Grimm’s fairy tales for children are, well, sometimes quite grim. Take Hansel and Gretel for a classic example, a first time reader could be easily become frightened by the thought of a menacing witch out to eat little children. The same goes for Little Red Riding Hood. She has to find out her grandmother was eaten by a man-eating wolf.
Why introduce children to reading macabre tales of death and mayhem when instead they could be reading something filled with joy, life and excitement. Most toddlers and children don’t want grief and despair, they want happy and bright.
Young readers need books that stimulate them, causing them to want to read not ones that frighten them making them afraid to read. Excellent books such as, “Cat in the Hat” by Dr. Suess or “Good Night Moon” by Margaret Wise Brown have inspired, educated and entertained millions of young readers who grew up to become adult readers. Studies show early readers have the highest chances for becoming life-long readers. Further studies show people who read and comprehend well are generally far more successful than those that do not. Basic reading skills are paramount to ensuring the future success of every child.
Wouldn’t it be great if there were children’s books that used popular culture and sports such as surfing to encourage youngsters to pick up a book with enthusiasm and stoke? Well there is. Dr. Udo Wahn and artist/muralist Jami Lyn have teamed up to co-produce “Cabo and Coral Go Surfing!” Written by Wahn and beautifully illustrated by Lyn Cabo, “Coral Go Surfing” is an excellent book to introduce children to reading along with surfing, water safety, life lessons and nature as well.
Pick up a copy of “Cabo and Coral Go Surfing!” and the first thing you will notice is Lyn’s vivid and bright artwork done with pastels in a style all her own. Just looking at a picture of a wave has been proven to be beneficial for a person’s health and well being. This book is filled with waves and some of the ocean creatures that play amongst them. Dolphins swim, turtles flip and birds fly. Perhaps one of the best things about “Cabo and Coral Go Surfing” is that even a child too young to read can pick it up and enjoy it just for the interesting, exciting and beautiful full-color pictures.
Each page has a minimal narrative, which in reality is a profound chapter all in itself.
Children learn about sunrise and sunsets, riptides, weather, winds, tides, respect and even healthy eating. A child reading the book gains confidence in his reading skills by easily completing pages. Parents reading to toddlers or really young children that want to can easily elaborate, on each page, or topic. Take for example on the first page where Cabo and Coral are doing a beach observation and Cabo tells Coral “My dad says, if in doubt don’t go out.” A parent can expand the story by discussing how Cabo respects and listens to his father or how “if in doubt - don’t” can apply to everything not just surfing. Wahn has done a great job of taking the profound and making it simple.
Surfing has always been an egalitarian activity. The ocean treats boys and girls the same and plays no favorites. It’s refreshing to see the two protagonists Cabo and Coral are both equally talented and have a healthy, positive relationship. They teach each other, watch out for each other and both have the same zest and appreciation for life. Though they inspire each other to do their best they do not compete they work together in peace and harmony just as good boys and girls should. There are lot’s of pictures where Cabo is surfing but just as many of Coral and the two of them surfing and having fun together.
If you have or know a young reader who would want to get a copy of Cabo and Coral Go Surfing visit www.caboandcoralgosurfing.com.
Until next week - all the best and Aloha.