Artículo de Julia Israel (Time Out NYC)
From Oliver Twist to Horatio Alger’s rags-to-respectability stories, the blue-collar schoolboy has long been a literary fixture. Now another lad—just as charming, if a bit more eccentric than his peers—joins the canon.
Manolito Four-Eyes, the first volume in Elvira Lindo’s popular series to be translated into English, is an award winner in the author’s native Spain. And no wonder: The boy’s streetwise but sweet mien is a refreshing antidote to the cyber romance, jealousy and bratdom that plague much of contemporary kid-lit.
Full of invented sayings (“whole lotta cool”) and descriptive nicknames (“Big Ears López”), the brisk text depicts the goings-on in a Madrid suburb through the vision-challenged eyes of the nerdy, fun-loving ten-year-old. In one chapter, Manolito’s class dresses up as a flock of doves to represent World Peace at a costume contest. In another, he accepts a dare to jump in front of a distantly approaching bus. After the driver scolds him, the guilt-ridden boy seeks out his closest confidant, his grandpa. But the plotlines are mere vehicles for the book’s true joy: Manolito’s outstanding narrative voice. Prone to super-detailed tangents, it expertly mimics the rhythm of a chatty tween and is a treat to read. In fact, as Manolito would say, it’s the “bee’s knees.”
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