by Lynley Edmeades
illustrated by Ned Barraud
“River Swimming” is a beautiful poem that captures the imaginative, make-believe world that children inhabit. The setting is a day out at the river. While the adults sit and drink tea on the river bank, the children race each other in an imaginary lane pool and become mermaids, remembering to keep a safe distance from the taniwha upstream. The poem is rich in imagery and movement. It draws on the pleasures of picnics, swimming, and the beauty of the natural world. The poem would be useful for a poetry reading.