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MAYDAY! MAYDAY! by Chris L. Demarest


A Coast Guard Rescue

by Chris L. Demarest & illustrated by Chris L. Demarest

Age Range: 4 - 10

Pub Date: June 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-689-85161-8
Publisher: McElderry

A crisp, exciting Coast Guard rescue operation over stormy seas, and in the dark of night. Demarest tells the story of this rescue in surging couplets, pumping a dose of energy into the proceedings: “A thirty-foot yacht, adrift well out at sea, / sends, ‘MAYDAY! MAYDAY! Please respond to our plea!’ / The call is received at the Coast Guard air base. / An H-60 ’hawk has been fueled for the chase.” Words like “adrift,” “righted,” and “entangled” will give younger readers a challenge, but the narrative is largely straightforward. It’s Demarest’s art that truly conveys the story’s suspense: dramatic, richly hued pastels of crashing waves, storm-wrecked skies, signal flares, and swimmers dropped through the gale into the wild water below. An explanatory note at the end gives historical background information on the Coast Guard, and there are detailed drawings of the equipment used by the rescue swimmers and the flight crew. Dynamite. (Picture book. 4-10)