael Phelps of the animal kingdom 
*The conclusion was underwhelming due, primarily, to its over-reliance on delivering a feel-good message 
*There were surprisingly few birds on the island for what was supposed to be a bird convention

First off, I've got to give Grace Lin credit -- she really won my boy over with this one.  We have about 15 books checked out right now, but Olvina Swims is consistently in the top two of the rotation.  Moreover, I think it really did inspire him to be a little more adventurous in the water this past weekend, although I have no proof to back that up.  Still, it's not my favorite piece of kidlit ever and not really even near the top echelon either.  As a functional training tool it definitely does the job in spades, but as an overall effort I like to think of Olvina as being quite similar to the swimmer from Equatorial Guinea at the 2008 Sydney Games.  It somehow qualified to be in the same building as the world's best, but has no business being in the same pool with them

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