By Lee Schoenbart
The two 7-year-olds haven't aged a bit since riding their first literary waves in 2007. Little more than two years later, those Del Mar children Cabo and Coral are off on their second adventure thanks to physician and avid surfer-turned-author Udo Wahn.
Cabo was inspired by his namesake, Wahn's young son Paolo Cabo; Coral, by the doctor's lovely Bolivian-born wife Aleida.
Immediately following the release of "Cabo and Coral Go Surfing!" Wahn was already imagining its sequel that is now "Cabo and Coral's Secret Surf Spot!"
Two years ago, Wahn said, "This could really catch on pretty well and I think that there could be sequels to it. Perhaps something like 'Cabo and Coral Go Surfing in Baja' or snowboarding or camping, depending on the success of this first book."
A surfer for more than 30 years along the shorelines of Australia, Costa Rica, southwestern France, Mexico and Hawaii, it was pretty much of a sure thing Wahn was going to take the children surfing again before they went snowboarding or camping across the pages of their next book.
"This is a book I wanted to get out there to share some of the joys and fun of going on a surf trip and also tying it into a few environmental messages and carry on the bit about the 'Aloha Spirit,'" Wahn said.
Wahn does a lot of outreach for Surfrider Foundation so pardon the heck out of the surfer in him as he takes literary liberty to educate kids about protecting the environment and the ocean in particular.
"The environmental message, the particular one I wanted to get across, is what Surfrider is doing now with its 'Rise above Plastic' campaign to encourage people to reduce the use of plastics and keeping the beach clean," he said.
Part of the foundation's "pledge" asks people to remember the three R's: "Reuse, Reduce and Recycle."
Wahn noted that with Cabo and Coral now somewhere between 8 and 10 years old, the story and its messages have grown up, too.
"The story and the text is a little more advanced," he said. "The first book was more sound bites and good, strong messages. This is a story with the messages interwoven.
"I really wanted to share the joy of going on a surfing adventure and misadventures. The story does contain some misadventure, a mild one," Wahn said. "Also, with the misadventure comes a reinforcement of the Aloha Spirit where the farmer with the tractor helps to pull the kids out of the mud and not expecting anything in return."
Something else is new and different — the illustrator.
"I approached Jami (Lyn) and she had too much on her plate at this time, so I wanted to find somebody who could keep the same feel of the book. I didn't want to completely change it because I was planning on a series," Wahn said.
"When Jami, the first illustrator, couldn't do it, I met with Hannah," he said. "She looked at my manuscript and preliminary sketches and was very eager to do it. She has a 7-year-old girl and a 2-year-old boy, so she's very in tune with what young kids are all about."
While Wahn was willing to reveal the illustrator for and existence of a third book, it took some prompting for him to divulge the forthcoming title and theme of Cabo and Coral's next adventure.
"As a matter of fact, I was working on the manuscript for the third book and Hannah will 99 percent, for sure, be the illustrator for this one," he admitted before adding, "the working title for the new book is 'Cabo And Coral: Reef Explorers.'"
As Cabo and Coral explore the reefs, possibly as early as next spring, Wahn has secured a partial funding endorsement from Reef Check (www.reefcheck.org), a Palos Verdes-based organization where volunteers around the world monitor the health of coral and underwater reefs.
The current book was funded in part by the Rob Machado Foundation (www.rob
machadofoundation.org), a 2009 Environmental Awards winner. Wahn, a core volunteer with Surfrider Foundation (www.surfrider.org), stated that a portion of the book's proceeds will benefit the nonprofit environmental organization, which is dedicated to the protection and enhancement of the world's waves and beaches through conservation and activism.
"Cabo and Coral's Secret Surf Spot!" is available online at www.caboandcoral.com. Distributed by BooklinesHawaii: (877) 828-4852. The book is also available online at amazon.com, barnesand
noble.com and borders.com or wherever books are sold.