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Author: Edel Rodriguez

Illustrator: Edl Rodriguez

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Publisher: Little, Brown and Company,

Material: hard cover

Summary: Sergio is a penguin. Penguins like water. Sergio likes water, but not deep water. When his class takes a trip to the ocean, Sergio is afraid. He puts on all his water-safety gear ... but will he jump in. This is a picture book story about a penguin who overcomes his fear of the water.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, playtime reading, learning to read, easy reader

Recommended Age: read together: 3 to 8; read yourself: 6 to 9

Interest Level: 3 to 6

Reading Level: 2.6

Age of Child: Read with nearly 7-year-old girl.

Young Reader Reaction: Our daughter loved the story. Although she is a fish today, it was not all that long ago that she was afraid of water. She remembered her fears and talked to Sergio to encourage him to try to jump in.

Adult Reader Reaction: This is a fun, sweet story. We wish we would have had it three years ago! Part of what makes it fun is that it is written simply enough that we are able to partner read. The story itself may be "behind her," but the reading level is not and it gave her encouragement all the same. We also like that Sergio decided to take it one step at a time. He wasn't "miraculously" cured of his fear of water after just one jump.

Pros: Kids who are afraid of water will immediately connect with Sergio in this sweet, simply presented story about overcoming one's fears.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. This book has great value and fun reading for toddlers, preschoolers, and emerging readers.


Educational Themes: There are lots of ways to explore this book. You can talk about fear in general, fear of the water, and overcoming fear. Talk about personal safety (and water safety). What would have happened if Sergio jumped in (or was pushed in) without his floaties, etc.?

Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, animal characters, emotions, sports, swimming

Date(s) Reviewed: July 2008

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