Book Review: My Daddy Taught Me to Surf

Book Review: My Daddy Taught Me to Surf

My Daddy Taught Me to Surf
By Joseph Tomarchio; Illustrated by Shane Lasby
Published by Taught 2 Me Books
List Price: $14.99

Reviewed by Courtney McCaffrey

You’d better live close to the beach if your child reads My Daddy Taught Me to Surf, because your little boy or girl will want to go surfing. If you do decide to take your child surfing, author Joseph Tomarchio will have your little one prepared for the waves before they finish the last page. My Daddy Taught Me to Surf doesn’t teach your child to swim or even how to maneuver a surfboard on the wave, but provides information about key parts of surfing that are often overlooked.

Tomarchio’s story is about a young boy who spends many mornings watching his father surf.  The boy’s father decides to teach him how to surf, but, first, he instructs him about the parts of a surfboard, basic surfing terminology, and the importance of respecting the beach, ocean, and fellow surfers.

Many of the lessons taught in Tomarchio’s story can help prevent confusion and injury in the water. Even more importantly, the story shows children what a positive and fun experience surfing can be.  The narrator of the story relates the feeling of surfing to flying, a feeling to which every surfer can relate.

The illustrator, Shane Lasby, combines excitement and education in his drawings to appeal the story to young readers.  His sketches are simple yet explanatory, helping kids grasp the different parts of a surfboard and varying shapes of waves as well as their components. The enticing images of the seashore, sunsets and peeling waves will make children want to spend more time enjoying and appreciating the beach than indoors.

Parents will enjoy the story as much as their children, as it serves as a reminder of the many reasons we all love the sand and surf.  Any reader who has surfed before will undoubtedly relive the first time they rode a wave through the thoughts and actions of the main character. The messages of respect for the beach and one-another are lessons any reader can take away with them, surfer or not.

So if you’re looking to spice up your little boy or girl’s reading list this holiday season, I’d certainly recommend My Daddy Taught Me to Surf. It’s important to be aware that if you buy the book, you’ll probably need to buy a grommet surfboard too.