Targeting the futility of one-upmanship, this original folktale is the first collaboration between Arthur Dorros, author of Abuela (1991) and others, and his son Alex. The main characters are brawny Hercules and brainy Socrates, who argue over which man contributes most to their Mexican village. Their dispute reaches a fever pitch as they both participate in the building of a bridge. Socrates thinks his architectural plans make him "¡número uno!" while Hercules believes that his lugging of tools and materials is the key. A young boy suggests a competition of sorts, sending the rivals away so the villagers can decide who is more greatly missed; upon their return, the wise boy prompts both men to see the absurdity of their squabbling. The text's short bursts of dialogue, all in Spanish and readily understood through context, will make this fun to read aloud. The same dialogue also appears in the pictures, where it works less well (the words prove difficult to see), but Guevara's bright, folk-artstyle paintings are otherwise excellent, vividly expressing the humor of the stubborn rivals' antics. Nolan, Abby
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Arthur Dorros has written many highly acclaimed bilingual books, including Abuela and Isla. He and his son, Alex Dorros, who also is bilingual, collaborated on this book, which is Alexs first and is based on a story Alex wrote at age twelve. They live in Seattle.
Susan Guevara has illustrated many books for children, including the Chato series. Her books have been named New York Times Best Illustrated and ALA Notable Childrens Books, and have won the ALAs Pura Belpré Award for Latino books. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Perhaps this is a fantastic book for infants - after all, it's infantile. But it left me cold. I didn't like the plot Art work was pretty good, but I've debated whether to give... Read morePublished 16 months ago by D. New
Alex Dorros and Arthur Dorros' NUMERO UNO receives Susan Guevara's warm drawings as it tells of a small Mexican village where Hercules is known for strength and Socrates for... Read morePublished on August 7, 2007 by Midwest Book Review