10 Books to Help Young Kids Learn to Love – and Respect – Water

As we celebrate Water Safety Month and get ready for a summer of water-based fun with our families, we wanted to share some books that parents might want to read with their little ones.

Depending on each child’s age and comfort with water, you might be looking for something a little different. Below we have sorted them by recommended age, from youngest to oldest, and grouped them into three categories: books that focus on water safety lessons, books about being comfortable with water and overcoming uncertainty, and books about swimming as a sport.

But first: Introducing The Oxenforders Begin to Swim by Jon Foss

Our co-founder Jon Foss has a long-held passion for both swimming and for all the ways swimming helps children develop and grow. He’s combined those passions in writing his a children’s book called The Oxenforders Begin to Swim, which follows a family as they take to the water for the first time.

Filled with tips and insights about learning to swim, The Oxenforders Begin to Swim can be a great way to introduce kids to swimming ideas and help them prepare before classes begin. Look for it in the shop area of your local Foss Swim School in the months to come!

Books for kids about water safety rules

Helping children understand the rules of water safety is critical to their safety; drowning is the second-leading cause of accidental death for young children, and it very often happens at home or in a situation where adults didn’t know the child was near water. Simple, easy to remember rules are a must, and these books share those tips alongside colorful art that makes them engaging to read and listen to.

Kids Don’t Float: Water Safety by Sherrie Giddens

For toddler-preschooler ages

This picture book reinforces basic water safety rules with memorable, sing-song writing and images that help kids understand what floats and what doesn’t.

A Treasure At Sea for Dragon And Me by Jean Pendziwol

For ages 3-7 years

This adventure story shares water safety tips as a girl and her dragon search for treasure and have to be safe around water as they do so.

Stewie the Duck Learns to Swim by Kim and Stew Leonard Jr

For ages 5-6 years

In this family story, Stewie wants to play in the water with the big ducks, but needs to learn water safety rules from his four sisters before he can join in.


Books about water comfort and swimming lessons

These easy-reader books help introduce the concept of water as a place for fun ad learning. Readers will see how kids like them approach pools and swimming for the first time, how they are brave, and the rewards that come from swimming.

Maisy Learns to Swim by Lucy Cousins

For ages 2-5 years

The popular children’s character Maisy goes to the pool for the first time. This can be a tool to walk a young child through the steps of preparing for and playing in a pool.

Froggy Learns to Swim by Jonathan Landon

For ages 3-5 years

This story continues the adventures of Froggy, who is afraid of the water. But he is encouraged to try new things and to practice, and develops new swim skills.

First Time at the Pool by Ryann Hall

For ages 5-6 years

Kayleigh’s first pool experience shows her how much fun water can be. Her willingness to try new things, and discover what she is capable of, builds confidence.


Books about swimming as an activity

Our final set of recommended books help kids learn more about swimming as an activity and sport. As a complement to messages about water safety and fun, knowing more about how swimming works and its competitive side maybe motivating to some kids.

Let’s Talk Swimming by Amanda Miller

For ages 6-7 years

This book is a non-fiction primer on all things swimming, featuring illustrations and descriptions of strokes, turns, and some of the terms used in the sport.

Jay’s Swimming Journey by Elli Overton

6-8 years

This fiction story, written by a competitive swimmer, explores the roles of coaching, self-awareness, and striving to achieve goals as part of success in competitive swimming.

There’s a Hurricane In The Pool by Jessica Gunderson (eBook)

6-8 years

This story about Kenzie, a student at Victory School, highlights the importance of perseverance, practice, and self-control to get better at swimming.


Of course, these are just some of the many great books about swimming that are available. We hope adding some of these stories to your reading list will help your young swimmers get motivated for a safer summer of aquatic fun!

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