Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Lowriders in Space by Cathy Camper, illustrated by Raul the Third

Lupe, Flapjack, and Elirio love working with cars and want to open their own autoshop, but they are broke.  They decide to enter an auto competition with the hopes of winning the prize money that can get them started on their dream.  Collaborating on this project takes them to outer space and back.  

Nothing about the title or premise led me to think that this book would be a particular hit with the adolescents I serve here in NYC where lowrider culture is not as prevalent as it is in other parts of our large country.  But what to give the sixteen-year-old artist I serve who told me that he loves cars and is dyslexic and whose first language is Spanish?  Lowriders in Space has incredible artwork done in pen and the artist writes, “I decided to draw Lowriders in Space with red, blue and black ballpoint pens to revisit the excitement I felt as a kid whenever I drew.” Backmatter includes notes from the artist and author, a glossary for Mexican-American slang, car, and astronomy terms found in the story, and a one page epilogue to whet the reader’s appetite for Volume 2, which will be released by Chronicle on July 5th.  The best part, for developing readers who are already bilingual in Spanish and English, is that the book is 112 pages long and most pages contain 15 words or less. --Jessica Fenster-Sparber

Camper, Cathy.  Lowriders in Space.  San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2014.  Print.

Click here for a short book trailer video on youtube.  Click here to visit the publisher’s page where you can download a free teaching guide to Lowriders in Space.

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