Tacos Today

HarperCollins/Versify. (El Toro and Friends). Mar. 2023. 56p. Tr $12.99. ISBN 9780358539377.
Gr 1-3–Young El Toro and his fellow luchadores (Armor Dillo, Lizards, Jack A. Lopez, and La Oink Oink) want tacos for lunch but lack the funds to make it happen. After taking the party bus to Taco Square, the group starts performing their luchador skills in order to earn the required taco money and ultimately satisfy their hungry bellies. In this early reader graphic novel–style work, which employs a mix of paneled pages and ample full spreads, detailed backgrounds combined with upbeat and expressive character design allow young readers to fully immerse themselves in the anthropomorphic animal “World of ¡Vamos!” Centered on a fairly benign conflict (aka getting money for tacos), the short but focused plot emphasizes problem-solving, positivity, and teamwork. The incorporated Spanish words and phrases within the text stand out thanks to purple font color, and their meanings are easy to decipher from surrounding context.
VERDICT A great pick for beginning readers who are just getting the hang of graphic novels. Only downside? It will make you hungry for tacos!

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