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Surf War!: A Folktale from the Marshall Islands

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A Folktale from the Marshall Islands. Surfs up! Sandpiper finds her daily stroll on the beach interrupted by Whale, who boasts that he is ruler of the sea. Sandpiper responds with equal bravado, asserting her rights to the sand and seawater. Soon the rivals are calling in their cousins, and the beach and sea are filled with shorebirds and sea mammals of every stripe. The s A Folktale from the Marshall Islands. Surfs up! Sandpiper finds her daily stroll on the beach interrupted by Whale, who boasts that he is ruler of the sea. Sandpiper responds with equal bravado, asserting her rights to the sand and seawater. Soon the rivals are calling in their cousins, and the beach and sea are filled with shorebirds and sea mammals of every stripe. The standoff grows ominous as Whale leads his cousins in an assault on the beach, eating the sand from under the birds. Sandpiper retaliates by ordering her cousins to drink up the ocean. Soon the landscape is filled with fish, crabs, and sea creatures gasping for survival. How will this end? The outcome of this timely yet timeless nature tale suggests that we are all connected in the ecological chain.These Pacific folktales will teach readers the importance of citizenship, respect and sharing. Award-winning author, Margaret Read MacDonald's trademark playful prose captures the misguided rivalry of the characters while Valerio's frame expands to portray the conflict on the rapidly eroding beach.


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A Folktale from the Marshall Islands. Surfs up! Sandpiper finds her daily stroll on the beach interrupted by Whale, who boasts that he is ruler of the sea. Sandpiper responds with equal bravado, asserting her rights to the sand and seawater. Soon the rivals are calling in their cousins, and the beach and sea are filled with shorebirds and sea mammals of every stripe. The s A Folktale from the Marshall Islands. Surfs up! Sandpiper finds her daily stroll on the beach interrupted by Whale, who boasts that he is ruler of the sea. Sandpiper responds with equal bravado, asserting her rights to the sand and seawater. Soon the rivals are calling in their cousins, and the beach and sea are filled with shorebirds and sea mammals of every stripe. The standoff grows ominous as Whale leads his cousins in an assault on the beach, eating the sand from under the birds. Sandpiper retaliates by ordering her cousins to drink up the ocean. Soon the landscape is filled with fish, crabs, and sea creatures gasping for survival. How will this end? The outcome of this timely yet timeless nature tale suggests that we are all connected in the ecological chain.These Pacific folktales will teach readers the importance of citizenship, respect and sharing. Award-winning author, Margaret Read MacDonald's trademark playful prose captures the misguided rivalry of the characters while Valerio's frame expands to portray the conflict on the rapidly eroding beach.

30 review for Surf War!: A Folktale from the Marshall Islands

  1. 5 out of 5

    DelAnne Frazee

    Title: Surf War! - A Folktale from the Marshall Islands Author: Margaret Read MacDonald Illustrator: Geraldo Valerio Publisher: August House/Little Folk Published: 32 ISBN: 9780874838893 Pages: 32 Genre: Children's Fiction Tags: Conflict, Friendships Overall Rating: 5.0 Excellent Reviewed For: NightGalley Reviewer: DelAnne What is worth going to war over? Land? Food? Opinions? All three could be right, but under what conditions? One day a small sandpiper was out eating small minnows from the ocean Title: Surf War! - A Folktale from the Marshall Islands Author: Margaret Read MacDonald Illustrator: Geraldo Valerio Publisher: August House/Little Folk Published: 32 ISBN: 9780874838893 Pages: 32 Genre: Children's Fiction Tags: Conflict, Friendships Overall Rating: 5.0 Excellent Reviewed For: NightGalley Reviewer: DelAnne What is worth going to war over? Land? Food? Opinions? All three could be right, but under what conditions? One day a small sandpiper was out eating small minnows from the ocean when a very large whale came and saw what the sandpiper was doing and yelled at the sandpiper to stop! When the sandpiper refused an argument started over who there were more of, sandpipers or whales, the winner would have claim to the island and the ocean around it. Calling in their brothers and sisters and cousins there were so many they could not tell who had more. Then each side decide to make it impossible for the other side to survive. How far are they willing to go to win? Will they harm themselves just to prove a point? This is a fantastic children's story to teach young readers that although something looks like it is most important to be right about, it is easy to get caught up and go too far. It shows that compromise could be just the answer. Also just because your are different doesn't mean you can not get along and become friends. Pick up a copy to share with your young reader today.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Tina

