June 21, 2018

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Swap! by Steve Light | SLJ Review

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redstarLight, Steve. Swap! illus. by Steve Light. 40p. Candlewick. Feb. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780763679903.Swap by Steve Light

PreS-Gr 1 –As he did in Have You Seen My Dragon? (2014) and Have You Seen My Monster? (2015, both Candlewick), Light brings his exceptional talent and clever storytelling to young pirate lovers and fans of all things nautical. A loose button is the creative spark that sets a down-on-his-luck sailor and his best mate on a swapping spree throughout some busy port islands, trading and profitting from the castoffs of others to refurbish their ship and make it seaworthy once again. Their barters include “two coils of rope for six oars.” They then trade away two of the oars for four flags, then one flag for three anchors, and so on. Light’s trademark sharp black line cartoon drawings are endlessly interesting in themselves yet have just enough pops of color to highlight the protagonists, their loot, and the deep blue sea. The repeated refrain of “SWAP!” affords the opportunity for interaction, and the easily counted items provide some math activity and build anticipation of seeing the fully re-rigged vessel. Several pages of sequential panels assist the minimal text in telling this engaging story of ingenuity and resilience. VERDICT A fun-filled swapfest for salty dogs and landlubbers alike.–Luann Toth, School Library Journal

This review was published in the School Library Journal January 2016 issue.

Luann Toth About Luann Toth

Luann Toth (ltoth@mediasourceinc.com) is Managing Editor of SLJ Reviews. A public librarian by training, she has been reviewing books for a quarter of a century and continues to be fascinated by the constantly evolving, ever-expanding world of publishing.