Monday, February 11, 2008
NonFiction Monday: Surfer of the Century
Anastasia Suen has started Nonfiction Monday. BookMoot is planning to participate as often as possible, although, my most disliked word is "schedule."
Let the facts flow!
Surfer of the Century by Ellie Crowe, illustrations by Richard Waldrep, Lee & Low Books, 2007
Duke Kahanamoku was an Olympic gold medalist, the father of modern surfing, and an icon of Hawaiian culture.
Crowe tells the story of Kahanamoku's boyhood in Honolulu where daily swims in the ocean developed his strength and technique. Qualifying for the Stockholm Olympics in 1912, he made friends with another American athlete, Jim Thorpe.
Duke almost missed his first Olympic race because he overslept. In a wonderful display of Olympic spirit, his chief competitor, Cecil Helay, from Australia, refused to swim unless the officials let Duke compete. Such magnanimity is hard to imagine in today's endorsement rich, high-stakes winner-takes-home the-Wheaties-box environment.
He popularized surfing and promoted Hawaii all his life. Duke's Creed of Aloha is a fitting ending to an excellent biography of a man who always exhibited good sportsmanship and Olympic ideals.
Richard Waldrep perfectly illustrates the story with wonderous full color illustrations that evoke vintage art deco travel posters.