These are the first two titles in the new early reader series by the talented Raúl the Third. The books feature the Luchadores El Toro and his group of friends. In Tag Team, the stadium is a mess after last night’s match. El Toro is feeling very overwhelmed by the mess until La Oink Oink arrives and helps him. She talks him into doing it as a tag team, turning on some music and working together with brooms, mops and more. The second book, Training Day, shows how El Toro trains to get ready for his next match. But he isn’t feeling like training, even though his coach, Kooky Dooky, wants to keep him in shape and ready. Kooky tries to think of cool exercises that will get El Toro out of bed, but it isn’t until El Toro is truly inspired that he is ready to train.
With a mix of Spanish and English, these beginning readers are marvelous. The writing has just the right mix of humor and emotion. El Toro’s situations are relatable, since sometimes children don’t want to do their chores or get out of bed for a busy day. There is a lot of empathy here combined with empowering messages about the importance of friendships to keep us going.
The illustrations are detailed and delightful. Featuring Raúl the Third’s signature style, they share characters that readers will have met in Vamos! Let’s Go to the Market! The colors are bright and full of tropical colors of orange, purple and yellow.
A vital addition to all libraries’ early reader shelves. Appropriate for ages 4-6.
This gorgeous nonfiction picture book explores the diverse world of sharks that includes over 500 different species. The book defines what a shark is, exploring the various physical attributes that make sharks special including their rows of teeth, dorsal and other fins, and their countershading. The wide range of sizes that sharks come in is also featured. Size of shark is shown in comparison with a lone adult human swimmer, often dwarfed by the sharks around them. The book explores how sharks are born, what they eat, and then some of the more interesting species including hammerhead, great white, and whale sharks. Record holding sharks are shown and then shark attacks are discussed as well, while also stating the jeopardy that sharks are in themselves. This is a balanced, fascinating book that is sure to be popular.
From the Caldecott-Honor winning team, this nonfiction picture book features facts that have been chosen to draw readers into the subject. Readers may know something about one type of shark, but the huge diversity of sharks will likely surprise young readers who will find new sharks on every page. The writing is straight-forward and simple allowing the facts themselves to fascinate and awe.
As always, Jenkins’ illustrations are marvelous cut paper. He has a way of creating paper that creates watery ripples, dapples of light, or small waves across the sharks. The skilled use of humans as a way to show size is done at just the right moments in the book and not excessively.