Sunday, November 11, 2012

Super Oscar by Oscar De La Hoya - OPTIONAL

De La Hoya, Oscar and Lisa Kopelke Super Oscar. 32 pgs. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2006. $6.99. PICTURE BOOK.

Oscar is a daydreamer. He daydreams while eating breakfast, while riding the school bus, and while going for walks. And then one day he is so busy daydreaming that he forgets to pass out the lists of food assignments for the neighborhood's weekly pot luck picnic. When his mom finds out, she tells him they'll have to cancel, but he morphs into Super Oscar and goes grocery shopping, sets up the picnic site, prepares all the food, and even trains a chorus of woodland animals to sing, just in time for the first guests to arrive.

This is a bilingual book done right. It is easy to differentiate between the Spanish and English texts because they are written on separate pages and in two different fonts. At the same time, the extra text bubbles are not distracting, but seem to fit into the pictures. The illustrations themselves are lively and colorful, perfectly capturing Super Oscar's personality while adding a touch of humor. Unfortunately, the plot doesn't really come together. Oscar's abrupt and convenient super-speed comes out of nowhere, and at the end he turns right back into the dreamy boy he's always been -- only this time he's asleep for real. The fun illustrations and the fact that there's a bilingual version available trump the plot difficulties, however, and make this one a good addition to the library shelves.

EL - ADVISABLE. Reviewed by: Caryn.

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