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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Surfer Chick, written by Kristy Dempsey and illustrated by Henry Cole. Abrams, Canadian Manda Group. 2012. $18.95 ages 3 and up

"So Chick and her dad
bought a shiny new board.
It was just the right size,
in a pink Chick adored.
Chick climbed on her board
to learn how to paddle.
But what happened next
was a foul-tempered battle."

I assure you that you will love this chick...she has pizazz! In her green and hot pink two piece bathing suit, she wants to learn from the best of them. She wants to be out on the water, and wrestling waves. She's got all the right stuff...and her dad can be her teacher. She is sure of that.

He does his best; she does the same. It is a learning experience in progress and takes some time. But, she is persistent, and she appears to have a natural talent. Despite that, the first wave is a disaster:

"It scrambled her focus
and filled her with doubt,
then slung her to shore -
a colossal wipeout."

Does she get right back on her board? Nope! First she sits in the sand and watches her dad and listens to his accolades. It's enough to send her straight back to the waves. This time, there may be uncertainty but there is no fear!

Henry Cole creates a charmer for his title character...she oozes spunk and determination. We watch every expression as it crosses her face, from dubious to determined, from bewildered to bent on success. Her eyes are always agog, no matter the situation. His acrylics and colored pencils fill the pages with bold color, humorous detail and glorious horizons. Kristy Dempsey uses rhyming text that begs to be read aloud and shared with anyone showing the slightest interest in being at any beach, and trying any new pursuit. What an adventure!

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