EL CHINO by Allen Say

EL CHINO

KIRKUS REVIEW

The true story of a Chinese-American bullfighter. Born in Arizona, Billy Wong's dream of becoming a star basketball player was thwarted by his average stature. Though his mother was a grocer's widow, he and his four brothers and sisters all pursued professional careers. But later, as a young engineer traveling in Spain, Billy discovered and trained for his second calling, despite local opinion that only natives could he matadors; his skill, plus a well-timed appearance in Chinese costume, won him a trial that was the beginning of his success. Though bullfighting is hardly everyone's favorite sport, this cross-cultural story of perseverance is an unusual, authentic bit of history, told with simplicity and grace. Say's watercolor illustrations--including representations of b&w family photos--are handsomely designed, his trademark use of architectural lines and angles lending serenity, the more active scenes beautifully composed. A note telling more about this unusual figure would have been enlightening. Still, interesting as far as it goes.
Pub Date: March 3rd, 1996
ISBN: 0-395-52023-1
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2000




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