    I received a copy in exchange for an honest opinion. This does not influence my opinion in any shape or form. This book was so good! I loved the message that was being presented. The whales and Sandpipers engage in a little war trying to see who had more family, the Whales or the Sandpipers. This turns into the whales trying to destroy the land and Sandpipers trying to drink all the ocean water so that the whales would have no where to live. At the end they both realized that they were destroying I received a copy in exchange for an honest opinion. This does not influence my opinion in any shape or form. This book was so good! I loved the message that was being presented. The whales and Sandpipers engage in a little war trying to see who had more family, the Whales or the Sandpipers. This turns into the whales trying to destroy the land and Sandpipers trying to drink all the ocean water so that the whales would have no where to live. At the end they both realized that they were destroying their environment and changed their ways. I thought this was a really good way to show not only conflict resolution but also show how our actions can affect not just us but animals. The illustrations were bright and colorful. They definitely captured Cristian's attention and he was pretty invested in the story. I thought that was the best part.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey

    A Whale and a Sandpiper go to the brink of war over control of the sea and an Island, with the whales and their sea friends eating the island, and the birdfolk slurping the sea, until wiser heads prevail. Good fun tale.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mayra

    cold potentially be a good storytime

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jeanie {coffeegirl.blog}

    Beautifully illustrated picture book assists in telling the story of Surf War! by Margaret Read MacDonald (I would love to have her middle name!). The story is simple, the whales and the sandpipers that inhabit the land are trying to decide if there are more whales than birds or more sandpipers than whales of the sea. This causes them to gather all of the whales and the whales cousins together; as well as all sandpipers and sandpipers cousins together. Because of the vastness of all the whales i Beautifully illustrated picture book assists in telling the story of Surf War! by Margaret Read MacDonald (I would love to have her middle name!). The story is simple, the whales and the sandpipers that inhabit the land are trying to decide if there are more whales than birds or more sandpipers than whales of the sea. This causes them to gather all of the whales and the whales cousins together; as well as all sandpipers and sandpipers cousins together. Because of the vastness of all the whales in the sea and the sandpipers on the beach, it was difficult to tell. So, the whales and sandpipers decided to wreak havoc on one another; this only created a nightmare for all of them as they were destroying their home. Read the story, to find out of how the whales and the sandpipers solved their unfortunate conflict. What a glorious story of citizenship and the ability to live with one another. This book would be a great addition to a Social Studies unit to introduce being a citizen and how society is able to collaborate in order to live harmoniously together.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Antonia V Domenech

    I really enjoyed this book. This book is based on a folk tale from the Marshal Islands that explains why the birds and the sea creatures do not go to war and instead live in harmony. Conservation is a very strong point as well as the pointlessness of fighting especially over little things.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    Ok so I know you are not supposed to judge a book by its cover but when I saw this on *Netgalley I fell in love with the cover and knew I wanted to read it. I mean come on how cute does that whale look? Surf Wars is the story of a sandpiper and whale. The two boast back and forth to each other about who is better and whom there are more of. Soon every whale and seabird cousin shows up. In their fight the other creatures who live there start to struggle to survive. Can sandpiper and whale make up Ok so I know you are not supposed to judge a book by its cover but when I saw this on *Netgalley I fell in love with the cover and knew I wanted to read it. I mean come on how cute does that whale look? Surf Wars is the story of a sandpiper and whale. The two boast back and forth to each other about who is better and whom there are more of. Soon every whale and seabird cousin shows up. In their fight the other creatures who live there start to struggle to survive. Can sandpiper and whale make up in time to save what was once their beautiful home? Ok so it goes without saying that my favorite part of this book was the illustrations. They were amazing. The story itself was actually not too bad and in its own way showed the consequences of over crowding and thinking that you can rule over something like the sea without the responsibilities that come with it. My son enjoyed the story but he couldn't understand the fighting between the two. I think this has more to do with my son than to do with the book itself. This is just one of those little hiccups that comes with his learning disabilities. But overall he liked the book even if he couldn't understand parts of it. When I asked him how many stars he thought this was he told me 5. I agree this is a 5 out of 5 star book. *I received a free copy of this ebook from Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion **This book was read with my special needs son who is severely learning disabled. The review reflects not only my opinion but his as well

