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Saturday Is Swimming Day
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Saturday Is Swimming Day

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  244 ratings  ·  62 reviews
New things can be scary -- but as one endearing little girl discovers, it's perfectly fine to take your time.

Swimming lessons are on Saturdays, and every Saturday one little girl has a stomachache. When she gets to the pool it's loud, the floor is wet and slippery, and her swim cap is too tight. Her swimming instructor, Mary, says it's OK to sit by the edge if she doesn't
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published June 12th 2018 by Candlewick Press (MA)
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3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  244 ratings  ·  62 reviews

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Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
This book is totally terrific. I'm smitten with the illustrations, especially once the narrator gets to the pool—her and all the characters' gestures and expressions are perfect.

The narrator is scared of swimming and gets a "stomachache" every Saturday. I so enjoyed seeing the MC gradually progress because of her patient teacher and then experience accomplishment and connection with others. A triumph and joy!
This is a great story of a young girl who needs to confront her fears of the swimming pool and was able to because of a kind and caring swim instructor. Being a former Aquatic Director, this is key to success.
Alex (not a dude) Baugh
Jun 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fears, swimming
A young girl has been signed up by her mother for Saturday morning swimming lessons and she isn't very happy about it. The first Saturday, she says she has a stomachache, but with no fever, she is off to the pool. And spends the time standing by the wall, watching the other kids have fun during their lesson. The next week, she gets as far as sitting on the edge of the pool, watching the other kids have fun during their lesson. But the third week, Mary, the instructor, helps the girl get into the ...more
Oct 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fear of something new to enjoyment requests
Recommended to June by: and Shoshana
A feel-good story about the fear of something new and that with the help of a patient teacher one can discover something new to enjoy.

Plus, multicultural aspect of illustrations.
Michele Knott
Young readers will relate to the topic.
A good book to show that growth mindset can also occur over time.
Sandy Brehl
When little Mary wakes one Saturday morning feeling ill, there's no malingering involved. Those Saturdays circled on her wall calendar were not marked in happy anticipation. They indicate the mornings for Mary to go to swimming lessons and hee misery is deeply felt.
On the surface (my pun on that threatening water surface is intentional), this is clearly a story for little kiddos who are afraid of the pool, or some other mundane childhood experience. It's there, and it's well done.
But I'll argue
Nadia Wazzan
Aug 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great for kids who are starting swim lessons.
Michelle (FabBookReviews)

It was Saturday morning. I told my mom that my stomach hurt. She took my temperature and said I didn't have a fever, so I could still go to my swimming lesson.

The award-winning and acclaimed author-illustrator of terrific titles such as Puddle, This Is Our House, and The Twins' Blanket, Hyewon Yum brings readers the deeply relatable and perfect-for-read-aloud picture book Saturday Is Swimming Day. Yum's newest picture book opens on a scene of our protagonist and narrator, a young girl, waking u
Sarah Richards
Aug 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
As part of my Post-K Summer Reading Boot Camp:

Saturday is Swimming Day is a textbook example of “Give it a try. You might like it.” Green Eggs and Ham did it much better, though a child being afraid of swimming is more grounded in the real world than eating green eggs and ham (unless you live in the tundra and happen to be served 20-minute eggs and chimichurri pork).

Unfortunately, the story was boring and generic.

This book is more of what I call a proces
Jan 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A little girl wakes up with a stomach ache on Saturday, worried about her swimming lesson. When they get to the pool, it is loud and cold and wet. She doesn’t enter the pool at all, only getting wet when she takes a shower afterwards. The next week, she has a stomach ache again. This time, her instructor asks her to try getting in the pool and gently encourages her to try some movements in the water. The following week, she doesn’t have a stomach ache at all! She tries bobbing her head and even ...more
Sep 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm a sucker for beautiful illustrations and I fell in love with Saturday is Swimming Day for that very reason. But this book is more than some pretty drawings. It's also a very sweet story about some things in life can be very scary, but with the right people and encouragement, we can do anything we set our minds to.

A little girl has swimming lessons on Saturday but her stomach hurts so she really shouldn't go. Her mom checks her over and doesn't find anything wrong so she gets her swimming su
Jun 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Saturday is Swimming Day is a story told by a little girl who is feeling uncertain about taking swimming lessons. On her calendar, the Saturdays are circled in red, marked off for time in the pool. Yum’s soft watercolor and colored pencil illustrations are a perfect match for the tentative mood of the narrative. At the beginning, as the little girl pretends to be sick to get out of going to swimming lessons, even her stuffed bear and the strawberry decorations on her bathing suit seem to be frow ...more
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Saturday is Swimming Day by Hyewon Yum. PICTURE BOOK. Candlewick Press, 2018. $17. 9780763691172



One little girl tells her story of taking swimming lessons every Saturday. She is very nervous and for the first week or so things do not go well. Eventually she gets more comfortable with the water and swimming, and Saturday swim lessons become a fun thing.

