Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
Title: Surfer Dude: The Legendary Stallion of Chicoteague
Author: Lois Szmanski
Illustrator: Linda Kantjas
Publisher: Schiffer Publishing, Schiffer Kids
Published: August 28th, 2017
This is a delightful, child friendly, romanticised version of a true story. Surfer Dude was a wild stallion who grew up and lived for twenty three years on the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. This beautifully illustrated book relates his story from growing up there to being a celebrity horse who most visitors recognised. He grew up to lead his own group of mares and this story pays tribute to this much loved horse who died in 2015.
The superb combination of text and fantastic illustrations help bring the story to life, showing the landscape and wildlife in the area. Many of the images are particularly helpful in identifying the different species as well as individual ponies. The story is targetted at children aged 5 – 8 years old and will be particularly loved by any who are horse lovers. It is a lovely story and I suspect the book will be treasured by horse-loving youngsters and could encourage others to become interested in horses, too!
I requested and received a copy of this novel, via NetGalley, with no obligation. This is my honest review after choosing to read it.
Destined for fame, Surfer Dude is known to many who looked for this colt while crossing the bridge to Assateague Island and the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. The story of this beloved wild stallion, who cared for his herd of mares over a lifetime on Chincoteague Island, is beautifully illustrated in vivid detail, from his distinctive blue eye to his white star and stripe, silver mane and tail, and chocolatey chestnut coat. His passing at the ripe age of twenty-three in the spring of 2015 touched people from across the United States and beyond. But the spirit of his gentle nature and the way he loved his foals lives on. His spirit lingers in breezes that ruffle the island grasses and in the sunbeams that warm the island ponies, and is celebrated in this story of love and the circle of life.