  8. 4 out of 5

    Carla Johnson-Hicks

    Surf War is based on a folktale from the Marshall Islands. The whale and sandpiper argue about whether there are more whales or sandpipers. They call all their sisters, brothers, and cousins to come. When they still cannot decide who has more, the whales decide they will eat up the island so the birds can't stay and the birds decide to drink up the water for the same reason. When the birds realize they are causing their food supply of small sea creatures to die they put the water back and the wh Surf War is based on a folktale from the Marshall Islands. The whale and sandpiper argue about whether there are more whales or sandpipers. They call all their sisters, brothers, and cousins to come. When they still cannot decide who has more, the whales decide they will eat up the island so the birds can't stay and the birds decide to drink up the water for the same reason. When the birds realize they are causing their food supply of small sea creatures to die they put the water back and the whales decide to put the land back as well. They now believe that their home- the ocean should be at peace. I love the quote from the story, "Such a silly thing to start a war." This book has such a great message of sharing, acceptance, co-operation as well as the ecological message about realizing the results of our actions. These are all great messages that depending upon the age of the child or children being read this story, many discussions could develop. The illustrations are vibrant, child friendly and attractive. As another reviewer said, "The idea that war comes from anger and isn't a solution is a great idea for a book targeting future generations. I was provided a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mak

    Surf War is based on a folktale from the Marshall Islands. The book goes exactly as the title suggests. There is a surf war between the Whales of the ocean and the Sandpipers of the island. The whale and sandpiper argue about whether there are more of each animal. So, both call to their like species and neither can tell which has more. The whales decide they will eat up the island so the birds can't stay and the birds decide to drink up the water for the same reason. When the birds realize they Surf War is based on a folktale from the Marshall Islands. The book goes exactly as the title suggests. There is a surf war between the Whales of the ocean and the Sandpipers of the island. The whale and sandpiper argue about whether there are more of each animal. So, both call to their like species and neither can tell which has more. The whales decide they will eat up the island so the birds can't stay and the birds decide to drink up the water for the same reason. When the birds realize they are causing their food supply of small sea creatures to die they put the water back and the whales decide to as well. They now believe that their home- the ocean should be at peace. "Such a silly thing to start a war." I thought that the illustrations were brilliant and child friendly. The idea that war comes from anger and isn't a solution is, in my opinion, one of the best ideas for a children's book! I was provided a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This folktale was a cute read about a sandpiper and a whale going to war after an argument. The whale decides that the ocean should be his and Sandpiper should leave. Then they argue over who has more of their own kind. Then they begin to destroy the ocean and beach to spite the other. Once the destruction is done, they realize they are actually only hurting themselves and try to fix what they've done and coexist in harmony. Thi I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This folktale was a cute read about a sandpiper and a whale going to war after an argument. The whale decides that the ocean should be his and Sandpiper should leave. Then they argue over who has more of their own kind. Then they begin to destroy the ocean and beach to spite the other. Once the destruction is done, they realize they are actually only hurting themselves and try to fix what they've done and coexist in harmony. This was cute and shows how fighting over something can turn into something big, and lead to destruction which might eventually come back to bite you. I would just read this as a story book and maybe use the opening as a time to teach the kids. It doesn't show how sometimes the destruction can't be fixed, or at least isn't as perfect as it once was. It does show an ecosystem works, how things are all connected. This was a cute book that can show how arguments can escalate to something much more than was planned.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lady

    The Importance Of Coexistence And Conservation This book is based on a folk tale from the Marshal Islands that explains why the birds and the sea creatures do not go to war and instead live in harmony. It teaches about the importance team work and tolerance for others. It stresses that living in harmony with your fellow creatures and your environment is very important for everyone's continued existence. Conservation is a main theme as well as the stupidity and pointlessness of war and fighting es The Importance Of Coexistence And Conservation This book is based on a folk tale from the Marshal Islands that explains why the birds and the sea creatures do not go to war and instead live in harmony. It teaches about the importance team work and tolerance for others. It stresses that living in harmony with your fellow creatures and your environment is very important for everyone's continued existence. Conservation is a main theme as well as the stupidity and pointlessness of war and fighting especially over trivial things. I really loved the illustrations and all of the messages and can not wait to share this amazing book with my children! ***This early reader is suitable for children of all ages and could easily be read to smaller children or by k-1st graders

