In a tropical paradise far, far away, a delightful little boy named Pono enjoys every sun-filled day with his best friend, Lani, a Hawaiian monk seal. While they share a true friendship of aloha – one of love, fun and adventure – they can only explore together on land. Not having flippers of his own, Pono longs to join Lani each time she heads out to sea. Learning of her son’s unhappiness, Pono’s mother helps him find his own flippers by teaching him to swim in the island’s blue waters. With his best friend Lani cheering by his side, triumphantly Pono learns to swim, and their lives are forever changed. Now the world is their oyster, and their adventures as wide as the ocean is deep.

Title: Pono Finds His Flippers

Author: Pattie McCann Tracy

Publication Date: April 2016

Series: No.



Now let’s carry on.

Actually I don’t really know how  I’m going to structure this since it’s a picture book, so I’ll keep it the same!

The Characters: 

As you can probably tell, Pono is a child that wants to learn to swim so he can swim with his best friend, Lani the seal. (HOW CUTE IS THAT?!) Pono is good, and fun. He quickly learns to swim with the help of his mother, and IT IS SO COOL!!!

The Plot:

Literally like the blurb. Pono learns to swim with the help of his mother.

The Writing and Illustrations:

The book is set in Hawaii so you get the random Hawaiian thrown in. What really jarred me was the random random mention of Spam.


THIS kinda of “spam.”

It literally came out of nowhere and I didn’t like it :/

Also….the seal….

“What’s up brah?”

Help me. No seal should say that. (No seal should TALK but I’ll overlook it. He’s cute.) But seriously though… Having that kind of language in a children’s book was really weird. I’ve never seen it in my life. Normally children’s books are like, “Hello! Can I play with you?”

Rubbish example but you get me.

As for the illustrations… I really really like them! Especially the page where Lani the seal jumps out of the water. In my opinion, that illustration was the best because I really liked the tones on the seal! (Sorry, my arty side is coming out.)

The pictures look hand drawn and then painted over with watercolours, making this book very unique!

Another point I have to make is that the book sort of prepares children for learning how to swim. We see Pono’s mother give instructions like how to move and float, and I think that this is great! I love how through a heartwarming story, children can find encouragement if they are about to start learning. Of course, Pono actually learns to swim at the end, and this would be really inspiring!

The Conclusion: 

I LOVE THIS! The illustrations are unique, and the storyline is great for children that are beginning to learn how to swim. Instructions are given to Pono, which would be similar to what the child would actually be taught and I think that the link the child can form between this would be great! They’ll know that it’s possible and this would inspire the child to try.

Another great thing is that the mother warns Pono not to swim without an adult around. I like how the book is educational while it also tells a great story!

Only thing that bothers me is the weird dialogue but that’s it! Overall I think that this book would be a great book for young children that will be learning how to swim. It’s short so it would make for a great bedtime story.


  • Cute story
  • Unique illustrations


  • Weird language
  • If your child likes repetition, then none will be found here.

Rating: 4 Stars – See my rating system.

Owned: Yes!! Pattie kindly sent me a copy but this doesn’t change anything.

Buy your own copy on Amazon here!

Recommended for: 4+ year olds that will be swimming for their first time!

It’s my first time reviewing a picture book so I hope I didn’t do too badly! If you have/had kids, do you think it would be something you would read to them?

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