Picturebook Review: Swim! Swim! by Lerch by James Proimos


Swim! Swim! by Lerch by James Proimos is a great picturebook about a lonely fish named Lerch. He swims around his fish tank looking foe a friend. He swims, and swims, and swims, until he sees a possible friend, and then asks if the likely companion will be his friend. Sadly he does not seem to get answers. He asks the pebbles at the bottom of the tank and they ignore him, then the little scuba man with similar results. The he asks some bubbles, but they just run away and pop. A very sad Lerch then sees a cat through the glass who proclaims him Lunch and lifts him from the tank with the announced plan to introduce him to Dinner. Thankfully, Dinner is not what you might expect and Lerch might just have the new friend he was searching for.

Swim! Swim! is a fun story with  delightful surprise. The artwork is simple still feeling vibrant and expressive. I loved some of the expressions on Lerch's face, and his little asides, such as when he mentions that he is glad no one can see tears underwater. Poor Lerch does everything right in searching for a friend, but it is not until he is delivered into the company of another like minded soul that he really does find friendship- never mind the fact that most of his potential friends were inanimate objects.

I recommend Swim! Swim! for classrooms, libraries, and home collections. It could serve as a discussion starter about making friends and troubles in connecting with others. The vivid colors and charming story do well for storytimes and reading aloud. If fact, I need to go get a copy for my collection and return our library's copy. Do not forget to look sat the inner flaps to the book jacket, they are just as good, if not better, as the book itself.
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