Sunrise Summer
by Swanson, Matthew; Behr, Robbi (ILT)






Each summer, a young girl and her family travel to remote Egegik, Alaska, where they join a salmon fishing crew.





When Matthew Swanson and Robbi Behr aren't making books (Babies Ruin Everything; Everywhere, Wonder; and the Real McCoys series) and raising kids (four, so far, which is probably enough), they run a commercial salmon fishing operation on the Alaskan tundra, where Robbi has spent every summer since she was two years old.





*Starred Review* The girl narrating this lovely picture book begins by showing how her family's summer vacation differs from the average kid's trip to the beach. Instead of swimsuits, they have rubber waders and woolly hats, and the beach is strewn with pebbles and jellyfish rather than sand. That's because her family goes to Alaska to fish for salmon each summer-but this year is special because the girl gets to join the fishing crew for the first time. Behr's mixed-media illustrations (a combination of pen, ink, gouache, and digitally sampled watercolor washes) are alive with saturated colors, the family's activities, and unexpected layouts. The girl describes their preparations, how they listen to the daily fish report, and how, when the tides are finally right, they get up in the early hours of the morning to set their fishing nets. Her eagerness and pride over being part of this work is palpable, and each moment feels important, locked in Behr's artwork as an individual frame among many or as a sweeping two-page spread that captures its magnitude and beauty. The excellent back matter reveals that this story is about the creators' own family, laying out their history as commercial salmon fishers, protections in place to prevent overfishing, and how some Alaska Natives continue to catch salmon according to their traditions. Eye-opening and awesome. Grades K-3. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.





Summer has arrived and, with it, an annual—and unusual—family trip. Four siblings and their parents travel 4,000 miles to arrive in Alaska. The young pale-skinned, brown-haired narrator is excited to finally be part of the fishing crew this summer. Before dawn, outfitted in rubber waders, special gloves, and warm wool hats, the crew goes out to stack nets and attach them to a raft headed out into the waves in the dark, cold morning. But the young protagonist isn't strong enough to do it alone; luckily the crew is there to work together just as the sun comes up. Soon there are fish in the nets, and they have a catch for the day. Paired with ebullient first-person prose, the illustrations immerse readers in the changing colors of the sky and waves throughout the thrilling event. Extensive backmatter explains that illustrator Behr and author Swanson are actually the mom and dad in the story, and their children are the kids. Behr's parents bought land in a place called Coffee Point and learned to fish the waters in search of adventure and family togetherness. The backmatter also includes information about Native peoples in the area and their traditional practices of fishing and living off the land. An informative first-person story that combines family history with STEM concepts for a summer to remember. (Picture book. 4-7) Copyright Kirkus 2020 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.






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