A sunny day near the ocean means different kinds of excitement for frog friends Bro and Dude.
Dude peeks into the window: “SURF’S UP, BRO!” But Bro is too immersed in a book to respond (“You’d rather read a book than go to the beach?” Dude asks incredulously), so Dude pops pal and surfboard onto the back of his push scooter. On the way, Bro is still reading: “WOWIE KAZOWIE!” The story (“about a man looking for a whale”) begins to unfold around them both. The looming whale, a stormy sea, a ship with a frog sporting a bicorn hat at the helm, and the mast cracking in two are suddenly right at hand. Bro’s thrilled enthusiasm and punchy exclamations as he finishes the book finally elicit Dude’s eager questions: “Did they catch the whale? Who got the gold?” and Bro’s sly response, “Not telling.” 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 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.(Picture book. 4-7)