by Leo Lionni


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The gorgeous, Caldecott Honor-winning tale of a very clever fish by beloved picture book creator Leo Lionni.

Deep in the sea lives a happy school of fish. Their watery world is full of wonders, but there is also danger, and the little fish are afraid to come out of hiding . . . until Swimmy comes along. Swimmy shows his friends how—with ingenuity and team work—they can overcome any danger.

Winner of the 1964 Caldecott Honor, this beloved tale of a brave little fish has been a favorite to generations of readers. To celebrate Swimmy's fiftieth anniversary, we are issuing a handsome special edition hardcover that includes a bonus poster.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399555503
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 01/17/2017
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 32
Sales rank: 17,862
Product dimensions: 8.60(w) x 10.50(h) x 0.10(d)
Age Range: 3 - 7 Years

About the Author

Leo Lionni, an internationally known designer, illustrator, and graphic artist, was born in Holland and lived in Italy until he came to the United States in 1939. He was the recipient of the 1984 American Institute of Graphic Arts Gold Medal and was honored posthumously in 2007 with the Society of Illustrators’ Lifetime Achievement Award. His picture books are distinguished by their enduring moral themes, graphic simplicity and brilliant use of collage, and include four Caldecott Honor Books: Inch by Inch, Frederick, Swimmy, and Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse. Hailed as “a master of the simple fable” by the Chicago Tribune, he died in 1999 at the age of 89.