This is a simple story that most kids can relate to about trying new things. Th
Sean Congemi
Saturday Is Swimming Day follows a little girl as she tries something new, swimming. Saturday, the little girl gets a stomach ache before swimming class starts. In the book, the illustrations show all the other kids running around and having fun, while the little girl looks scared and shy. This is something we have all felt before. Trying new things can be scary and we have all felt like that little girl. Throughout the book, the little girl gets more and more comfortable with her instructor and ...more
When I was a little kid, swimming lessons were very scary for me. I was afraid to put my face in the water and I never truly believed I would float if the swimming teacher took her hands away. It wasn't until I was in fourth grade and some after school lessons at the YMCA that I finally learned how to swim. Young readers will be able to relate to the little girl in this awesome picture book. On Saturdays, she attends swimming lessons and she starts out with a stomachache each time, but the very ...more
Celeste Bittner
Saturday is Swimming Day is a great book sharing a young girl's experience with learning to swim. She perfectly nails the nervousness in her stomach and how she dreads and makes up excuses for doing something that she dreads. Her teacher is able to recognize that the young girl is nervous and helps her to become confident in the water and that swimming is fun. As a swim instructor, I found this book easily relatable because I am the one that works with children that are nervous about swimming bu ...more
Jan 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books, 2019, kaia
Saturday is Swimming Day. Somerville, Candlewick, 2018. Seemingly simple watercolor blooms on the endpapers, but that shade of blue allows the reader to dive into a relatable story about how fear can hold us back from the opportunity to learn something that might become a passion. The intersection of watercolor with color pencil vividly and gorgeously brings alive this tale. The pages with the pool have so much fluidity and movement because of the shading and blooming. So lovely. I adore the mai ...more
Jensen Kniska
Saturday is Swimming Day is about a young, Asian girl that has a fear of swimming. She is afraid of swimming and on Saturdays she developed stomachaches. She starts out by hanging onto the wall of the building with the pool inside. She has progress week by week by taking steps and working with an instructor to become familiar with the swimming pool. There are colorful pictures that made with watercolors and colored pencils. This would be a great book to read to students about overcoming their fe ...more
Juliana Lee
The little girl narrates her own story about not wanting to go to swimming lessons on Saturdays. She tries to convince her mother and swimming teacher that she has a stomachache. The first time she goes, she stands alone by the wall. The second week she goes in only with the teacher and practices at home in the bathtub. By the end of the story, she is confident and looks forward to swimming lessons.
Ms. Shoshana
Oct 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
A little girl is scared of her swim lessons, but eventually overcomes her fear and learns to love swimming. I like that the teacher was patient with her, and that the fear did not go away right away. I also liked the the family appears multiracial.

Definitely a good recommendation for someone learning about perseverance. Or just for someone starting swim lessons!
Jun 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a WONDERFUL first time swim lessons book. Our character has realistic reactions and concerns, and the adults don't give her dumb adult reactions. It's wonderful. It's a slow confidence build that reflects real life instead of being insta-perfect at a new skill. My only complaint is the swim caps. Because nobody wears those.
Allyson Waterbeck
I enjoyed reading this book. It was very easy to read and I would say that a first or second grader would be able to read this book. The book had a lot of bright colors in it and a few short sentences on each page. This would be a good book for younger children to read who are afraid of water or going to swim lessons.
Susan Kennedy
This is a marvelous mentor text for primary students in narrative and small moments. With minimal words, the main character’s emotions and strategies are on clear display. Thanks Jennifer Serravallo for this recommendation from Summer Camp. Pair with Jabari Jumps for great kickstart of summer memories.
Madeline Masluk
I thought this book did a good job on teaching children that every once in a while we have to conjure up our fears and we have to give certain things a chance to see if we like it or not. I think that is the most important message of the story and why I like this book.
Sep 10, 2018 rated it liked it
This story is for every child afraid of swimming lessons, or trying other new things in their lives. Scared of entering the pool a young girl finds courage when her teacher gently teaches her she can do it.
Jul 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
I took swimming lessons as a little, little kid on Saturdays and was terrified--the water was always freezing cold, the pool was gargantuan, and my tummy hurt the entire time. This book is so real for me; it's good to read something that shows kids triumphing over their fears.
Mackenzie Keffer
Saturday is Swimming Day is a story told by a little girl who is feeling uncertain about taking swimming lessons. The pictures help lead the story. Sensitive story about overcoming fears with the help of a sympathetic teacher.
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As a child, I would identify with the little girl who is afraid to swim and feels left out when all of the other children seem to have no fear. As an adult, I cried for the child, cheered for the child, and finally, just wanted to jump in the book and give her a great big hug!
Ruth Anne
Aug 24, 2018 rated it liked it
A little girl faces her fear of swimming lessons with gentle guidance from her mother and Mary the instructor. This encouraging story would be useful for young children and a variety of fears or anxieties they may face.
Aug 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A young girl is scared to go swimming. She tries the stomach ache option but her mom takes her anyway. Eventually she discovers she can swim and likes being in the water.
Lovely illustrations capture the emotions on each page.
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Hyewon Yum is the author and illustrator of several acclaimed books for children. She has received the Society of Illustrator's Founder's Award, the Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Award, an Honorable Mention for the Bologna Ragazzi Award, and the Golden Kite Award for her work. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.