Swing – Perfect Picture Book Friday

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Title: Swing

Author & Illustrator: Michael Hall

Publisher: Greenwillow Books, 2020

Ages: 3-5

Format/Genre: concept book

Themes: alphabet, letters, vowels, sharing, kindness, swings, playground, fun, shapes, colors, opposites


The first letter was alone when a second letter arrived. “Can I play with you?” the second letter asked.


The letter L is enjoying time on a swing during recess. When V asked to join in the fun, L rejected V because V was from the opposite end of the alphabet. Same when E and O ask to play, as they are also different (E is a vowel and O is a round shape). Regardless, each climbs onto a swing and all four letters begin to swing back and forth until they align to form the word “LOVE”.

Why I like this book:

Deceptively simple. So many easy questions adults can ask to engage with the readers to spot the differences and similarities between the alphabet letters – that gratifyingly spell an obvious word at the end.

All of the basic concepts are there – shapes, colors, letter recognition, numbers, opposites… All with a simple message about acceptance wrapped up together in a familiar schoolyard activity.

The illustrated motion of the letters flying high in the air somehow perfectly encapsulates the joy of swinging.


Use the conflict in the story as a springboard for discussions of not bullying others and how to handle conflict on the playground, of diversity and inclusion, asking them ‘what would you do?’

Each week a group of bloggers reviews picture books we feel would make great educational reads. To help teachers, caregivers and parents, we have included resources and/or activities with each of our reviews. A complete list of the thousands of books we have reviewed can be found sorted alphabetically and by topics, here on Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.

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1 Response to Swing – Perfect Picture Book Friday

  1. Joanna, You find the greatest books. I am intrigued and can’t wait to get it from the library. Thanks!

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