Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Whale in My Swimming Pool” as Want to Read:
The Whale in My Swimming Pool
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Whale in My Swimming Pool

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  744 ratings  ·  133 reviews
One sunny day, a little boy heads outside for a swim, but his pool is already taken . . . There's a big whale in the water and it's not budging! The boy tries everything to get the whale to leave. Nothing seems to work. Not fetch. Not tag. Not even offering his allowance. What's a boy to do? Luckily, he comes up with the perfect solution: he decides to chill out on a spray ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published April 7th 2015 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  744 ratings  ·  133 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Whale in My Swimming Pool
Apr 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
5/5 For teaching kids how to properly handle whale carcasses stuck in your kiddie pool.
Aug 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Cute tale of a boy attempting to get a whale to vacate his kiddie-pool.

Loved the surprise ending!
Prince William Public Libraries
One of my favorite summer reads, this picture book is a very funny and silly story about a boy who rushes out to his backyard for a swim only to find a giant whale in his kiddie pool. He begs and pleads with the whale, he tries bribery and trickery, he pushes with all his might, and finally even attempts lifting the whale out with a crane. Nothing works. The whale, smiling contentedly all the while, simply won’t budge. Just when the boy is about to give up in frustration, he uses some creative t ...more
Current repeat read — reminds me of don’t let the pigeon drive the bus, but recent and more applicable material? She keeps saying “here, fishy fishy fishy” now!
Jennifer (JenIsNotaBookSnob)
Quite cute and imaginative. Brief, with only a sentence or so per page making it a good choice for a toddler storytime. A boy goes out to play in his little pool to discover a whale lying on top of it. He tries to convince the whale to leave, but, then the boy figures out a way to enjoy the pool with the whale in it. The books wraps up with the boy heading off for a nap only to find a bear in his bed.

I just love Joyce Wan's illustrations. Her books make excellent toddler board books, just the r
Mar 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Me: "What would you do if you saw a whale in your swimming pool?"
Storytime Kiddo: "I would kill it. My dad wants fresh meat."
Me: ...

Maybe don't be like me. Don't ask that question if any of your kiddos are from hunting families. Otherwise it's a hit!
Jillian Heise
Update: I just read this aloud to my 7th graders, and they LOVED it! They thought it was really funny. (view spoiler)
Cute story. I like the perseverance of the little boy trying to get the whale out of his pool. Some humorous moments. Ending was fun.
Kelly Ford
Jan 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
I plan on using this book for my Toddler Time, I think they would get a kick out of a whale in a swimming pool. I think this book would also make a great read aloud book for preschool-kindergarten aged children.
Feb 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
A funny choice for storytime!
Apr 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
A cute picture book about how to make the most of unexpected challenges.
Apr 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: toddler
This book is so adorable! I def want to use it for toddler time. Whales or pools or swimming theme.
Stacy Fetters
May 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sneaky-librarian
Sometimes you got to suck it up buttercup and take the good with the bad. Or maybe find good in every weird situation.
Jul 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A silly book to read in the summer.
Nov 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture
A whale in your swimming pool? It's just the beginning of silly fun when the boy in this book figures out how to get the whale out of his pool. Colorful, simple illustrations are great. ...more
Apr 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Kaitlyn is a huge fan of Joyce Wan books. The colors are always so bright and cheerful. This book is whimsical and fun!
Nov 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Another one we’ve had since Rowan was born. Not one of his favorites, but it’s consistently enjoyed, as the wear and tear confirms. I’m honestly surprised it hasn’t been completely destroyed yet. We’ll drop this one out of rotation for a week or two, then bring it back and he’s always here for it. One of those dependable staples.

