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Sergio Makes a Splash
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Sergio Makes a Splash

5.0 3
by Edel Rodriguez

Sergio is a penguin. He loves fish, soccer, and water. He loves drinking water, bathing in water, spraying water, just about anything with water! But he has one big problem; he can't swim. So when his class takes a field trip to the ocean, Sergio must decide whether he should face his fear or avoid something he loves.


Sergio is a penguin. He loves fish, soccer, and water. He loves drinking water, bathing in water, spraying water, just about anything with water! But he has one big problem; he can't swim. So when his class takes a field trip to the ocean, Sergio must decide whether he should face his fear or avoid something he loves.

Editorial Reviews

Julie Just
Sergio's worried expression and carefully assembled swimming gear are winning…Rodriguez's bright woodblock prints should provide reassurance to other small creatures who are afraid to take the plunge.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly

Sergio the penguin isn't afraid of all water-just "the very deep kind." But with the help of floaties, a snorkel, a life preserver, he discovers that taking the plunge isn't so bad after all. A penguin with a fear of swimming is both a comic and a useful premise-plenty of similarly haunted readers will want to laugh at Rodriguez's (Float Like a Butterfly) sympathetic presentation, and his illustrations guarantee that they'll be able to share the fun, too. Rendered in a minimalist, three-color palette (aqua, midnight blue and orange), these mostly full-spread images each pack a poster-like punch (Rodriguez is an acclaimed poster designer as well as a former Time art director). He finds occasions for jokes (on the walls of Sergio's bedroom hang framed portraits of other black-and-white creatures: cow, Dalmatian, panda, zebra, soccer player), creates dynamic vignettes and makes even Sergio's back look expressive. One of those rare books that doesn't sacrifice child appeal in its embrace of up-to-the-minute visual techniques. Ages 3-6. (May)

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School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2- A young penguin loves water-to bathe, drink, and splash in-but he does not want to learn to swim in the ocean. When his class takes a trip for their first lessons, Sergio has his floaties, mask, and snorkel but still fears to take the plunge. With the supportive encouragement of his friends, the little creature finally makes the leap and, in the satisfying conclusion, finds that he quite enjoys himself. Beginning with the stylized goldfish on the endpapers, the simple woodblock and digital art is stunningly rendered in bright orange, stark white, and cool aquamarine. Rodriquez uses bold graphics, lines, and angles to create a sense of play and space that draws in readers. The text is great fun for storytimes or for reading alone. Kids will take to this visually pleasing tale like ducks...er, penguins, to water.-Marge Loch-Wouters, Menasha Public Library, WI

Kirkus Reviews
Sergio the Argentinian penguin loves drinking, splashing and playing with water, but he can't swim-which makes for some anxious moments when his class takes a field trip to the ocean. Screwing his courage to the sticking place after agonies of indecision ("It's scary!" "It's just water!" "It's dark!" "It's clear!"), he tumbles clumsily down the cliff and with a huge splash disappears completely. Using pale, thinly applied woodblock inks and digital media, Rodriguez creates very simple-looking scenes featuring a tubby, long-beaked penguin (outfitted with snorkel, goggles and floaties on both wings) diving into a glassy turquoise sea. Eventually Sergio rises with another mighty splash and proceeds to have a ball. Maybe next time he'll leave off the floaties? "Sergio will have to think about that . . . ." Sergio comes with his own website, but a celebrity like Olivia he's not-more of an everypenguin, whose angst in the face of new experiences will strike a chord in many young children. (Picture book. 5-7)

Product Details

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 10.50(h) x 0.50(d)
AD490L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Edel Rodriguez was born in Havana, Cuba. He left for America on a boat with his parents and sister when he was 8 years old. His drawings and illustrations have appeared in four picture books, including Float Like a Butterfly and Oye, Celia!, on stamps for the U.S. Postal Service, The New Yorker, and posters for Broadway shows. Edel has also been an art director at TIME Magazine for over a decade. He lives with his wife and daughter in New Jersey.

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Sergio Makes a Splash 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
FeatheredQuillBookReviews More than 1 year ago
Watch out world! Sergio has arrived and he¿s ready for some fun! Sergio Makes a Splash! is a delightful story of a penguin who is afraid to swim in the ocean.

Sergio is a very happy penguin who loves everything about water. He loves to swim in the bathtub, run around in the rain, play with the water sprinkler, and drink lots of water. Sergio loves everything about water, but only if it isn¿t deep. When Sergio¿s class goes on a field trip, the adorable little penguin is thrilled until he learns that the destination is the ocean. As the other penguins run to the cliff to jump into the ocean, Sergio is hesitant. Will he follow his friends and dive in?

Author Edel Rodriguez has done a fantastic job of tackling a subject that many children face ¿ fear of the unknown. Sergio admits to his teacher, ¿I¿m scared.¿ Mrs. Waddle, the teacher, gently explains that there is nothing to fear. Sergio¿s friends, too, join in the confidence building by telling the frightened penguin how wonderful the water is. I particularly enjoyed Rodriguez¿s illustrations, playful and bright. Children, too, will enjoy the suspense after Sergio finally jumps off the cliff and into the water. There are two pages of just ocean, sans penguin. What happened to Sergio? Is he okay? They¿ll certainly cheer as they turn the page to see Sergio pop out of the water, a huge smile on his face.

Quill says: Sergio is a great confidence builder and a very fun story to boot.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sergio loves playing with and drinking water but is afraid of the ocean because he does not know how to swim. He is encouraged by a teacher and friends to jump in the water and he eventually does it 'with floaties'! I'm a Kindergarten teacher and I plan on using this book during a read aloud for a lesson about 'trying' and 'not giving up.' The pictures are simple and it also could be used for teaching elements of text/writing. There's great speech and thought bubbles.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful book with a great story and beautiful illustrations. I just regret that it summer time and I will not get to share this with my students until September!!