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by Julian Hector, illustrated by Julian Hector

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: July 15th, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-4231-0779-8
Publisher: Hyperion

A family of renowned bullfighters raises a son to carry on their glory in the ring. Unfortunately, he hates to fight and refuses to do so in the arena. Sound familiar? Of course, the last time readers heard this story it was the bull who was unwilling to fight. This mirror-version of Munro Leaf’s classic tale features a Little Matador who has one real passion—drawing. The peace-loving artist loves nothing better than to sit and draw the animals around him. He’s so good at it that he pacifies the angry bull in the ring by drawing a quite flattering portrait of the animal—and even produces a satisfying portrait of his parents after winning his battle of wills. The illustrations are wonderfully rendered, using just a few pen strokes to portray the ennui and superiority of the bullfighters. Many crowd scenes have little detail and a limited color palette. It all works. The contrasts and similarities between the Little Matador and his 20th-century counterpart Ferdinand would make for an interesting storytime. (Picture book. 4-7)