Every kid’s book collection needs a clutch of titles like this. The top faves—even the amazing ones—can start to run you down and drive you crazy, after the millionth r
Debbie Smith
Apr 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book
“Race you to the pool!” says a young boy wearing red swim trunks. But what’s waiting in the pool, the small wading pool, but a large whale! When he screams to his mom that there’s a whale in his pool, she apparently doesn’t listen, since it’s so preposterous. She replies that having a whale is great and that he shouldn’t forget to apply sunscreen. The boy is confused as to whether to apply sunscreen to himself or the whale. Thus begins the many ideas the boy comes up with to get the whale out of ...more
Melissa -
Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: momlife
Super fun book about being faced with a HUGE challenge, brainstorming, learning to compromise and making the most of just what is.
The illustrations are very cute and the kids loved the interactive parts of the book, the most FUN being the "closing eyes and counting" part.
The fact that the whale is in the swimming pool makes it a perfect summer book - and the cute and unexpected ending makes it a good bedtime story too.
Feb 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: future-storytime
Definitely going to use this in a future storytime. It's a little silly but there are some awesome things in it that will help with interacting with the preschoolers. There's counting and silly suggestions and little funny things tucked in on the pages that, while small, are still large enough that most of the group will be able to see (for example...the shark fin in the pool next door.) ...more
Sep 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My mom read this book to me while I was at the library and she loved it! The illustrations are really cute and the story is simple, but funny. A whale has taken over a child's kiddie pool and the mother doesn't even notice. A great board book that I, as a 2 year old, didn't quite get, but would be funny as I got older. ...more
Zoe's Human
May 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a cute and funny book for littles that is sure to evoke giggles and inspire imagination play. The images are bright, simple, and cute. It has a subtle message of not giving up.

Picture book
Grades: PreK - 2
Ages: 3-7
Lexile Measure: AD460L
DRA Level: 14
Themes: summer, problem solving, sand & water play, creativity & imagination
Ashley Adkins
Nov 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Very simple text and art which makes for a good read for some of the youngest readers. The art really reminds me of Hello Kitty - simple with bright colors. I did not think the text was very strong but that could be the point.
Dana Thomas
Mar 16, 2018 rated it liked it
I enjoyed the graphics/illustrations in this book but there's not much plot or storyline to follow. I'm not looking for anything earth-shattering in a children's book but this was a bit too simple for the age it was produced for. ...more
Molly Cluff (Library!)
Even looking at this book makes me think of sunscreen and summer! A little boy wants to go play in his pool, but a whale is sitting in it (like a real whale). Very funny and absurd. Was a hit with our Toddler group.
May 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Cute story, great illustrations.
Jun 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love this book's absurdity and well-constructed sight gags. Funny, entertaining text and illustrations. ...more
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book garnered lots of laughs at a swimming-themed storytime. Definitely a book I'd like to use again. ...more
Sonia Trujillo Martinez
Aug 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My 3 year old found this book to be so funny. It was a requested over and over for story time.
Aug 10, 2017 rated it liked it
It's just so, so, so... CUTE! ...more
Aug 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
Super adorable for young children.
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • There's a Wocket in My Pocket!
  • Interrupting Chicken
  • There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight
  • Little Owl's Night
  • Giraffe Problems
  • The Pout-Pout Fish
  • Rita and Ralph's Rotten Day
  • The Little Red Fort
  • Peep and Egg: I'm Not Hatching
  • Eek! Halloween!
  • The Wall in the Middle of the Book
  • Madeline Finn and the Library Dog
  • Harriet Gets Carried Away
  • Du Iz Tak?
  • The Box Turtle
  • Blue Hat, Green Hat
  • The Hug
  • The Pigeon Has to Go to School
See similar books…

Goodreads is hiring!

If you like books and love to build cool products, we may be looking for you.
Learn more »
Award-winning author-illustrator, Joyce Wan, designed a greeting card when she was in first grade for a city-wide greeting card design contest. The design won first place and was subsequently sold through a major department store. Twenty years later, that design would inspire her to launch her own design studio called Wanart where she was creating greeting cards again. These greeting cards led her ...more

News & Interviews

  Die-hard mystery fans are always on the hunt for their next supremely satisfying whodunit. To help you stock that Want to Read shelf, we asked...
60 likes · 23 comments