Friday, April 16, 2021

Sunrise Summer by Matthew Swanson & Robbi Behr (Illustrator)
[Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway]

Halito! Welcome to the next stop on the Sunrise Summer blog tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Thanks for stopping by today, and don't forget to check out the giveaway at the bottom! For the full tour schedule, please visit the Rockstar Book Tours website.

About The Book:
Author: Matthew Swanson and Robbi Behr (Illustrator)
Pub. Date: April 20, 2020
Publisher: Imprint
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Pages: 48
Find it: Goodreads, Amazon, Kindle, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, TBD,

When a girl and her family travel four thousand miles from home, it's not your typical summer vacation. Everything is different on the Alaskan tundra--where the grizzly bears roam and the sockeye salmon swim--including the rules. A girl can do things she wouldn't, and couldn't, do at home.

She can wake up at midnight to work with her mom on a fishing crew. She can learn what it means to be an essential part of a team. She can become a braver, stronger, and ever-more capable version of herself. She can take her next big step.

She's ready for her first real sunrise.

Sunrise Summer was an enjoyable read from start to finish; however, I wish I had known the character's age since some of the story was a smidge unbelievable for someone that appeared to be so young. For example, she and her mom were eating cold spaghetti on the bluff while rain blew sideways up their noses, and I had a hard time believing a young child would be okay with either of those things (especially after waking up at 2:30 AM). The synopsis says midnight, but that's not true. 

This book was about family and teamwork (and sometimes chocolate). It was about a girl learning life lessons and taking initiative. It was also about a community coming together and helping one another. I thought the concept for the story was wonderful, and still can't believe that this is what some people actually do during the summer months. It's a lovely idea! Leave your life behind for weeks and spend it fishing and being surrounded by family? Yes, please! The lack of amenities might be annoying, but I'm sure the experiences would more than make up for it. The last four pages of the book - the ones with extra information about the author and illustrator (and their kiddos) - were an awesome addition. I felt like those few pages really added another layer to the overall story, because it showed you that the characters were real people. They were speaking and drawing from experience, and I think that's why this story was so remarkable. 

I was a little bummed by the fishing at first (and the jellyfish poking), but they did clarify that people needed permits in order to be there, and they talked about the Alaska Department of Fish and Game being very involved throughout the entire process to prevent overfishing. They want to make sure enough fish make it up the river so there will be more the following year. Go biologists!

Overall, I really liked Sunrise Summer and enjoyed the illustrations. I thought the pictures complemented the story, and definitely helped bring the author's words to life. (★★★★☆)

About Robbi & Matthew:

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. Website | TwitterFacebook | Instagram

Praise for Sunrise Summer:

“[The narrator’s] 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.” —Booklist, starred review

“With irrepressible enthusiasm and an astute sense of detail, the child recounts the elaborate preparations (almost all supplies have to be brought in), the connection to nature and a close-knit community, and the grueling but exciting work itself. . .Readers may not be ready to sign on, but they’ll feel grateful for being afforded a spectacular front-row seat.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Paired with ebullient first-person prose, the illustrations immerse readers in the changing colors of the sky and waves throughout the thrilling event . . . An informative first-person story that combines family history with STEM concepts for a summer to remember.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Detailed and vibrant illustrations . . . This is an engaging tale about a summer vacation that is far from ordinary.” —School Library Journal

Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive a finished copy of SUNRISE SUMMER, US Only.

*this post has been backdated


  1. This sounds great to me. Thanks for the heads up! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘


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