  12. 4 out of 5

    A Reader's Heaven

    (I received a free copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.) A sandpiper and a whale dispute who rules the shoreline - a dispute that escalates to the point that the whole island and bay disappears. However, they acknowledge the devastating effects this will have on their lives and agree to live and let live... This is a lovely little book, beautifully illustrated by Geraldo Valério. It teaches young readers about sharing, the consequences of our actions, and ecology. It (I received a free copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.) A sandpiper and a whale dispute who rules the shoreline - a dispute that escalates to the point that the whole island and bay disappears. However, they acknowledge the devastating effects this will have on their lives and agree to live and let live... This is a lovely little book, beautifully illustrated by Geraldo Valério. It teaches young readers about sharing, the consequences of our actions, and ecology. It would make an excellent read-aloud book for schools or even for bedtime reading. At times humorous (how can you not laugh at "patooie"?), this book is ideal entertainment for little ones. Paul ARH

  13. 5 out of 5

    Anna || BooksandBookends

    I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review by the book's publishers via NetGalley. Whale and Sandpiper are having an argument. Which are there more of, whales or sandpipers? They call in all of their friends to help them decide but quickly realised that there's plenty of room in the sea for everyone. A fun heartwarming story filled with gorgeous illustrations with lots of added humour too! This would make a good bedtime story with a lovely moral of friendship and agreement ra I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review by the book's publishers via NetGalley. Whale and Sandpiper are having an argument. Which are there more of, whales or sandpipers? They call in all of their friends to help them decide but quickly realised that there's plenty of room in the sea for everyone. A fun heartwarming story filled with gorgeous illustrations with lots of added humour too! This would make a good bedtime story with a lovely moral of friendship and agreement rather than choosing conflict and argument. I would really recommend sharing this one with younger ones, lots of fun and entertaining!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Tannhauser

    This is a heartfelt story about a whale and a Sandpiper bird that have a dispute over their territory in the ocean that almost starts a war. When things get out of hand they recognize the potential consequences and decide to reconcile with each other. This book has vibrant illustrations with a simple story line and easy to understand. It gives an important message about sharing and how your actions can affect others. This would be a great book to read to your students and discuss to get across g This is a heartfelt story about a whale and a Sandpiper bird that have a dispute over their territory in the ocean that almost starts a war. When things get out of hand they recognize the potential consequences and decide to reconcile with each other. This book has vibrant illustrations with a simple story line and easy to understand. It gives an important message about sharing and how your actions can affect others. This would be a great book to read to your students and discuss to get across good life lessons to them.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Surf War! is a folktale from the Marshall Islands. I love folktales since they always include a good lesson. This story has lessons about sharing and ecology. I read this to a group of younger children aged 3-5. The bright, bold pictures were an instant hit. As Sandpiper and Whale began to argue about who the sea belonged to, many of the children were able to draw parallels from their own lives. I liked that the story not only focused on sharing, but included environmental implications. This boo Surf War! is a folktale from the Marshall Islands. I love folktales since they always include a good lesson. This story has lessons about sharing and ecology. I read this to a group of younger children aged 3-5. The bright, bold pictures were an instant hit. As Sandpiper and Whale began to argue about who the sea belonged to, many of the children were able to draw parallels from their own lives. I liked that the story not only focused on sharing, but included environmental implications. This book was received for free in return for an honest review.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey Lewis

    Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley for reviewing porpoises purposes. A whale and a sandpiper learn the consequences of their actions when they refuse to share the beach. The illustrations are charming, colorful, and hand-painted. The lines have fun onomatopoeia that the children can replicate and contain some repetition. The story contains some good lessons that will hopefully prompt younger kids to think about how their actions affect others and the world.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Renee

