Chico Bustamante is a perfect hero for witty readers who have outgrown Dav Pilkey’s Captain Underpants books. He and his crew—which includes a faithful dog, a prissy New York transplant called Bucky, and a sycophant whose physical features give him the obvious moniker Pig Boy—take on the evil, chicken-obsessed local sheriff in a series of adventures, such as Chico speed racing through oil pipelines and leaving the county to find a rabbi to “make him a man” through a bar mitzvah. Delicately hued panels pop with high-octane go-karts and oversize fowl, reporters with big hair, and boy-built constructions that are given superpowers courtesy of big, bad Texas weather. Subplots veer from hilarious arguments about vegetarianism as a lifestyle choice to sweetly authentic father-son bonds. This book gives a fun, intelligent, wildly imaginative kick in the pantalones to the whole genre of Wild West tall tales. Adults who like irreverent humor will want to share the laughs, so be sure to stock enough copies for both age groups. Grades 6-9. --Francisca Goldsmith
About the Author
Yehudi Mercado is an award-winning animator, writer and director. He began his non pizza delivery driver career in the video game industry where he was recognized as one of the “Top 30 Interactive Stars Under 30” by Texas Monthly Magazine. Building on his success he founded an animation studio, HorseBack Salad which was named “Best little Toon House in Texas” by Animation Magazine. Their projects included nationally broadcast commercials, MTV music videos for the Riddlin’ Kids, Patty Griffin and Pat Green. The Trevor Romain Series co-written and directed by Yehudi ran on PBS. Mercado won second place in the prestigious Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting competition for Buffalo Speedway and has adapted the story about pizza delivery drivers into a graphic novel. His live action debut was a short entitled Monster Job Hunter. The live action/CG short played film festivals around the world and garnered multiple awards and honors including Best Comedy at Dragon*Con. He lives in Austin, TX.