By Jenny Hatton and Illustrations by Joan Rankin (Jacana Media)
What a delightful, happy little book by South African author Jenny Hatton. Swimming in the Sun follows a typical day at the beach from pulling on swimming pants to running into the water, jumping off rocks and dealing with boasting brothers: “Simon told them he saw a mamba (snake) but he didn’t!”
You can almost feel the child’s sticky sand-covered body as she gets wrapped in a towel when it’s time to go home. The simple rhyming text is perfectly accompanied by whimsical illustrations from award-winning illustrator Joan Rankin. The little observations are spot on and will inspire discussions with your child – what do you like to do at the beach? Do you like jumping off rocks? Do you like the feel of the sand?
There are two more books in the series of children’s big life events: Moving House and Visiting Aunt Joan (going on a journey). We recommend buying the whole series.
Background info on the author and illustrator:
Jenny Hatton is an educator and experienced editor of a large number of non-fiction and fiction books for children and young adults. She has also written and edited school readers. She is Assistant Regional Advisor for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), South Africa. These are her first children’s picture books.
Joan Rankin has illustrated over thirty books for children including the recent This is the Chick by Wendy Hartmann. She received the South African HAUM Daan Retief Prize for children’s book illustration in 1986 and the Katrina Harris Award for Children’s Book Illustration in 1991. She has illustrated numerous books on the McElderry list, including A Frog in the Bog by Karma Wilson and Off to First grade by Louise Borden. She also won the MER prize for best illustrated children’s book for Just Sisi/Net Sisi by Wendy Hartmann.