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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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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A quiet, thought-provoking story of environmental change and the power humans have to slow it.

THE OLD BOAT

A multigenerational tale of a boat’s life with a Black family, written by two brothers who loved similar boats.

In the opening spread, a smiling, brown-skinned adult dangles a line from the back of a green-and-white boat while a boy peers eagerly over the side at the sea life. The text never describes years passing, but each page turn reveals the boy’s aging, more urban development on the shore, increasing water pollution, marine-life changes (sea jellies abound on one page), and shifting water levels. Eventually, the boy, now a teenager, steers the boat, and as an adult, he fishes alone but must go farther and farther out to sea to make his catch. One day, the man loses his way, capsizes in a storm, and washes up on a small bay island, with the overturned, sunken boat just offshore. Now a “new sailor” cleans up the land and water with others’ help. The physical similarities between the shipwrecked sailor and the “new sailor” suggest that this is not a new person but one whose near-death experience has led to an epiphany that changes his relationship to water. As the decaying boat becomes a new marine habitat, the sailor teaches the next generation (a child with hair in two Afro puffs) to fish. Focusing primarily on the sea, the book’s earth-toned illustrations, created with hundreds of stamps, carry the compelling plot.

A quiet, thought-provoking story of environmental change and the power humans have to slow it. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-324-00517-9

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Norton Young Readers

Review Posted Online: Dec. 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2021

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