Inspired by the success of seeing her own children learn to swim safely with their Swimfins, author Jan Foster was determined to highlight it’s practical applications when she wrote her own book about swimming. Jan told us “In a book which is aimed at encouraging kids to get active and try a swimming lesson, I wanted to show the range of swimming aids which were available, actually being used, so SwimFin was an obvious choice! Moreover, because the book is designed to be used to support parents, especially those with children who might have learning or physical disabilities, with preparing their children for a first lesson, I wanted illustrate how practical it is as an alternative to armbands.”
Recently published and available now on Amazon (although it will shortly be available in bookstores also), ‘Mitch and Mooch Try Swimming’ is a story about twin monsters who prepare for and attend a swimming lesson. “I wanted to show the journey,” Jan said of the book, “from shopping for kit, to packing your bags, getting changed, and then on to what to expect in a first lesson. I talked a lot to parents of children on the autistic spectrum as well, to make sure we can try and address concerns which their children may have about approaching an unfamiliar situation. Through the book, there are lots of tips and answers to common questions children have about swimming, such as ‘What if water gets up my nose?’ or ‘Will I sink?’ “
Jan also ‘user tested’ the book before publication with children ages 5-8 – just to be sure they enjoyed the story and picked up on the points which it raises. Not to give the game away, but the humour (and just a bit of silliness!) comes from a pirate who can’t swim! “The kids loved the pirate,” Jan said, “as he’s really just doing everything wrong, like bringing in food to the pool hall, wearing too many floats so he can’t actually kick properly!” The illustrations are deliberately bright and colourful and it is written in a comic book style, with speech bubbles and a special dyslexia friendly font to support children reading who may be dyslexic.
“I really wanted to be able to feature a diverse range of children in the illustrations too,” Jan elaborates, “to show that anyone can learn to swim, even those with physical challenges. SwimFin enables that to happen so well, it really embodies the ethos of everyone can be safe swimming. I just wish there was an equivalent product for every sport as the Mitch and Mooch Try book series will soon be featuring other activities such as horse-riding, gymnastics and football (although I suppose I could try to have a sneaky shark somehow hidden in there for people to keep an eye out for!).”
Mitch and Mooch Try Swimming is available on Amazon here: https://www.bklnk.com/B084KK6QB7
There’s more fun and games available on the Mitch and Mooch website too – from word searches to colouring pages – lots to keep children entertained when out of the water! www.mitchandmooch.com