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|Lowriders in space|
Author: Camper, Cathy
Lupe, Flapjack, and Elirio customize their car into a low rider for the Universal Car Competition to win the cash prize that will enable them to buy their own garage. In graphic novel format.
Lowriders, Bk. 1
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 3.00
Points: .5 Quiz: 170226
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 3.40
Points: 6.0 Quiz: 66229
Kirkus Reviews (+) (10/15/14)
School Library Journal (11/01/14)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (+) (01/15)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 10/15/2014 Lupe Impala, El Chavo Flapjack, and Elirio Malaria love fixing up cars together, but they are tired of working for tough old el jefe, so when they see an ad for a universal car competition—including a category for ranflas (lowriders), their favorite kind of car—they get busy fixing up the hunk of junk in their yard so they can win the contest and open their own garage. It’s slow going until they stumble on some old plane-engine parts, and then things really start flying when, ¡que chido!, their rocket-powered car zips into space for a stellar detailing job. Raúl’s snazzy panels—impressively drawn in only red, blue, and black ballpoint pen on tea-stained paper—resemble an amped-up Mighty Mouse cartoon rendered in anarchic yet skillful doodles. It’s a joyfully explosive style, and it perfectly matches the Latino characters and barrio setting. Camper sprinkles Spanish slang throughout (all defined in a glossary at the end) and closes with a note about the development of lowriders by Mexican Americans in Southern California after WWII. ¡Estellar! - Copyright 2014 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 11/01/2014 Gr 4–8—Camper introduces readers to Lupe Impala, Flapjack Octopus, and Elirio Malaria, three friends who love working with cars and dream of having their own garage shop. One day they see an opportunity to achieve their goal—a car competition where the prize is a "carload of cash and a solid gold steering wheel." When they start working on a lowrider to prepare it for the competition, an out-of-this world journey begins. Through anthropomorphic characters, the author narrates a tale of friendship, teamwork, and the passion for lowriding. She incorporates astronomy to this adventure, providing readers the opportunity to familiarize with terms from both worlds. Raúl the Third's colored pencil-and-marker illustrations effectively depict images from the lowriding subculture, while including references from Mexican pop culture, such as the iconic comedian Cantiflas and Chespirito's El Chavo del Ocho. The way he alternates among full-page artwork, spreads, and non-rectangular panels works well with the story and strongly supports its visual understanding. However, although it is true that some Latinos code-switch in their conversation, the use of Spanish words didn't feel organic to the story. There is also inconsistency in the use of accents, and footnotes that point readers to phrases and word meanings are explained as "nonsense words in Spanish," when that's not necessarily the case. Lowriders in Space fills a gap of Latino graphic novels for kids, and its quirky characters and illustrations have the potential to engage children. Let's hope that future installments will have a more accurate and natural use of Spanish. A helpful glossary of astronomy and lowriding terms is appended.—Sujei Lugo, Somerville Public Library, MA - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 01/01/2015 This buoyant graphic novel highlights lowrider culture with all the flair the subject deserves. Three eccentrically anthropomorphized animal pals labor under a demanding boss, hoping for the day that they can open their own garage. A contest to find the vehicle with the best detailing seems promising, except for the minor problem that they don’t even possess a car to make fancy. However, that problem is nothing that an abandoned junker, some cleverly gathered supplies, and a trip through space won’t solve, and the resulting car is truly magnificent. There isn’t much plot in this graphic novel, as it is clear from the start the earnest, cooperative friends will emerge victorious, but it’s obvious that the story isn’t really the point here. The magnificent red, blue, and black pen drawings set against lush, creamy backgrounds make each page individual works of art, the illustrator balancing charm, hipness, and artistry perfectly in the loopy yet stylish car buffs. In addition, the automotive slang and smooth Spanish/English mix are as fun and engaging as the central narrative arc, and the charm even extends to the copious end materials, which include a glossary, artist note, an impeccably edited note about lowriders, and an epilogue. While the author makes it clear that being poor isn’t some sort of magical state of being that inspires happiness, it’s also evident that the one with the most money doesn’t always win the day, and that a community that supports you can compensate for a great deal. It’s not a bad takeaway, and artistically inclined readers will undoubtedly leave not only delighted with the story but also inspired by the artist’s extreme low-tech approach to drawing that produced such impressive results. AS - Copyright 2015 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.