Bethany Christou’s follow-up to Slow Samson is another winner, even if her young crocodile protagonist is not.
Nigel comes from a long line of water-sport champions and like the rest of his family, Nigel loves to swim and his favourite spot for relaxing and thinking is in the water.
However once he has to start following a training regime, he gets butterflies in his tummy and his tail is all a-tremble, but he daren’t let on to the family.
Then comes the news. Nigel is to take part in his very first competition:
no wonder he has a sleepless night and no matter what he does or says there’s no getting out of it.
When race day dawns Nigel is a complete nervous wreck.
There’s absolutely no way he can take that dive from the starting blocks, so what will he do?
Is there perhaps something else water-related that he can enjoy
and at the same time make his family proud without winning medals?
Suffering from anxiety is part and parcel of growing up so most little ones will appreciate Nigel’s plight; so too will adult sharers who, one hopes put children’s happiness and self-fulfilment above reflected glory.
Bethany Christou’s wonderfully expressive, warm illustrations have a gentle humour that underscores her message about allowing children to be themselves and follow their own paths.