From School Library Journal
Grade 1-3–Tomasito is having a hard time adjusting to his new school. Even though he wants to do what the other kids do, spina bifida keeps him wheelchair bound. To help him with his transition, his supportive and loving father gives him a new pet. Desplumadois a featherless bird that cannot fly. But, as Tomasito learns with the help of a new friend, there is more than one way to fly, and more than one way to play soccer. He is great at heading the ball, and as his participation and inclusion in the Fresno Flyers soccer team becomes a reality. Herrera's prose poem is a paean to those children who overcome adversity to create inclusion. Cuevas's oil illustrations, with forms surrounded by heavy black lines, work well in the soccer scenes but seem lumpy and inert in the indoor scenes, where the hues are darker and muddier. Still, this title could be used for a storytime focus on acceptance and tolerance and in ELL programs.
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K-Gr. 3. In this bilingual picture book, the text is better than the somewhat garish acrylic illustrations. Unable to walk because of his spina bifida, Tomasito feels unconnected in his new school. His father brings him a featherless parrot for company, but the boy wants nothing to do with a bird that looks so different. Eventually, Tomasito finds a place for himself on the soccer field, where he learns that one doesn't necessarily need feathers to fly. The message is heavy, but always the poet, Herrera transforms the language to depict both the boy's isolation and later his boundless joy. The Spanish offers slightly richer detail than the English: a "casita-trailer
" is more descriptive, for example, than the simple trailer.
An encouraging story, especially for Latino children with disabilities, who may recognize themselves and find their own ways to fly. Julie KlineCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved