Gloria Goes for Gold

Gloria Goes for Gold

By Author / Illustrator

Annabel Tempest, Marina Firth


Friends and family

Age range(s)



OUP Children's Books




Paperback / softback




Gloria is from a family of synchronized swimmers. They are gifted, graceful, and even groovy, and together they ALWAYS win gold at the Artistic Swimming Championships. But Gloria dreams of a prize she doesn't have to share. So, when the Savannah Games come to town, Gloria decides to find a sport she can win all by herself!

After dabbling in sprinting, gymnastics, and swimming, it dawns on Gloria that competing solo is rather lonely. She misses her family, but is it too late for her to fill the Gloria-sized hole in their team?

Get ready for Gloria to make a splash, as this ambitious hippo learns that winning gold might not be the best prize at all.

Find out more from the illustrator, Annabel Tempest, about illustrating picture books and the joys of teamwork!



Gloria Goes for Gold is the story of a Hippo named Gloria who, with her family, are Artistic Swimming Champions. Gloria is bored of winning with her family and when the Savannah Games role into town, she fancies a change of sport and potentially the idea of winning a medal of her own. Gloria decides to leave her family in search of a new sport and with some help from her new friends and coaches, Gloria realises that some sports are not for her. When the games arrive, is it too late for Gloria and can she help her family out at the last minute?

The story is fast-paced and fun to read aloud with brilliant illustrations to accompany the text. It covers lots of themes including sports and competition but also perseverance, losing, family and friendship, which are all important and prevalent throughout.

This story has come about at a good time with the Olympics coming up and lots of learning and hype about lots of different sports. I look forward to using this with the children to discuss different sports and also to discuss themes of perseverance and family as well as looking into Artistic Swimming - we will all learn something!

Picture book / Reviewed by Lauren Maidman, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 5+


Gloria and her family are synchronised swimmers and have always won Gold at the Championships. Gloria loves her family but strives to win something all for herself; something she doesn't have to share. Marina Firth's playful text follows Gloria's encounter with different animals and their chosen sport. Will Gloria be tempted by monkey and her gymnastics or crocodile and his swimming? All worthy sports, but in the end Gloria misses the sense of belonging that she gets from being part of a team.

With the Olympic Games just around the corner, Gloria Goes for Gold is a super book that in part exposes children to the number of different sports one could pursue, but ultimately it questions what winning actually means. And that sometimes winning is more than just a gold medal; sometimes winning is the feeling you get from being with the ones you love.

Young children will relate to this book and the desire to be the first. What it will teach them is how sharing success can be equally as fulfilling as if you were to win by yourself. In schools, Gloria Goes for Gold is a lovely book to share in any key stage one PSHE lesson.

Picture book / Reviewed by Louise Gahan, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 5+


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