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Swimmy 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Swimmy is a truly wonderful book. I still, specifically, remember this book being read to me 30+ years ago and I now give it as a gift to anyone who has a baby. It has lovely illustrations, but what I love best about the book is the positive messages: Not to take council of your fears, the strength of collective action and that it is ok, great even, to be different.
Guest More than 1 year ago
¿From time to time, from the endless flow of our mental imagery, there emerges unexpectedly something that, vague though it may be, seems to carry the promise of a form, a meaning, and, more important, an irresistible poetic charge¿ says Leo Lionni. Leo has written and illustrated more than forty children¿s books. He is a four time Caldecott winner of Inch by Inch, Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse, Swimmy, and Frederick. In 1984, he received the American Institute of Graphic Arts Gold Metal. Swimmy won the Caldecott Award in 1987. The reading level of the book is second grade, eighth month. Swimmy is a little black fish that swims very fast, and swims with a school of red fish. One day a tuna fish came along and ate some of the red fish. The rest of the school of red fish, all except Swimmy, hid in the rocks and weeds. Swimmy then came up with an idea. What was the idea? Would it help the school of fish survive? Read the rest of the story to find out the ending. The story shares with the audience that it is better to work together than to work alone. In the book, it says ¿He taught them to swim close together, each in his own place, and when they had learned to swim like one giant fish, he said, `I¿ll be the eye.¿¿ This book provides a great lesson for the reader that cooperation is better to help accomplish things. I would suggest that people take the time to read the book because it is a cute book and is easy to read. Lionni, Leo. Swimmy. New York: Pantheon, 1968.
3Rmom More than 1 year ago
It shows you different ways of painting which give kids creativity.The story is very touching and educational. My kids ask me to read the book every night. My family love "Swimmy"!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think this book gives a super lesson on how important it is to think for yourself and how to work together for a very imoprtant life lesson. Thinking skills do not always come easy to some children, and in a whimscal way, the auther really uses these skills as a survival tool when everyone cooperates together. My granddaughters loved this story. I used it as storytime for our tea party. I needed a story with a sea theme and a life lesson. This was the perfect one. Truely a book your child would want to read over and over again.
Mparis on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Swimmy, sadly loses his entire family to a large and scary tuna. However, this bright and friendly fish makes friends with a school of fish, and working together, they show the big fish who is boss!Such a cute story and beautiful paintings. This book really warms your heart and makes you chuckle.Theme: Even if you're small, you can still make a BIG difference.
McKennaMiller on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"Swimming" by Leo Lionni is a prime example of what a Caldecott Honor Book is both then and now. The illustrations are extraordinary and reflect the environment of the ocean in which the fish live in in accurate natural colors. The use of stamping is very unique and does an excellent job in making all the fish look uniform. ¿Swimming¿ makes me want to experiment with the stamping technique. The illustrations follow along with the story and add depth and visual examples to the words. I especially appreciate the concept that standing out and looking different than others is a good thing for Swimmy. It saves him from being eaten by other fish, and makes him the missing link in his tribe much the same as Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer was. I think the Lionni does a great job at setting the mood throughout his pictures.
dennislankau on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is about a little black fish named Swimmy. One day all his red brothers and sisters are eaten up by a great big tuna. Swimmy is all laone. Swimmy goes on an adventure and see's lots of different sea creatures from Rainbow Jelly to lobster to seaweeds to eels. Then he comes across a school of little red fish, just like his brothers and sisters. They were afraid of the tuna so they were hiding. Swimmy taught them to swim together as one int he shape of a large red fish. They went on to chase around all the big fish. I belive this book teaches children that if they work togerther, they may be able to accomplish even more than they thought possibel.*To be used in k-2 classrooms, can be used for counting the fish and as a read along.
megancoleman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Swimmy is the only black fish in a school of red fish, who all get eaten by a much bigger fish. He swims around the sea to explore and find new friends. He meets a new school of little red fish and teach them to swim tightly together to form the shape of a giant fish in order to scare away predators (bullies).
scadd07 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Stars for characterizationThis book is a fantasy because of the talking fish. This book is great for primary age kids.
mmuncy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Swimmy, by Leo Lionni, is a Caldecott Winner. Swimmy is the only survivor in his school of fish after a bigger fish comes along and eats them. Swimmy then travels around the ocean seeing many interesting sights. Finally Swimmy finds other fish like himself but they are all scared of being eaten. Swimmy thinks about it and comes up with a plan. If all the fish swim together just right they can look like one big fish and not be afraid of being eaten.I liked the message of cooperation behind the story. This was written for kids Pre-K to second grade and sometimes kids that age have a hard time working together to accomplish a task. As an extension activity, I would use a hula hoop and put two or three kids in at one time with all but one blindfolded and have them work together to get to a certain destination.
dlsmith5 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Reading level: 3.5This book is about a little fish who is the only one different then the others. He has all orange brothers and sisters and he is solid black. He goes off on his own and finds other orage fishes who he has gather together to create a larger looking fish and he swims as an eye. so he is able to find the perfect spot for him and the other fish are able to get out and swim in the ocean.
lwmasters on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A beautiful book that does a great job depicting teamwork while showing the wonderfulness of the sea. A young fish swims through the ocean alone when his school is eaten by another fish. He sees many interesting sights before finding his new home.
creeh on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Swimmy is a little black fish among many red brothers and sisters. One day, a giant tuna fish comes and gobbles all his red siblings up, leaving him alone. So, he decides to explore the ocean around him, and find new friends. He comes across jelly fish, and coral, and eventually another school of red fish hiding form the tunas. He hatches a plan to swim together as one big fish, and he'll be the eye. So, all the fish scared away the tuna they once afraid of because they worked together. this book was pretty simple. the moral was clear, but there really wasnt much plot to it. i liked the use of stamps the illustrator used to do the pictures, but they were not very colorful. overall, i think this book was alright, but not great.the book could be used to show students that teamwork pays off, and could be put into practice palying tug of war or maybe a group picture that they would add their personality traits up, and describe how they could use them to help one another.
eward06 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This represents a Realistic Fiction book because the story is true to life in that it happens in a setting that is real to the reader. It also represents a Modern Fantasy because it expresses ideas about make-believe things like the idea that fish don't really talk. This makes it known that the story would not be completely possible in real life.
alliecipa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Swimmy is the only fish left after his family gets eaten by a bigger fish. He is different from all the rest of the fish. Swimmy tells about his travels through the ocean and all of the interesting things he encounters. When Swimmy finally finds other fish, they are all too scared of being eaten to swim with him. It takes teamwork from all of the fish to come up with a plan to fool the big fish and save everyone from being eaten! This book is great for talking about teamwork and individuality & has amazing pictures!
amandawebster on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A fish named Swimmy travels through the ocean after the rest of the fish in his school are swallowed up. When he finds another school like his own, he teaches them to swim as one big fish.
lpeal on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is about a little fish named Swimmy. Swimmy's whole family gets eating by a great big fish. So he travels around the ocean looking for friends and food. It discusses all that he encoutners and what he did. He finally meets another school of fish. He teaches them to swim clsoe together so that the other fish will think they are all one big fish. THis worls well and they lived hapily ever after. A cute book that kids will love. I did not however care for the illustrations.
t1bclasslibrary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Swimmy is a cute little black fish who is the only one not eaten in his school of red fish. After everyone else is eaten, he wanders the ocean looking at wonders described with descriptive words (very young readers might need it clarified that the rocks aren't cotton candy, etc.), until he finds a new school of fish like the old one. He tells them how they can escape being re-eaten by pretending to be a large fish, and then they wander the ocean together. This includes a template for making potato fish stamps, which might be a follow-up that students would really enjoy.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I purchased this book for our grandson for Christmas. He is two and loves fish so what better book to read to him at bedtime than SWIMMY!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great book for teaching children that just because someone, or an animal, looks different that they or it is worthy of ridicule. They're not! Just like the rabbit in vol.1 of Skog Forest.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I liked how Swimmy got away.