I was rather proud when Little Miss C came home from her swimming lesson last week with this. She’s not even four yet so I really wasn’t expecting her to move on to the next class quite so soon, but I’m proud of her for doing so. Her success also helped me decide what I should cover for this week’s Ladybird Tuesday – How to Swim and Dive.
This book was part of the Hobbies and Interests series (series 633) and covers pretty much everything you need to know to learn how to swim and dive, right from getting into the pool for the first time through to diving and some basic life saving.
Having sat on the side of the pool for so many of LMC’s swimming lessons lately it seemed a bit strange that in this book there’s no mention of any swimming aids. In her lessons the children use foam “noodles” and floats most of the time, yet the very last page of this book talks about how expert opinion is divided on whether it’s best for children to learn to swim with aids or not. It also helpfully talks about how “short of tubby people” may need to adapt their strokes to fit in with their body shapes. Whilst this might be factually true, I’m not sure you’d get away with a description like that in a modern book.
I’m not entirely sure what age this book is aimed at, but it’s certainly older than LMC, yet many children now are starting swimming lessons at her age, or even younger. The way that the book describes how to do each of the strokes is very thorough, but I’m not totally sure just how well a child would transfer what they learn from a book into practice. It’s not as if you’d take your copy to the pool with you – or maybe you would.
As with so many old Ladybird books the illustrations by Martin Aitchison are incredibly well done and certainly show clearly all the steps involved in each movement. There’s that vintage edge to them and this one featuring part of a public swimming pool could so easily be the one back in Yorkshire that I went to as a child in the 80s. Again a million miles away from the shiny new one that LMC goes to here in St Albans every week!
If you have a collection of old Ladybird books then please feel free to join in with Ladybird Tuesday. There are no formal rules to follow, just leave a link to any post you write in the comments below and if you’re feeling kind link back to my Ladybird Tuesday category here on Being Mrs C. Thanks!