Stunno’s Surf Adventure – Children’s Picture Book Review
An enjoyable yarn about riding the waves of the Aussie surfing lifestyle that teaches kids about the benefits of optimism.
Residing in southern Australia, not far from the famously long lines of Bell’s Beach, indie author Mark Reside loves to surf. He also loves to read rhyming books to his two daughters, so it should come as no surprise that is first children’s picture book is a rhyming book about the surf lifestyle.
The tale follows Stunno, an echidna who – like his creator – loves to surf. He enthusiastically arrives at the beach one day hoping to get some great waves, only to find it’s completely flat. Not letting this setback stop him, he drives up the coast. Finally he finds the wicked waves he is looking for and enjoys a day full of fun, doing what he loves the most. Readers walk away stoked on the big adventure, thanks largely to the detail put into the feeling of catching a wave. But they’re also encouraged to maintain an optimistic view of their world, and to not let circumstances to stop them from pursuing their passions.
Reside’s writing style is simple and easy to follow. The rhyming may occasionally feel forced to some not fully down on the surfing lingo. However, a glossary at the back can help break that down for both reader and child. In fact, my children enjoyed going through the terms each time we finished the book. They now have no doubt what “monster set,” “smack the lip,” and “entering the green room” means.
Illustrator Tina Jacobson’s Stunning Stunno
As much as Reside’s own personal experiences as a surfer shine through in this tale, he struck gold in finding illustrator Tina Jacobson. Her art is stunning! Her illustrations are beautifully vivid and richly detailed, truly bringing Stunno’s world to life. It’s also authentically Australia, capturing the creatures and colours of the world down under in way that further evokes the beach lifestyle. Challenging images, such as Stunno entering a tube are well captured, further inviting children’s imaginations into the thrill of getting barrelled.
As a surfer myself, I love this book. It’s just beautiful.
Stunno Gives to Charity
Furthermore, for every copy of Stunno’s Surf Adventure sold, $1 is donated to the Surfrider Foundation. And for every 1000 copies sold, $1000 will be donated to a Boardriders Club. For their first $1000 donation, Mark chose the Bar Reef Boardriders Club as the recipient. What a great way to give back following the book’s success!
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