Written and illustrated by Ann D. Koffsky
URJ Press, 2011
The good stuff
- The moral of the story–All Noah needs is a really good reason to get past his fear of the pool and the opportunity to contribute to tzedakah so less fortunate kids could attend camp provides it.
- A simple story with family appeal–Easy to read, easy to read aloud, easy for kids to relate to.
- It’s camp!–What would camp be without bug juice?
- The details–For example, Noah starts to feel stuffy, bumpy and stingy when he’s only in one foot of water.
- Texture–Again, small details add to the visual appeal. The addition of typography in the background (or on Noah’s pants) provide an unexpected layered effect.
- Perspective–Showing Noah blowing bubbles from underneath the water and showing the lifeguard helping him float gave unique angles.
- The great YouTube trailer video–Offered plenty of kid appeal and the choice of music was great.
The not-so-good stuff
- Sharper editing could have streamlined the text, eliminated unnecessary internal thoughts, and prevented lines like this one: “Good job! Keep talking to those fish,” his lifeguard smiled. It would have been more appropriate to just say his lifeguard said.
- Only one illustration didn’t seem to fit with the others–the one that had the words, stuffy, stingy, and bumpy. The illustration worked fine without the labels.
- The ending felt rushed. I wanted to see closure with the tzedakah fund, not just a sentence about it before Noah finished the swim.
Rating: 4.0 of 5.0