El Toro and Friends by Raul the Third

Cover image for Tag Team.

Tag Team by Raul the Third (9780358380399)

Cover image for Training Day.

Training Day by Raul the Third (9780358380382)

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.

Reviewed from library copies.

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