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.


Megan Germano said...

Oooo, this looks good! Or maybe I just want to go to Hawaii right now?

Ladytink_534 said...

Yeah, I'm not too good at keeping to a schedule either! *sigh* Hawaii, I wonder what it's like? I've visited it so many time in books!

Anonymous said...

Surfing in hawaii! What a GREAT way to start Nonfiction Monday!

Camille said...

I've had Hawaii on the brain ever since I floated the idea of a destination wedding to the entling. That is not to be alas.

Stasia D said...

This sounds amazing! I think it will have a place on my school's srl this year!

Camille said...

I thought the book was splendid. I loved the illustrations and it would be a great book to use along with the upcoming Summer Olympics if we were going to be back in school while they were going on.

Bibliopinions said...

Camille -- My father-in-law is a HUGE fan of Duke Kahanamoku. This will make a highly entertaining Christmas gift. Thanks for highlighting it!

Cathy B

Camille said...

The book really speaks to the character of Duke Kahanamoku. Lee & Low does such a good job finding these titles to share with kids.