Title: Surf’s Up
Author: Kwame Alexander
Illustrator: Daniel Miyares
Publisher: North South, 2015
Themes: Surf, summer joys, reading
Surf’s up, Bro!
Not yet, Dude.
Books’ are boring.
Not this one.
Bro and Dude have very different ideas about how to spend the day at the beach. But as Bro continues to gasp and cheer as he reads his book, Dude can’t help but get curious. Before you can shout ‘Surf’s up!’ both frogs are sharing the same adventure, that is, until they get to the beach.
Why I like this book:
Dude and Bro are such perfect surfer names for these two frogs! Bro draws Dude into the book with his enthusiasm and exclamations. The bright summery illustrations reveal Moby Dick as the book in question and the two frogs get caught up in this whale of a story on their walk to the waves, so much so that when Dude finishes on arriving on the sand and won’t tell Dude the ending, Dude has to start it himself.
The combination of a love for reading and surf is a cool juxtaposition and told with short Californian slang, the story is told as much in the imaginary illustrations as the crisp text. Text is colored to match the frogs’ hues so you know who is speaking (black font for the book being read or actions). A hint of the book being read is shown in Bro’s bedroom with a ship hanging from the ceiling and a whale on the bed. The end papers play a part as well with the beginning showing waves and the end with ship paraphernalia on shore
Ask the students what picture books they would recommend to their classmates as great beach reads?
Each week a group of bloggers reviews picture books we feel would make great educational reads. To help teachers, caregivers and parents, we have included resources and/or activities with each of our reviews. A complete list of the thousands of books we have reviewed can be found sorted alphabetically and by topics, here on Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.