Heather was a little girl…
…who always fell in the water.
She didn’t mean to do it.
She didn’t enjoy it.
But she fell in the water nearly every day,
especially when she was wearing her good clothes.
Poor Heather hates the water – and is sure the water hates her, because it always makes her fall in. Her parents are so worried for her safety that they make her wear water wings all the time. But when her parents take her for swimming lessons Heather discovers that walking into the water can feel nice – and soon she realises that the water makes her fall in because it wants to be with her. She decides that if she learns to swim the water might stop making her fall in. Soon she is a champion swimmer.
Heather Fell in the Water is a gently humorous picture book story about learning to swim, and about conquering fear. Inspired by the true story of author Doug MacLeod’s little sister Heather who hated water yet seemed to always fall in, the tale is gently educational about the pleasures of learning to swim, but is also just plain fun.
Illustrations, by the amazing Craig Smith, populate the pages with comic watercolour images filled with (not surprisingly) water, but also warm and wacky characters and lots of movement and detail. On the spread where Heather decides to make a bargain with the water, a watery face floats on the surface of the pool.
A wonderful offering for the summer swimming-lesson season, Heather Fell in the Water is a delight.
Heather Fell in the Water, by Doug MacLeod and Craig Smith
Allen & Unwin, 2012
Available from good bookstores and online.