THE COMING OF THE SURFMAN by Peter Collington

THE COMING OF THE SURFMAN

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 7 - 9
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 A stranger opens a surfing supply shop in an inner-city neighborhood, far from the sea. Is he, as the young narrator thinks, ``two bread rolls short of a picnic?'' As ``the Surfman'' laboriously converts an abandoned factory into a giant wave tank, even the local gangs come to watch--and when it's finished, they joyfully declare a truce and buy surfboards. All is well till the wave machine breaks down, gang warfare erupts and damages it further, and the Surfman departs, leaving the narrator wishing he'd paid more attention to how the device worked. Collington illustrates this bleak tale with scenes of gray, sterile streets where empty windows look down on tiny human figures, with surfboards as the only spots of color. It would be interesting to contrast this somber parable with Eve Bunting's more optimistic Summer Wheels (1992), about another neighborhood peacemaker. (Picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: Jan. 3rd, 1994
ISBN: 0-679-84721-9
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 1993