Our Pool

by Lucy Ruth Cummins (Author) Lucy Ruth Cummins (Illustrator)

Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

On a hot day, people come from all over the city to spend the day at the pool in this joyful picture book that's a love song to summer, the city, community, and staying cool!

Today is a pool day in the city! The sun is shining, so what are you waiting for? Friends and family. Kids and grandparents. Big bodies and small bodies. Everybody is welcome at our pool! Get ready for swimming and splashing, zigzagging and dunking, and racing and laughing.

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Kirkus Reviews

Starred Review
Both the chatty, child-friendly text and the gouache, colored pencil, and digitally finished artwork ooze exuberance; Cummins' saturated colors and energetic, curving waves are utterly inviting.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review

Public pools, those unsung heroes of public good, have found their bard in Cummins (Sleepy Sheepy). In vibrant gouache and colored pencil hues that are reminiscent of a schoolchild's paint set, initial pages show a variously inclusive parade of city dwellers "sweating, and smiling, and skip-stepping toward... OUR POOL!" As the illustrations move over, around, and under the be-goggled crowd in compositions ranging from reportorial to bird's-eye view, the story's kid narrator enthusiastically recounts the ritual-like pleasures of pool-going, from getting changed to getting in ("I'm the JUMP-RIGHT-IN! type") to breathless communal reactions over the sun's movements to a final, parting cannonball. In a cleverly executed conceit, the first-person narrator is never tied to a specific individual: when Mom insists on sunscreen, Cummins zooms in on four adult hands brandishing bottles and cans; when the narrator floats behind Mom "like a cape," readers see multiple parent-child pairs moving through the water in a line. It's a joyfully saturated vision of e pluribus unum shown via "an ice-cold bowl of City People Soup!" Ages 4-8. Agent: Emily van Beek, Folio Jr./Folio Literary Management. (June)

Copyright 2023 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Lucy Ruth Cummins
Lucy Ruth Cummins is an author and illustrator who made her critically-acclaimed author-illustrator debut in 2016 with her picture book A Hungry Lion, or A Dwindling Assortment of Animals. She is also the illustrator of This is Not a Valentine, Truman, and The Love Letter. When she's not writing or illustrating books, Lucy is an executive art director of Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. She grew up in Cortland, New York, and she now lives with her little family in Brooklyn, New York.

Pete Oswald is a #1 New York Times bestselling illustrator and an Annie Award-nominated animation production designer best known for The Angry Birds Movie film franchise and Oscar(R) Nominated ParaNorman, in addition to multiple animated studio films. He is also a children's book author and illustrator, and painter. Pete is the illustrator the New York Times bestselling picture books The Bad Seed, The Good Egg, The Cool Bean, The Couch Potato, and The Smart Cookie, written by Jory John. Pete lives in Los Angeles, California, with his wife and three sons.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date
June 20, 2023
BISAC categories
JUV023000 - Juvenile Fiction | Lifestyles | City & Town Life
JUV030060 - Juvenile Fiction | People & Places | United States
JUV074000 - Juvenile Fiction | Diversity & Multicultural
Library of Congress categories
Picture books
City and town life
Swimming pools

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