Cardiff mom publishes children’s book ‘Waves of Love: Surfing with Mommy’

Jenny Woudenberg

After she couldn’t find a children’s book, toy, article of clothing or any other products that show mothers surfing with their children, a new mom who lives in Cardiff decided to write her own story.

“I’ve always wanted to write a children’s book,” said Jenny Woudenberg, who visited San Diego every summer while growing up in Phoenix, and attended San Diego State University. “And then I wanted to do something that talked about taking care of the environment.”

The book, “Waves of Love: Surfing with Mommy,” is about Kai and Reef, who surf with their mothers and learn about the ocean, including how to keep it clean and be mindful of the ocean life. It was released on July 27, and includes illustrations by Michelle Cowdrey.

The cover
The cover of “Waves of Love: Surfing with Mommy”

Woudenberg, who runs a marketing agency for businesses owned by women, said she started thinking about the book and the self-publishing process in April, and made sure to complete the project before giving birth to a boy in August. She added that she’s been promoting the book on social media groups aimed at mothers and surfing.

Woudenberg also said that the women in those groups have been grateful to see mothers portrayed in a more diverse role, and taking part in activities that are typically thought of as male-dominated.

“We surf and go on big adventures too, it’s not just dads,” Woudenberg said. “It’s really good for kids to see that.”

She said that “it’s really important to see diversity in the water and see someone that looks like you,” which is why she made a point of adding people of color in the book too.

In addition to surfing, the book also delves into conservation and some of the larger, philosophical themes of the role that mother ocean plays in the world.

Woudenberg said that the book highlights the “connection between mother ocean and mothers as well.”

“It’s very symbolic how the womb is basically salt water, just like mother ocean is, so it’s kind of like going back to your home, going back to who you are,” she said.

Portions of the book’s sales are going to Groundswell Community, a nonprofit organization that offers surf therapy for women; Surfrider Foundation, an advocacy group that focuses on ocean preservation; and Urban Surf 4 Kids, an outreach organization that works with orphans and foster children.

For more information about the book and how to buy it, visit