cover image Surf’s Up

Surf’s Up

Kwame Alexander, illus. by Daniel Miyares. NorthSouth (IPS, dist.), $17.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7358-4220-5

“You’d rather read a book than go to the beach?” A surfer frog named Dude can’t believe that his fellow surfer frog Bro is sticking with a “boring” book instead of hanging 10. But after hearing Bro’s running commentary on the book’s 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 Dude—but he’s 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 Miyares’s (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. It’s a wild ride on the sea of imagination, and a rousing high-five to the power of reading. Ages 4–8. [em]Illustrator’s agency: Studio Goodwin Sturges. (Feb.) [/em]