Together We Swim (Hardcover)

Together We Swim By Valerie Bolling, Kaylani Juanita (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Valerie Bolling, Kaylani Juanita (Illustrator)
Not currently on our shelves, but available to order (usually within a few days)


A 2023 Kirkus Prize Finalist! 

"Black family pride and joy abound."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review 
"Joy-filled."—Booklist, starred review 

A joyful, encouraging ode to a mother and son’s relationship and the unforgettable experience of a child's first swimming lessons.

Jumping into the water can be more than a little scary! But with Mom’s steady arms there’s no fear of sinking. With a kick, a splash, and his family’s cheers of encouragement, one determined boy finds his groove, making waves in this fun-filled day at the pool.

Embrace the feeling of accomplishment in this joyous, reassuring story about perseverance and new experiences. With lyrical rhyming text and vibrant illustrations, Together We Swim is destined to become a family read-aloud favorite!

VIBRANT & JOYFUL: Rhythmic text paired with dynamically illustrated kicks, flutters, and splashes against a palette of deep blue create a bright portrait that is both encouraging and warm for any child learning to swim.
A HELPFUL GUIDE FOR NEW SWIMMERS: The perfect book for any child facing nervous excitement or trepidation about learning to swim!

THE JOY OF A FIRST SWIM LESSON: Who can forget the first time they learned how to swim? This book is a nostalgic nod for parents and one they will be eager to share with their young one learning how to swim.
A GREAT READ ALOUD: This lyrical, upbeat text is a great fit for story time in any household.
PERFECT GIFT FOR MOM: If you're looking for a Mother’s Day gift or a birthday gift for mom, look no further! She will love the child/parent relationship portrayed in these pages!

Perfect for:
  • Mother’s Day gift giving
  • Going-to-the-pool book for little ones approaching the big milestone of learning to swim
  • Parents, grandparents, and caregivers looking for books about swimming for kids
  • Teachers, educators, and librarians
  • Readers who enjoyed Jabari Jumps, Llama Llama Learns to Swim, and Hair Love

About the Author

Valerie Bolling has been an educator for over twenty-seven years. Valerie serves as the co-chair of the NESCBWI Equity and Inclusion Team and is a member of SCBWI, the Authors Guild, and NCTE. She lives in Stamford, CT, and you can find her at

Kaylani Juanita illustrates inclusive picture books, such as Ta-Da!, When Aiden Became a Brother, and Magnificent Homespun Brown, for which she received the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Award. Her mission as an artist is to support the stories of the underrepresented and create new ways for people to imagine themselves. She currently lives in Fairfield, CA. You can find her on Instagram at @kaylanijuanita.

Praise For…

“Touching moments in the art pair well with the text. Black family pride and joy abound—this is a family that allows its little ones the space to make forays into independence while supporting them every step of the way. Warmly buoyant.” — Kirkus, starred review

“Bolling’s succinct, concise, yet seamless rhyming lines join with Juanita’s gorgeous artwork to illustrate a close-knit Black family’s joy-filled day at the pool.” — Booklist, starred review

Together We Swim is a 2023 Kirkus Prize Finalist

“This excellent read-aloud celebrates accomplishment and honors fear and a misstep or two.” — School Library Journal

A Kirkus Reviews Best Picture Book of 2023

“Bolling’s short rhyming text is accessible to those just dipping their toes into the reading waters. The illustrations in muted tones include…cultural touches that embrace and celebrate diversity. [A] joyful exuberance of conquering one’s fears… with the calming steadiness of a loving family.” — Horn Book Magazine

Product Details
ISBN: 9781797212494
ISBN-10: 1797212494
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Publication Date: August 15th, 2023
Pages: 40
Language: English