Beach or Book? That Is the Question: Surf's Up! by Kwame Alexander
"SURF'S UP, DUDE!"
"NOT YET, BRO!"
"DUDE! YOU'D RATHER READ A BOOK THAN GO TO THE BEACH?"
"SHHHHH! I'M ALMOST DONE."
"DUDE. READING IS BOOOO-RING!"
"WOWEE KAZOWIE! HE FOUND THE WHALE!"
Already clad in swim shorts, Bro is all set to hit the beach, but his buddy Dude is a no go. He just wants to finish his book. While Dude is obliviously turning those pages, Bro just loads him up on his board and runs for the beach.
But what Bro doesn't get is that he's already hooked by the book. He can't help asking....
"DID THE WHALE EAT HIM?"
And Dude keeps feeding him strategic details from the story. Booyah! The ship's captain find the whale again and goes for the gold for bringing him in. A storm at sea rises suddenly. The wind howls. The ship's main mast shatters and the captain goes overboard as the ship sinks!
Bro's eyes get big as he envisions everything that is happening, his imagined images filling the scene and blocking out everything else on the beach.
And then Dude turns that last page, drops the book on the sand, and grabbing the board, hits the waves.
"TOTALLY AWESOME BOOK!"
But Bro has to know what happened. Did the captain harpoon the whale? Did the whale swallow the captain? What about the gold?
But Dude's not telling. He's already catching his wave. COWABUNGA!
There's only one thing for Bro to do. He picks up the book and starts reading.
Newbery winner Kwame Alexander's Surf's Up (North/South, 2016) chronicles the total transformation of his reluctant reader as he becomes hopelessly caught up in the pursuit of Melville's classic, Moby Dick. Daniel Miyares' illustrations are full of sunshine and movement, proceeding left to right across the page as the two surfing buddies move toward the waves and through the pages of the novel. Glowing colors and flowing movement for the two frogs fit the terse dialog of the comic characters, and Miyares cleverly foreshadows with the spouting whale on the cover where the story is going. Says Publishers Weekly's starred review, "It’s a wild ride on the sea of imagination, and a rousing high-five to the power of reading."