Transcendent joy personified in a pair of rip-roaring luchadoras.

LUCÍA THE LUCHADORA AND THE MILLION MASKS

Sisterhood leads to an adventure befitting a luchadora in Garza and Bermudez’s sublime sequel to Lucía the Luchadora (2017).

Donning her luchadora mask and silver cape, Lucía dives and soars in her backyard like a true luchadora. Her little sister, Gemma, tries to demonstrate some luchadora flair too, but the younger girl bumbles, tumbles, and SPLATS right on her face. Lucía thinks Gemma “always finds trouble.” When Gemma tears a hole in Lucía’s beloved mask, a devastated Lucía knows older sisters never win. Abuela, however, offers a solution. The trio head off to the mercado—which Lucía calls a “splendiferousmarket”—to find a luchadora mask for Gemma, one that’ll help her “finally act like a real luchadora.” Similar to its predecessor, this follow-up pops and snaps with jubilant glee. Garza’s buoyant wordplay and delightful characters also continue to shine. Equally, Bermudez’s vibrant, action-packed pictures epitomize pure zany fun. Inspired by the tale of Mil Máscaras, a legendary luchador, and the many masks available at the mercado, Lucía dreams of becoming the Girl of a Thousand Masks. Gemma, meanwhile, discovers her luchadora mask and sneaks off into the bustling mercado. Sensing trouble, Lucía follows. Together the luchadoras find a lost kitten and an opportunity to right a wrong. As always, Abu’s words ring true: “Remember, the best adventures are shared.”

Transcendent joy personified in a pair of rip-roaring luchadoras. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 9, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-57687-894-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: POW!

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

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Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.

YOUR BABY'S FIRST WORD WILL BE DADA

A succession of animal dads do their best to teach their young to say “Dada” in this picture-book vehicle for Fallon.

A grumpy bull says, “DADA!”; his calf moos back. A sad-looking ram insists, “DADA!”; his lamb baas back. A duck, a bee, a dog, a rabbit, a cat, a mouse, a donkey, a pig, a frog, a rooster, and a horse all fail similarly, spread by spread. A final two-spread sequence finds all of the animals arrayed across the pages, dads on the verso and children on the recto. All the text prior to this point has been either iterations of “Dada” or animal sounds in dialogue bubbles; here, narrative text states, “Now everybody get in line, let’s say it together one more time….” Upon the turn of the page, the animal dads gaze round-eyed as their young across the gutter all cry, “DADA!” (except the duckling, who says, “quack”). Ordóñez's illustrations have a bland, digital look, compositions hardly varying with the characters, although the pastel-colored backgrounds change. The punch line fails from a design standpoint, as the sudden, single-bubble chorus of “DADA” appears to be emanating from background features rather than the baby animals’ mouths (only some of which, on close inspection, appear to be open). It also fails to be funny.

Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-00934-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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DONOVAN'S BIG DAY

It may be his mothers’ wedding day, but it’s Donovan’s big day in Newman’s (Heather Has Two Mommies, 1989, etc.) latest picture book about queer family life. Centered on the child’s experience and refreshingly eschewing reference to controversy, the book emerges as a celebration of not only Mommy’s and Mama’s mutual love but progress toward equal marriage rights for same-sex couples. Readers, however, don't know immediately know why it is “a very BIG day” for Donovan or what the “very BIG job” is that he has to do. In his affectionate, humorous gouache paintings with digital finish, Dutton cleverly includes clues in the form of family pictures in an earlier spread set inside their home, and then a later spread shows Donovan in a suit and placing a “little white satin box that Aunt Jennifer gave him” into his pocket, hinting toward his role as ring bearer. But it’s not until the third-to-last spread that he stands with his parents and hands “one shiny gold ring to Mommy [and] one shiny gold ring to Mama.” He, of course, gets to kiss the brides on the last page, lending a happily-ever-after sensibility to the end of this story about a family's new beginning. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 26, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-58246-332-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tricycle

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2011

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