Sink or Swim Cover
Sink or Swim Korean Cover
Sink or Swim French Cover
Sink or Swim Spanish Cover
Sink or Swim Taiwanese Cover

Sink or Swim

written by Valerie Coulman
illustrated by Rogé
ISBN 1-894222-96-2

Honors & Awards

  • Short listed, Ontario Library Association Blue Spruce Reading Program Award (2004)
  • Short listed, Saskatchewan Young Readers’ Choice Shining Willow Award (2004)
  • Finalist, Independent Publisher Book Awards, Best Children’s Picture Book (2004)
  • Selected by Resource Links as one of "The Year’s Best – 2004"
  • Canadian Children’s Book Centre Our Choice selection (2004)
  • Chirp Magazine "Summer Reading Pick" (June 2004)
  • 2nd Prize 2003 Alcuin Society Award for Excellence in Book Design, Children’s Category

Reviews & Accolades

"...Sink or Swim is an uplifting, hopeful book about a cow that doesn’t give up–and succeeds even though everyone around him tells him he can’t. I loved this book on the first read, and every read after that..." — Cheryl Rainfield, June 2008. (Read Cheryl's full review of Sink or Swim here.)

"Award-winning picture book author Valerie Coulman has succeeded in creating another wonderfully funny story that will appeal to children of all ages. Children will be able to identify with Ralph's and Morris’ struggle in a positive way and will learn how an optimistic outlook can make even the most tedious of situations worthwhile and fun…a story that will make children chortle with delight and will warm the hearts of adults…Highly Recommended." —CM: Canadian Review of Materials, January 2005

"Ralph is a fresh and endearing character. His cheerfulness in the face of adversity, and his refusal to listen to the nay Sayers and settle for conventional bovine behavior, will be an inspiration to youngsters everywhere." — School Library Journal, May 2004

"This is an absolutely engaging…What a great lesson we can all learn from Ralph — if you really want to achieve something, a positive attitude, a great effort, and a little bit of ingenuity will help to get you there." — Independently Reviewed, Spring 2004

"Ralph is a loveable, likeable cow that is a model of willpower. What an entertaining way for children to learn that some challenges take oodles of effort and tons of determination. This amusing picture book is perfect for a rollicking fun story-time. Bold, bright and colorful illustrations by Rogé fill the pages and bring Ralph’s world to life in a way that will leave you smiling long after the book is closed and put away." —Children’s Book News, Winter 2004

"Sink or Swim…will get kids laughing and turning pages…Undaunted when confronted with this foreign experience, the ever-optimistic Ralph responds, 'Well, not yet, we don’t … But we could learn.'" —Foreword Magazine, June 2004

"The text is fun and logical in a deliciously silly way. The illustrations by Rogé are energetic and vibrant. Ralph is an admirable hero because he never gives up. His adventures provide a positive role model for children who often feel overwhelmed learning new skills. This is an excellent sequel to the award-winning book When Pigs Fly. Rating: E for Excellent" —Resource Links, February 2004

"…young readers in search or need of empowerment stories will enjoy this splashy sequel to When Pigs Fly. Rogé illustrates the encouraging episode with sunny country scenes of jellybean-shaped ruminants in striped swimwear…Ralph's example could mooooove readers to take on preconceived limitations with like optimism and determination." — Kirkus Reviews, Nov. 2003

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