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Grade 1–4—When Gonzalo the rooster wins the lottery, he leaves his job on Don Chucho's farm for the "good life." He buys a mansion in Miami and a yacht, where he gets seasick. Then he heads to Hollywood and becomes a party animal. As expected, he soon runs out of cash, but he finds salvation in church. Soon he is the talk of the town because of his voice, but even then he is not satisfied. Gonzalo decides to return to the farm after a vivid dream calls him home. Once there he returns to crowing every morning though he continues to complain about everything. The illustrations are created with acrylics on gessoed paper and convey Gonzalo's colorful and humorous antics. In one scene, he is lounging by his pool wearing sunglasses, attended by a butler refreshing his drink, a baker ushering in a four-layer cake, and a maid dusting the palm trees. The vibrant colors and strong lines pulse with Gonzalo's strong personality and oddball situations. Kids will enjoy the rooster's adventures, and the story could open up a conversation about suddenly striking it rich and about the value of home. Spanish words pepper the text and are defined in a tiny glossary at story's end.—Linda M. Kenton, Pickleweed Public Library, San Rafael, CA
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Another chicken story (well, rooster) joins the comic flock. When Gonzalo wins the lottery, he complains that rooster life is nothing to crow about and so hops a bus for the good life. He buys a mansion in Miami and a yacht and joins the country club, but he gets seasick and then stuck in a putting green. Next he tries being a party animal in Hollywood, but instead he just gets fat. Without money and friends, he goes to church and joins the choir, packing the aisles with his singing. Wise words from Padre Juan send him home, where he takes over his old job and finally stops complaining—most of the time. Acrylic illustrations on gessoed paper animate the humor with fine-feathered cleverness, adding wry details like the yacht’s name, La Chicka Loca. A vocabulary list defines the six Spanish words sprinkled throughout. This is beak-in-cheek fun with an underlying message. Grades K-2. --Julie CumminsSee all Editorial Reviews