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Home > Categories > Books > Kids - Preschool > The Littlest Lifeguard review

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Score: 9.8/10  [2 reviews]
5 out of 5
ProdID: 9198 - The Littlest Lifeguard
Written by Vanessa Hatley-Owen

The Littlest Lifeguard
Sample/s Supplied by:
Click to search for all products supplied by Upstart Press

Disclosure StatementFULL DISCLOSURE: A number of units of this product have, at some time, been provided to KIWIreviews by Upstart Press or their agents for the sole purposes of unbiased, independent reviews. No fee was requested, offered nor accepted by KIWIreviews or the reviewers themselves - these are genuine, unpaid consumer reviews.
January 2024

The Littlest Lifeguard product reviews

Proud to promote NZ productsThe littlest lifeguard tries so hard to help the bigger lifeguards, but something is always going wrong. So, when they race off to the boat to help someone, the littlest lifeguard gets left behind.

Just when it seems that the team does not need help, the littlest lifeguard realises that being little means that you can help in a different way.

The illustrations are by Lisa Allen.

Check out Upstart Press onlineClick here to see all the listings for Upstart Press Visit their website They do not have a Twitter account Check them out on Facebook They do not have a YouTube Channel They do not have a Pinterest board They do not have an Instagram channel They do not have a TikTok channel

beach   boat   flags   help   lifeguard   lisa allen   nzmade   team   the littlest lifeguard   upstart press   vanessa hatleyowen
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Click here to read the profile of sassy121

Review by: sassy121 (Amelia)
Dated: 14th of April, 2024

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This Review: 10/10
Age Appropriate:
Score 10 out of 10
Score 10 out of 10
Value for Money:
Score 10 out of 10
Personal Choice:
Score 10 out of 10

We live right beside the coast on the East Coast of the South Island, this being said I have always been cautious with my children at the beaches and rivers. Many children in our little village have joined the local surf lifesaving club to learn more ways to be safe in the surf, and how to assist anyone that may find themselves needing to be rescued. As a lot of the older primary school aged children are going through their training, we have noticed many of the younger siblings also want to join in. When I saw The Littlest Lifeguard was available to request, I knew instantly that this would be an ideal book to have in our school library and the perfect story to read with the children on school visits.

This book has nice gentle colours in the illustrations, and there is a substantial amount of detail in each image. The child on the front cover is cute with an orange swimsuit on, a lifeguard's hat, and of course the flags that you swim between in the safe zone. Throughout the book the illustrator has managed to help the storyline along with images that complement the words nicely, my youngest's favourite image was the one where the child had a bit of an accident and had stumbled and knocked the flags and ripped one, oops!

As we started reading the story it was quite clear that the author has used an abundance of descriptive words to help paint the scene for the reader. My son became quite excited when it was obvious that there was a repetitive phrase happening in the book, this was "Across the sand, Under the sun, Wanting to help, The littlest one" Along the way in the story the littlest lifeguard tries to help with the various aspects that need tended to on the beach, however they always have a bit of trouble and end up causing more delay than help, the littlest lifeguard is then told they can't get in the inflatable boat and have to wait on the beach. They were disappointed that is until some people on the beach needed some assistance with things that the littlest lifeguard could do while the others were off in the boat, this made them feel special and needed.

We enjoyed this book, it taught a valuable lesson that although one may be little and can't help out in a certain way like the older, more experienced can, that they can still be able to help in a different way and to not give up hope. This book will be joining our coastal primary school's library now, so it can be enjoyed by many of the tamariki that have siblings involved in surf lifesaving locally.

Click here to read the profile of savta

Review by: savta (Jo)
Dated: 3rd of March, 2024

Link to this review Report this review


This Review: 9.5/10
Age Appropriate:
Score 10 out of 10
Score 8 out of 10
Value for Money:
Score 10 out of 10
Personal Choice:
Score 10 out of 10

Mr One normally has a short attention span. Board books are ideal because they are not very long and are comfortable for little fingers to grasp. It was a surprise for the family, therefore, when he took to his new book, The Littlest Lifeguard. Although he is too small to follow the story exactly, he loved Lisa Allen's pictures. They were pitched at exactly the right level for him - bright colours, not too fussy, and just calling out to be tapped!

Although the essence of the story was beyond him, he responded to the repetition of "Across the sand/Under the sun/Wanting to help/The littlest one" each time until the littlest lifeguard is finally accepted as "Part of the team" instead of just being regarded as a nuisance. As well as this repeated chorus, there are instances of onomatopoeia which are very satisfying to echo - bash, crash, etc. - and the predictable response of "No! Not you!" each time the littlest lifeguard begs to be included in a mission by calling "Me too! Me too!" These language techniques engage very small children long before they can verbalise or make sense of a story and make having the book read to them a fun experience.

During the summer, the family spent time at the beach and saw real lifeguards in action. Mr One's big sister, Miss Four, noticed the flags in the story which were just like those she had seen on the beach. She was old enough to make the connection and to understand their purpose. She got pinched by a crab as well, just like the child in the story, which also made the book relevant for her.

There is a lovely message in the book about achieving and doing your best at your own level. The littlest lifeguard might not have been big enough to go out into the waves to rescue people like the older lifeguards, but there was plenty of help he could offer right on the beach and foreshore. He showed that he knew what to do for a crab nip (cream, plaster, hug) or too much time in the hot sun (cool drinks, sunblock, shade). In his own way he was looking after other people just as the big lifeguards did. And when they returned from their rescue mission, the big lifeguards acknowledged what he had done.

As the children grow older, they will no doubt continue to return to this book. Miss Four will soon be learning to read and will be able to tackle the book on her own - she knows the story and is able to recite a large part of it by heart. Mr One is already a fan of the pictures so he will not be far behind her. It is surprising how quickly children progress in their learning, and books like this are a wonderful tool.

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