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- ISBN-13: 9780735842205
- ISBN-10: 0735842205
- Publisher: Northsouth Books
- Publish Date: February 2016
- Page Count: 32
- Reading Level: Ages 4-8
- Dimensions: 11.2 x 8.5 x 0.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.85 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-11-09
- Reviewer: Staff
Youd rather read a book than go to the beach? A surfer frog named Dude cant believe that his fellow surfer frog Bro is sticking with a boring book instead of hanging 10. But after hearing Bros running commentary on the books Moby-Dick-esque plot, Dude gets just as carried away. Batten down the hatches! shouts Bro, who has cast himself as Ahab in the midst of a mighty storm. Do what to the what? asks Dudebut hes right there on board the ship, too. Alexander, the 2015 Newbery Medalist for The Crossover, starts off at full throttle and never lets up: almost every line of this all-dialogue story ends in an exclamation point, and the liberal use of bright, all-caps typography ratchets up the emotions even higher. But the real excitement is in Miyaress (Float) wondrously rollicking drawings. Working in saturated colors and boldly graphic textures, he sends these big-eyed, freaked-out frogs hurtling (often literally) between fantasy and reality. Its a wild ride on the sea of imagination, and a rousing high-five to the power of reading. Ages 48. Illustrators agency: Studio Goodwin Sturges. (Feb.)
It may be hard to imagine a high-energy book that features two brothers arguing about whether to read or surf, but Surf’s Up delivers in a cowabunga way. The brothers are two frogs named Bro and Dude, and illustrator Daniel Miyares brings them wonderfully to life with vivid colors, froggy-eyed expressions and plenty of heart-stopping wave action.
Newbery Medal winner Kwame Alexander’s text is short and ultra snappy. Dude wants to surf, but his brother prefers to finish his book “about a man looking for a whale.” Dude declares that books are “BOOOORING!” but he’s easily lured in as Bro describes his book with such excitement (“BOOYAH! They found the whale again.”).
With both frogs immersed in the Moby-Dick saga, a bit of literary magic occurs, as readers and frogs alike get caught up in two concurrent dramas: Bro and Dude heading to the beach to surf, and Bro and Dude imagining themselves trying to catch the great white whale.
This bit of metafiction works seamlessly, framed with lively dialogue that will ensure Surf’s Up’s popularity as a read-aloud.