Suryia Swims!

Last updated Friday, April 5, 2013

Author: Bhagavan "Doc" Antle
Illustrator: Barry Bland
Date of Publication: 2012
ISBN: 0805093176
Grade Level: 1st    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Apr. 2013

Synopsis: From School Library Journal:
Featuring the unusual orangutan first introduced in Suryia and Roscoe (Holt, 2011), this title focuses on the many unusual activities he enjoys, most notably a love of water. Readers follow along as he splashes in a bubble bath and gradually becomes the first of his species to develop the ability to swim. Full-color photographs document his progress as he learns to hold his breath underwater, dive for pool rings, and eventually begin to swim. He is seen swimming with lots of different friends-both human and otherwise-including Bubbles the elephant and Tonks the tiger. Fans of Suryia and his canine pal, Roscoe, will surely enjoy this continuation into the life of a very special orangutan that lives on a wildlife preserve in South Carolina. Each spread features two or three clear photos and minimal text that serves mainly as captions. Easy nonfiction for readers of differing abilities.

Note to readers:
•  Read the author's note at the end of the story
•  Mention the the book 'Suryia and Roscoe' is in their school library if students want to read another book about Suryia

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Do you know how to swim? How did you learn?
•  Have you seen any animals swim before?
•  Have you ever seen an orangutan?

•  Wildlife preserve- a protected area for wildlife, flora, or fauna
•  Orangutan- a species of great ape found in the rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra
•  Graceful- pleasing or attractive in line, proportion, or movement
•  Paddle- to move through water by means of repeated short strokes of the arms
•  Life vest- a waterproof flotation device to prevent drowning

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Is bath time play time for you?
•  Have you been to the zoo and have you ever seen these animals there?
•  Do you have friends who are different from you?
•  Do you have pets and are they your best friends?

Craft ideas:
•  Have the students draw pictures of activities they're learning to do. Have them imagine other animal pals learning to swim & draw pictures of this
•  Make a scrap book with pictures of you and Suryia learning various activities

Special activities:
•  Have kids do animal imitations or practice various swimming motions!

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!