    I read this to my 3 and 5 year old children. They loved the fun colourful illustrations. The story is about a whale and a sandpiper (bird) who are fighting over who is the best. With all their fighting they begin to destroy their homes. They quickly realise that what they are doing is bad, repair the damage, then work together to take care of their shared habitat. I recieved a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I read this to my 3 and 5 year old children. They loved the fun colourful illustrations. The story is about a whale and a sandpiper (bird) who are fighting over who is the best. With all their fighting they begin to destroy their homes. They quickly realise that what they are doing is bad, repair the damage, then work together to take care of their shared habitat. I recieved a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Macdonald does it again. So much fun to read aloud, even if only to myself. And, sure, there's a moral, but it does nothing to detract from the enjoyment. I like Valerio's illustrations - cartoony, but still identifiable, for example the spread that shows the flamingo and roseate spoonbill side-by-side, to point out how they are both similar and different. Good but brief 'author's' note; I do wish there were an illustrator's note. I will continue to read more by the author, and investigate more b Macdonald does it again. So much fun to read aloud, even if only to myself. And, sure, there's a moral, but it does nothing to detract from the enjoyment. I like Valerio's illustrations - cartoony, but still identifiable, for example the spread that shows the flamingo and roseate spoonbill side-by-side, to point out how they are both similar and different. Good but brief 'author's' note; I do wish there were an illustrator's note. I will continue to read more by the author, and investigate more by the illustrator.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jayna

    This folktale is about getting along for the benefit of everyone. Sandpiper and whale are arguing about whether there are more whales or sandpipers. It gets out of hand and they begin to sabotage each other. They then realize that they will hurt themselves in the process, and begin fixing their mistake. The illustrations are absolutely beautiful. I received a digital copy in exchange for an honest review.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sci-Fi & Scary

    Surf War! was a cute little book with pretty artwork, and the moral to the story was nice. However, something about the prose seemed off. At points it 'felt' like it wanted to go into a natural rhythm /rhyme, and then it would veer awkwardly away. Therefore, it wasn't as comfortable a read as it could have been. It was a bit young for my 6 year old, but she liked the various sounds (slurp, patooie) we could make while reading, so it entertained her nonetheless. Surf War! was a cute little book with pretty artwork, and the moral to the story was nice. However, something about the prose seemed off. At points it 'felt' like it wanted to go into a natural rhythm /rhyme, and then it would veer awkwardly away. Therefore, it wasn't as comfortable a read as it could have been. It was a bit young for my 6 year old, but she liked the various sounds (slurp, patooie) we could make while reading, so it entertained her nonetheless.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    Great action, good onamonapias (I love to make noises in storytime) and bright and bold illustrations that at times can be crowded. The story also has a great structure with repetitive phrases and cumulative elements. Would be tons of fun in storytime and could do a lot of stretcher activities with it.

  22. 5 out of 5

    IncuriousKat

    A folktale from the Marshal islands. Depicting a fight between a sandpiper and a whale (over who owned the sea). The war ends after the two sides realize that they are codependent on one another and agree to live in harmony. The Surf War tells a great lesson along with beautiful illustrations that look as if they were done by oil pastels. I received this for review from Net alley.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Katlynn Parsons

    I received this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review We loved the pictures! The story was cute and he loved the repetition. The story was simple, yet serves as a powerful reminder that war is often (read: 99% of the time) caused by two (or more) sides fighting for control of something that isn't theirs. I received this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review We loved the pictures! The story was cute and he loved the repetition. The story was simple, yet serves as a powerful reminder that war is often (read: 99% of the time) caused by two (or more) sides fighting for control of something that isn't theirs.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Angel

    Nice story that shows what can happen when you lose sight of what is really important. Nice large colorful pictures. I think this is a good book to have on any childs bookcase. Reviewed through NetGalley and August House.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    The sandpipers and whales have a war about who the sea belongs to. In their war they begin to destroy both the beach and the ocean until they realize that there is plenty to share and that the war was silly. A good lesson for all of us !

  26. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    How can you not enjoy a tale that that let's you prompt a group of kids to "patooie" or "glurk." The lessons of environmental care as well as getting along with your neighbor are nice too. How can you not enjoy a tale that that let's you prompt a group of kids to "patooie" or "glurk." The lessons of environmental care as well as getting along with your neighbor are nice too.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Leah

    Great illustrations. Good moral teachings good ecological teachings.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Andréa

    Note: I received a digital galley through NetGalley.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Chinook

    This would be a great story to read while learning about the Marshall Islands. I liked the illustrations and it's got a nice message. This would be a great story to read while learning about the Marshall Islands. I liked the illustrations and it's got a nice message.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Nikki

    kids were confused since they thought the title meant actually surfing wars, aka surfers.

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