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Surf's Up Hardcover – February 1, 2016
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From School Library Journal
PreS-K—Bro and Dude, two frog friends, have differing ideas about what makes for a fun day at the beach. Dude, dressed in swim trunks, surfboard in hand, is totally ready to catch some waves. Bro, meanwhile, has his head buried in a book (Moby-Dick) and wants to keep reading. Despite his claim that "books are boring," Dude finds himself increasingly interested in the story about a man looking for a whale. As the characters make their way to the seashore, Bro reads aloud and the illustrations transform to showcase the action of Melville's classic tale, cleverly substituting Bro the frog in the place of Captain Ahab. Pirate lingo ("Batten down the hatches!") and surfer slang ("Cowabunga!") enliven the story and will have young listeners giggling. Miyares's digitally created illustrations are expressive and full of energy and motion—a perfect complement to Alexander's simple yet buoyant text. VERDICT A joyful and humor-filled ode to the magic of imagination and reading.—Kiera Parrott, School Library Journal
*Starred Review: "Working in saturated colors and boldly graphic textures, he [Miyares] sends these big-eyed, freaked-out frogs hurtling (often literally) between fantasy and reality. It’s a wild ride on the sea of imagination, and a rousing high-five to the power of reading."- Publishers Weekly
*Starred Review: "Miyares' edge-to-edge illustrations, full of motion, capture in these frog characters a friendship that offers space to be oneself, with a nice reversal at the end: Dude has his nose in the book ("WHOA, DADDY-O"), and Bro catches a wave ("COWABUNGA!"). Newbery Award winner (The Crossover, 2014) Alexander's humorous, tautly poetic dialogue between friends begs to be read aloud to small listeners or by new readers, and these frogs have cultural punch that many plain-vanilla animal characters lack. The nod to Moby-Dick is a bonus. A warmhearted tribute to reading." -Kirkus Reviews
Top customer reviews
Together, they have created an electric book of engaging words, bold color, and a surprising message.
In Surf’s Up, the frogs learn that reading a good book in which they can actually IMAGINE THEMSELVES in the story, turns out to be as thrilling an experience as surfing itself!
Anne F. Kearns, Ph.D.
On Sun, Feb 21, 2016 at 4:14 PM, Anne Kearns <email@example.com> wrote:
ILLUSTRATIONS: The illustrations are creative and fun. On some pages the illustrations are muddy making it more difficult to follow what is happening--especially the imagination sequences. I don't understand why this is done when some of the pages have very clear and nice illustrations (such as on the cover).
THE GOOD: First off, being a valley girl myself, I love that the frogs are named Dude and Bro. These are perfect surfer names. I love how Bro draws Dude to the book with his own excitement and how the book shows that sometimes a book is better than surfing.
THE NOT AS GOOD: I did not feel that Moby Dick was a very good book to use as the example here of an enticing book since Surf's Up is meant for the younger crowd. And the combination of muddy illustrations for the "book" scenes with very little vocabulary can leave a child very confused if the adult is not filling in the holes to the story. This book is an awesome concept, but the execution was somewhat weak.
AGE RECOMMENDATION: Advertised for ages 4-8. Ages 5-8 would be a better range.
NOTE: I received a free ARC copy of this book from NetGalley and the publishers in exchange for an honest review. My reviews are always 100% honest based on preset criteria.
The story is in itself cute. There are two frogs. Dude frog wants to go to the beach to surf. Bro frog is in the middle of a thrilling book about a man after a whale (it's got to be Moby Dick). While Dude and Bro frogs go to the beach on their bike, Bro frog give Dude frog the play by play on what is happening in the book. Dude frog slowly begins to become interested in the book.
Everything is great but I find the way it's written a bit crude especially for the younger kids who don't understand that one can call others "Dude" or "Bro" is. And a book where one of the main character is reading another book is a concept that must be explained to the younger kids as well.
Don't know if this will become a family classic or a "go to" book for us. But it is entertaining and visually appealing.