You might recognize Rául the Third's artistic style through the Pure Belpré Award, opens a new window-winning picture book series authored by Cathy Camper - Lowriders in Space, Lowriders to the Center of the Earth, and Lowriders Blast From the Past. In this bilingual space odyssey, Rául's ballpoint pen comic art style calls to mind the kind of home drawn doodles scribbled on school desks, in-home drawn 'zines, and classic comic books.
His illustrations authentically bring to life characters that exist in a world where Spanish and English are seamlessly intermingled. Meant for school-aged children, the series provides a wonderful introduction to basic and more intermediate Spanish words for children to learn under the fun background of a friendship space adventure.
In ¡Vamos! Let's Go to the Market, his first authored picture book, colored by Elaine Bay, Rául the Third's bold outlines are now filled in with soft hues and Roy Lichtenstein-esque patterns. Pages are spliced with comic panels as well as full-page illustrations that make each page-turning a delight. In the story, young pre-readers are introduced to Little Lobo, a courier with his faithful dog Bernabé. We follow the characters as they go to the market, el mercado, to make their daily deliveries.
Each page is filled with fun details that upon each re-read you are allowed new visual discoveries. For Latinx readers familiar with El Chavo del Ocho, Frida Kahlo, or Cantinflas, turning each page becomes a "Where's Waldo" like game of finding familiar faces and cultural icons.
A full-page glossary follows for non-Spanish readers to expand their vocabulary, as well as teach new words to emerging readers. Toddlers and preschoolers will enjoy the fun illustrations and details on each page, while beginning readers will delight in the story of Little Lobo meeting the many colorful characters that fill el mercado.
Have you read ¡Vamos! Let's Go to the Market? Let us know your thoughts below!